Assessment for AE Online Course Plans, March-April 2017

Greetings!

From March 6 through April 17, practitioners are participating in a 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.

Comments

Activity Description

           

Red/Green Assessment on curriculum; taken from the Week 4 video. In a class, I’ll distribute both red and green note cards and ask students to use the cards to communicate if they want:

  1. More instruction (red card)
  2. Can move ahead to the next topic (green card)

 

 

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)

 

To get an honest and student centered assessment on what they’ve learned, what they need to learn more about, and when to move to the next unit.

 

 

Class Description  (Level and demographics)

           

Due to my student demographic, this will ultimately be a high level class composed of students who are in the midst of earning their high school credential.

 

Resources Needed

           

 

Red and green note cards.

 

 

Evaluation  (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

           

I will have a pre-determined set of questions regarding the curriculum and  areas of instruction previously done in class. I will also ask students to gauge their mastery of these subject areas. For any subject area that is determined needs more instruction, I can redesign the curriculum to address those needs. If it proves that an individual student wants instruction in one topic opposed to the class that feels ready to move on, that’s a great opportunity to work one on one with the student to increase skill gain.

 

Communicating with Students   (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

                                  

Part of this will have to be an honest assessment of student skill – self-awareness is key here. The curriculum for this course will also have to be scaffolded, so if a student does go on and hasn’t mastered the skill yet then we will have to backtrack slightly in order to better prepare for the next unit. 

I love the color-coded approach to student self assessment.  Plus, it relates to things they already understand, like stop signs and traffic lights.

Deborah

I have witnessed an ESL worker using a board game. Every time a student got something correct, they would move forward and get a prize. You can do this with teams or individually. Really cool stuff. Great way to stay engaged and develop a great and fun memory. Better than a lecture. 

Activity Description

           

As the curriculum coordinator for my program, I make some decisions about the types of activities that will be included. I’d like to create a goal-setting method that’s based on that from Nicole Graves and Peg Cahill at the New America School.  However, I plan to not do reoccurring mini-goals each week, but to start at the beginning of the semester with goals, create a curriculum “menu,” and help instructors to design their courses around the goals and needs of their students. I’ll also work on incorporating goal-setting activities that emphasize action steps and goal progress follow up.

 

 

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)

 

There are a few results I’m looking for.  One is to create courses that are customized to our students’ goals and needs while still incorporating standardized instruction and career pathways opportunities.

 

 

 

Class Description  (Level and demographics)

 

0-6 ESL classes with mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for several years..

 

 

 

Resources Needed

 

Goal-setting lesson plans and activities to promote follow up with students. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation  (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

           

On student surveys, we will include opportunities for students to assess their progress with their goals and how the course has contributed to the achievement of those goals. 

 

 

 

 

Communicating with Students   (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

                                  

Students will do self-assessments and work on becoming more self-directed learners (i.e. improving cognition, metacognition, and motivation).  

 

Activity Description

 

 

Filling out registration and enrollment, releases, and goal setting paperwork

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

A student’s ability to understand and complete our intake paperwork, as well as participate in goals discussion will show a lot about their ability to understand, and what level they might be at to begin their studies.  There is no scoring rubric or answer key for this type of activity, so it is very important for the assessor to observe carefully, listen, study non-verbal cues, and use judgement developed with experience and sensitivity, as the results are not absolute, but largely opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

Can be used with any of our students at intake, English speakers or ESL. Care must be taken to not overwhelm the student. If they appear to be clearly struggling to complete the forms,  assistance should be provided promptly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources Needed

 

Registration and enrollment forms, records release form, photo/quote release form, goal setting sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation

(How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

 

This is an activity for which the meaning needs to be carefully considered, as there is no answer key or rubric. Anecdotal observations are important and can yield useful information when kept in perspective, and the observer’s standpoint is carefully considered when interpreting the student’s efforts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communicating with Students

(How will your students know whether their performance has improved?)

 

Since this is generally the very first activity that student will perform when they come to us, they generally do not even realize that we are observing carefully and using this info as a loose initial evaluation.  Although it is not scored, so to speak, in conversational reflection with students, when they have clearly made progress as measured by other more formal means, this can be an important tool for positive reinforcement (eg. “Look how far you have come! When you first got here, you needed help even filling out the forms! Now look at you! J”)

 

David, I too use the intake paperwork as the first guide for me in assessing incoming ELL students.  How they respond to basic questions such as "What is your name?" and how they approach the forms, with gusto and proficiency, or hesitant and needing a lot of support (even translators for some) is key.  I can get a feel for what pre-assessment tool will be best.  Can they even articulate what goals they want through the ELL program here?  What kind of writing sample will I look for if the formal pre-assessment does not ask for one?  What should I anticipate when I give a listening test (which I do even though they are not required for most of the pre-assessments I give).  My beginner and intermediate students cannot get enough scaffolding in viewing different forms and interview-style questions, as they come at them all the time in the way of health, job, and school settings.
 

