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Formative assessment

To rubric or not to rubric?

Hello colleagues, Have you ever heard it said about assessment that we teachers need to "make the evaluation criteria visible"?  This concept resonates with me as I think about the many experiences I've had in school when I was left wondering how a project or a writing assignment would be graded by a particular teacher. Very often I had no idea.

Making the evaluation criteria visible before students complete an assignment is usually very helpful. A useful tool that can help us to do that is a rubric.

Assessment for AE Online Course Plans for VT, Aug 2015


Practitioners in Vermont are piloting a facilitated LINCS online course that explores fundamental ideas of assessment for adult literacy learners. Here course participants will share their plans for applying what they have learned in the course with their learners.

We encourage you to explore the ideas and plans posted here and reply with comments, questions, experiences and ideas for supporting effective assessment in adult education.

Thank you!

Student Ownership of Assessment: Key #5

Hello colleagues, We've been highlighting Stanford University researcher and writer Linda Darling-Hammond's comments on 5 keys to comprehensive assessment in this video.

5 Keys to Comprehensive Assessment: #2 Formative Assessment

Hello Colleagues, Each week, we are focusing on one of the five keys to comprehensive assessment presented by Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond.

Assessing with the CCRS

Hello friends, As a culminating activity in the class I'm teaching now, students are making presentations. In the past, the students and I have worked together to design a rubric to help them plan their presentations as well as to use for peer, self and teacher feedback on the presentations.

The Value of Revision

Hello friends, On a recent vocabulary quiz, two students in my class --for whatever reason-- did not do very well. I had just come across Jennifer Davis Bowman's blog about do-overs While we in adult education do not give grades as Bowman does, she makes some excellent points about the potential value of revision. Bowman says we teachers can emphasize that revision is actually a typical part of life.

Do you give vocabulary quizzes?

Hello friends, I have posted previously about how I approach teaching academic vocabulary. I have drawn ideas from the work of several theorists and researchers including Isabel Beck and her colleagues and Susanna Dutro and Kate Kinsella. First of all, I explain the new word using student-friendly language rather than a dictionary definition.

Cooperative learning and assessment

Hello colleagues, I was recently reminded once again of the classic cooperative learning assessment strategy called "numbered heads." It's funny how we sometimes forget about some wonderful old stand-by ideas. I made a commitment to begin incorporating numbered heads into my instruction. This past week I did so with great results.

Scaffolding on the Spot!

Hello friends, I recently came across a blog that discusses on the spot scaffolding. I would describe this as the immediate moves a teacher makes when she notices students do not understand what is being taught. In essence, the teacher adds a layer of support to help the students grasp important content. You can check out Rebecca Alber's blog here:

Rebecca outlines three strategies for providing on the spot scaffolding:


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