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION:  Pulling Forward and Pushing Back - Adult Learning Goals Sheet

ACTIVITY PURPOSE:  1.  Level 5/6 ELL Ss will be able to distinguish and articulate long-term and short-term goals in discussion and via written worksheets.

                                   2.  Ss will be able to identify and list forces that are considered to be either opposing or assisting toward their respective goals, again both orally and in writing.

                                   3.  Ss will show collaborative proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing as they meet in a small group to consider the scenarios of fictitious characters experiencing opposing and assistive forces in their respective goals.

                                   4.  Ss will demonstrate proficiency in grammatical use of modals:  "should," "should not," "Have to," "might," etc. as they talk about and write about goals.

                                   5.  Ss will be able to produce a one-page paper with good topic sentences and examples in describing their short-term and long-term goals.  (Rubric reviewed and explained, demonstrated beforehand.)

CLASS DESCRIPTION:  Level 5/6 adult English language learners; northern Vermont adult learning agency; Ss are three women, two from North Africa settings and the other from Asia.

RESOURCES NEEDED:  "Pulling Forward and Pushing Back" Teacher Instructions (Illustration), S worksheets, Whiteboard and eraser, photocopied pictures from magazines of various professions.  See description of fictitious "Elena" in teacher instructions.

EVALUATION (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

                        1.  By monitoring engagement in classroom discussion over picture scenarios and ability to articulate these as model pre-cursors to their own project.

                        2.  By soliciting their opinions re: the worth of listing their own short- and long-term goals and what forces keep them going or obstructed.  (Being willing to do this activity myself as their teacher, as a model.)

                        3.  By reviewing the substance of their final written project articulating their goals and the forces behind those goals -- were they completed as assigned?  In a follow-up group discussion, weigh their opinion of having set down their goals and having shared their essays with other class members.  Did this have an "earnest" feel for them?

 

Communicating with Students (How will your Ss know whether their performance has improved)?

                                     Ss will be able to see their paragraph results weighed against a rubric provided beforehand.  During discussion in a small group, teacher-monitored activity, Ss will be able to describe whether he/she is better able to articulate short-and long-term goals and forces behind them after the project, or not.
 

Activity Description

Student are tasked with a challenge to think about their work in our high school completion program in relation to their goals — educational, career, and otherwise — and to represent those links graphically, as in chart. Since my students work independently (there are no classes), the activity must be able to work independently or one-on-one with a teacher.

Perhaps the best way for students to begin is to list their goals, whatever they happen to be. I’d recommend using scraps paper, writing goals on separate slips. Depending on how many goals they list and how big they want to make their assignment, some pruning might be useful before moving on. At this point, it might be enough to weed out low priority goals. But whatever else happens, it’s important for students to list goals at various removes from the present, not just their goals for the far future. So, it might help to ask students to list goals for this year, the year after, two years out, five years out, and so on. Once we have a good set of goals, we need to think about various ways of putting them in order.

First, ask students to place them along a timeline. Putting goals in chronological order is a good way to see how achieving some goals is a necessary condition for achieving others — or at least how achieving some goals makes achieving others more likely. For example, if becoming a veterinarian is a goal, the timeline should show certain goals earlier in the chronology: getting a diploma, going to a post-secondary school, getting a license, and so on. If those goals aren’t already in the student’s list (or pile, as it may be), now is a good time to add them. Maybe a goal that didn’t make the cut before returns from exile. It wasn’t so low priority after all.

Second, we need to think about how to transform the timeline into something else. The problem with a timeline is its flatness. A better way of representing goals would show how they interconnect; it would show more than one line connecting them. At the same time, we want to preserve the connections that we’ve already found. What we want to do, in short, is to explode the timeline into a kind of spider’s web, with “Now” at the center. So, to use the previous example, a line radiating from the center might have “become a veterinarian” at its endpoint, but points along the way may show connections with other goals, say, living in Colorado, owning a horse, saving money for retirement, learning how to rock climb, taking care of one’s parents  — who knows? This also presents an opportunity for students to think about adding goals that hadn’t occurred to them before but could have a place in the design. Health is an important goal, for example, but it’s not always clear that many goals have implications for health.

The hardest part, the one that might require some discussion, is to trace longer term goals backward toward the center of the web, which marks the present and so the student’s participation in a high a school completion program.
 
Activity Purpose (What result are you looking for?)

The purpose of the activity is to help with advising. Certain people in this organization do nothing but that; they just advise students. Here, due to our small number of students, advising is folded in with my other responsibilities. I do less of it than I could, perhaps, but finding a place for it hasn’t been easy. Anyway, one purpose of advising is to get students to think about their goals beyond high school. Often, this focuses on career goals but could extend to other areas of life. Information about goals can help with designing student work. It can also help with keeping students attuned to why they’re involved in the program, which, in turn, may help to keep them active.

Class Description (Level and demographics)

Technically, this isn’t for a course but a project. Projects involve independent work; they’re meant to be designed with the student’s input, as much as possible around the student’s interests and goals, but our standard projects are available in an “off-the-shelf” format. In any event, projects don’t involve classes. They do, however, count toward a student’s graduation requirements and so, to that extent, amount to a high school course.

The closest I can come to indicating a level and demographics is to say that it’s for high school students. Our program doesn’t recognize grade years.

Resources Needed

This activity is cheap. More ambitious students are welcome to make a chart on poster board, perhaps with drawings or pictures. We have art supplies for such things. Most students, I expect, would opt to make a chart on letter paper with pen or pencil. They could also work on one of the whiteboards that we have around the office, photograph the results, and email it to a teacher.

Evaluation (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

An obvious sign of effectiveness would be more engagement from students in designing work around their goals. After all, a major selling point of our program is that students can do this. But if they’re going to take full advantage of it, they need to know not just of what subjects interest them, say, what they like to read or what they want to learn more about, but what they want their education for, how their education may contribute toward their goals, and in general what they hope to do in life.

Otherwise, the effects of the activity are difficult to observe. It involves no task that requires formal assessment.

Communicating with Students (How will they know if their performance has improved?) 

This activity isn’t meant to improve performance directly. It’s meant to stimulate thought, to encourage students to draw connections between their goals and their work with us. Nevertheless, if students draw those connections, it’s possible that their participation in the program will improve because their work will seem more relevant to them.

Brian,

I really like your well thought out plan of action for engaging the students in their own goal setting process, which is a skill they can use throughout their lives if taught with that in mind. Also, since your program is small and you have limited staff to provide goal setting activities with students, this is a great way to accomplish the needed goals and empower the students. 

Good job! Tracy

Wh Questions - Activity Description

ELL students often have trouble with ‘Wh’ questions.  I found a list of questions with: Who, What When, Where and Why questions (with pictures).  I cut them out and also made cards for accompanying answers (cardboard backing).  Students match the question to the answer (or other way around).

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)

 Student will match the correct ‘Wh’ question and answer with 85% mastery.

Class Description  (Level and demographics)

The student I will use this with has intermediate English Language abilities. 

 Resources Needed

‘Wh’ question and answer picture cards and strips. (See photo below.)

Evaluation  (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

How often did he match the question to the correct answer?  If he didn’t was he able to correct himself?  Is there something confusing about that particular question?  (Additional evaluation – see below “Communicating with Students”)

Communicating with Students   (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

I will give immediate feedback (correct/incorrect).  If this skill has not improved, I will search for another activity.  Most importantly, we will communicate to determine how these skills are or are not improving in their daily lives.  We will review goals and self-assessment sheet to see if these are being fulfilled. 

 

                            

Activity- Memory Game using health vocabulary

Activity Purpose- I am looking to see which terms they know, and which ones they are struggling with.

Class Description- This is a low-level class, so I spend a few classes introducing the new vocabulary with pictures, google image, and google translate. We also practice using vocabulary in sentences. There are two students in this class, so I pair them up and let them work collaboratively on it to encourage them to speak to each other about the meaning of the words.

Resources needed- Unit vocabulary list, index cards, marker

Evaluation- I will gauge the impact of the activity by seeing how many pairs they can make. When they have finished making all the pairs they can, we look at the pairs to see if they are correct. If some are incorrect, they go back on the table. We then look at the remaining cards together to see if they can create more pairs. If they still can not make pairs, we focus on those words for a few more days, and then we try again with a different activity but using the same index cards. Some of the follow-up activities are placing the terms into categories, playing charades, go fish, ect.

https://quizlet.com/ is a great site for all kinds of flashcards. Some may have too advanced vocabulary for beginning ESL, but it's worth checking out.

Plus, you can create your own flashcards.  The site allows the students to choose how they use the cards = see answer first, see description first, use  a matching game.  I have used this site for students studying history, biology, and even human anatomy.

Deborah

Hi everyone, Joy contacted me because she has a graphic that goes with her post - she took a photo of the flashcards that she describes in her LP.  This forum does not have the capacity to upload images so I put it on Google Docs.  To view her flashcards, go to:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1O_uIDEIrfHZWtRTXEtSEtzM2M

 

 

 

 

 

Activity Description

 

 

 

 

 

Student Goal Setting

 

 

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

 

 

 

Help student assess impediments to learning (people, stressors, prior actions, learning struggles)

Then have student identify resources that will help him reach his goals (people, safe places, counselors/mentors, techniques)

Finally, have him reaffirm or reset his goals in light of the impediments and the resources

 

 

 

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

 

 

Student is a very bright high school Sophomore who is excluded from campus due to an incident last year involving the threat of violence.  Substance abuse was involved as well.  He is taking college prep and honors level classes.

 

 

 

 

 

Resources Needed

 

 

I only need a copy of the Pulling Forward – Pushing Back assessment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation

(How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

 

I hope to see him focus on the positive influences and resources to help him realize that he can move forward from a poor decision and still achieve his goals.  Having him utilize his resources and not dwell on the past would be a positive impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communicating with Students

(How will your students know whether their performance has improved?)

 

By recognizing impediments and utilizing resources, the student will have a more positive attitude toward his current learning environment. His grades will improve and his self-esteem will increase.  We meet daily and discuss his academic progress regularly; I also inquire about his emotional state periodically, so we will both have an accurate gauge of the impact of the assessment.

Activity Description
 

Data Analysis- Pictograph, Bar graph, Line graph and Circle graph

 

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)

         

Understanding: Students will know (knowledge) or be able to (skill):

  1. Students will become familiar with the different types of graphical representation.
  2. Students will be able to state the main idea of the entire graph.
  3. Students will be able to interpret a table, a line graph, a bar graph, a circle graph, and a pictograph.
  4. Students will be able to compare and contrast different sets of data, comparing the same information on a bar graph and a line graph.
  5. Students will be able to make predictions and draw inferences based on a study of the data.
  6. Students will be able to solve word problems involving graphs and tables.
  7. Students will be able to construct bar graphs, line graphs, and circle graphs based on tables of given data.
  8. Students will learn new  vocabulary words: Bar Graph, Circle graph, Line graph, Pictograph, Table

Class Description  (Level and demographics)

 

Class Type with standards:  NEDP (2.1.4) (2.4.2) (2.4.3)

 

Resources Needed

         

White board

Contemporary’s GED Math Textbook

Examples of graphs from magazines, newspapers etc…

Graph Assessment worksheet and scrap paper

 

Evaluation  (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

 

Contemporary’s GED Math Textbook (exercises p.149-172)

Graph Assessment worksheet

 

Grading Rubric Graphing Assessment

    Category

     

Total Points

Question answered correctly

9 Questions (11 Points per question)

     

 

                                                                   Total Points: ___ /100

 

 

 

 

Communicating with Students   (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

                                

1) Learning Objectives: using Text Book Exercises on page 149-172 Contemporary’s GED
(working with data)

a.  Begin in-class discussion on the different types of graphs and their characteristics:

Bar Graph, Circle graph, Line graph, Pictograph

Heading, Sub-heading, Vertical axis, Horizontal axis, Symbols/graph key.

b.   Discuss and demonstrate steps to solving word problems that use graphs, charts or other data tables.

 

2) Learning Objectives: using graph assessment worksheet and scrap paper

 

a.  Students will construct their own Bar Graph, Circle graph, Line graph using data provided to them on the graphing assessment worksheet.  Students will also make predictions, and compare/contrast.

 

 

 

 

Activity Description

 

Goal Setting

 

 

 

 

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)

           

Facilitate students to be able to 1) self-assess their current skill level

                                                   2) Prioritize their goals

                                                   3)identifying barriers and motivators

                                                   4) monitor progress

 

 

Class Description  (Level and demographics)

Adults from ages from 18 and up who are working towards GED  

 

 

Resources Needed

copy of  “My Goal Setting Interview” from the Tool Kit

In addition, our program transition specialist came up with an activity of sharing students’ fears, what they think is the barrier and motivator to their success     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation  (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

           

We are hoping the student will buy in the fact that the others share the same fear, hesitations or insecurities but we can overcome by knowing our weakness and strengths.  Knowing the barriers, we can set realistic, achievable smaller goals. 

 

 

Communicating with Students   (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

By being able to monitor your progress continuously will encourage them to keep on going because they are going to feel that they are being successful and productive.  We plan on visiting the students to have on going communication every two week sthru the summer classes.

                                  

Activity Description

This activity is based on topic 3: Helping Students to Succeed on Standardized Assessments.

This activity is based around forming habits as well as reflection. 

 

Activity Purpose (What result are you looking for?)

 

Stress, anxiety, uncertainties among other emotions are common with adult learners. This activity will hopefully allow students to learn to learn where their stress come from, how can they combat it, where do they need work, what are they already comfortable with, and understanding tests. The other part of the activity is to take all that you have learned that day (including what is written above) and journal about it, reflect, learn more about yourself.

 

Class Description (Level and demographics)

The purpose of taking practice tests at the beginning of each session (or every other session) will allow the students to form a habit. It could also help the learner to learn where there anxiety is coming from and lessen those feelings and uncertainties. The purpose is to not only be a physical writing practice test, but other forms of practice tests. For example, as the article we read put it, scan the tests, review choices, practice staying calm, practice reading questions and understanding what they are asking, and listen carefully to directions.

 

Resources Needed

Notebook- For journals and reflection.

Different practice tests.

 

Evaluation (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

This should be both a discussion/conversation with the student and some alone time for the student before they start their day/assignments. This will hopefully allow both of you to become more connected and comfortable with one another and build that student/teacher connection. This is both an academic and an emotional connection activity that will hopefully support the student in more ways than one.

 

Communicating with Students (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

All the tests and reflection journals would be put into their portfolios. Each test would have a reflection journal that went along with it. About half way (maybe even sooner) through their course, we can go over their portfolio and read the different emotions and concerns they were having, why they were having them, what were their goals, what scared them about taking tests, what did they want to learn, etc. They can also go back and read their journals and gain some insight from what they had written. This would allow students to see if they have improved academically and emotionally throughout their time with us.


 

Activity Description: How to Choose the Best Goal Setting Tool for Your Local Program 

Activity Purpose: To assist the local program with the development of Goal Setting processes and how to choose the best goal setting tool including revisiting the goal setting process throughout the student classes in the adult education program. 

Class Description: This activity would be included in a training that I conduct called “AEL Assessment Guide” Training. The audience would be adult education administrators, instructors and staff. 

Resources Needed: Goal Setting Toolkit (https://courses.lincs.ed.gov/1/pluginfile.php/21774/mod_lesson/page_contents/1262/ABT5R2-AdultLearnerGoalsToolkit.pdf). Printed copy of the Personal Goals Goal Setting worksheet for participants to use as an example and begin to make a goal setting process plan. 

Evaluation:

  1. On the spot formative evaluation of the activity during the training to see the response – Use Poll Everywhere or an app like Kahoot for an immediate poll.
  2. Use of a scantron evaluation (our standard measure of evaluation for trainings) at the end of the training with a few questions based on that activity. 
  3. Send a follow up questionnaire to participants of the training to see if and how they have implemented the Goal Setting process in their program. 

Communicating with Students: 

This would be hard unless I specifically asked how programs implemented the Goal Setting Toolkit to seek feedback. Once we conduct a training, unless the participants have questions, we allow the local program to figure out what will work best for them.

Through our professional development learning management system, we offer a Goal Setting Course every year. I can recommend participants take this online course every year to stay refreshed on what the local program is responsible for.

Also, through our learning management system, there is a Community of Practice for Assessments, which I monitor. I could post questions there for participants all over the state to respond to as needed. Plus, I could add new resources there as well.

Activity Description

 Completing the Goal and Action Setting Activity for my basic computer course

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)     

I’m looking for specific computer skill needs and goals that they may have so that I can tailor the class around those kinds of activities.   For example, if a student has a goal of getting a job as a healthcare provider, I might design a class teaching internet searching around searching for jobs in the healthcare field or use a hospitals website as a basis for teaching.

Class Description  (Level and demographics)

The Basic Computer is designed for people who have basic knowledge of the computer  (i.e. Mouse, keyboard and Windows O/S) but want to gain more skills in software, email, internet, etc. 

Resources Needed

I will use the Goal Setting Worksheet and the Action Setting Worksheets provided in the “What are my goals?” activity.    I will ask for students to volunteer a few goals and discuss the steps with the class together.   I will then use the worksheets to teach tables in MS Word and ask the students to complete in class.  

Evaluation  (How will you gauge the impact of the activity on your students?)

We will review the goal and action sheets in 2 weeks time to assess short term progress and get feedback on how well the students are engaged.

Communicating with Students   (How will they know if their performance has improved?)

              

Each student’s goals will be reviewed individually after 2 weeks to understand how well they achieved their short term 2 week goals.    This will be used as a teaching and assessment tool to determine how well the student embraces these concepts.   I will also review the goals at the end of the course to make sure the students can carry these goals with them after the class has ended.