Greetings!

From October 30 through December 18, 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 (17)

Sue Barnett's picture

My activity is the Goal self assessments for reading, math, and writing.
I'll use these assessments to tailor the students lessons to what they need to work on the most.
This would be used for all newcomers. 
I will be able to gauge the impact of the activity by reviewing these assessments at regular intervals.
It would allow me to see if they have reached their goals.  It will also show what has helped or hindered them and if they have any. new goals.
I would communicate with the student their performance by comparing the original assessment with a current one i had them do.
 

Danette Cox's picture

Activity Description

This activity is from the video "Assessing in a Variety of Ways" video. The assessment covers student knowledge of Civics and Government. Students are given a stack of papers with various government scenarios and they are asked to decide which branch of government the scenario applies to. Examples of scenarios are: 1) Ability to send troops into another country, 2) Ability to pass marijuana laws, 3) Ability to veto a bill, and 4) Ability to override a veto. The students are allowed to work in pairs. Their job is to post their scenario under one of the three posters labeled Executive, Judicial and Legislative.

As facilitator if students are not sure about which category I would ask them questions to help them figure out which branch. After all of the scenarios are assigned to a branch, we will go through them as a full class and ask if students agree or disagree with where the scenario is located and why.

Activity Purpose 

This is a formative assessment showing that the students have learned and understand the roles of the three branches of government. Civics and Government is a major part of the GED test so I want to ensure that the students fully understand the responsibilities of each governmental branch and will answer the test questions correctly when they sit for the exam.

Class Description

This activity is created for students at the 11th grade level and their ages range from 16 to 58.

Resources Needed           

Poster board, markers, tape and paper.

Evaluation        

I will base my evaluation on students matching 90% of the scenarios with the correct governmental branch.

Communicating with Students  

 We will talk through the right answers after all of the papers are allocated to their respective branches. Talking through the answers as a group will make the activity less of an assessment and more of a fun game. This activity will allow the students themselves to see if they understood what they have learned in the prior week lessons. 

James Gagnon's picture

As a former Social Studies teacher, I find this activity to be particularly interesting. Granted, I know what the correct answers would be for a given scenario as the rules have been written. However something like the power to effectively go to war has been usurped by the Executive branch over the last 70 years. Dan Carlin did a great Hardcore History or Common Sense (I think HH) regarding how nuclear military power was the seed of this in the late 40s. Then the rototilling of norms over the last year has been absurd. Conversations around current events versus what the test is going to want will be important for an activity like this.

 

Wanda_Kezar's picture

Hi Sue,

I, too, am going to use the goals self-assessments, but I am going to start with math and work my way up to all three.  I am going to align them to what we've done in class so far and what we still need to cover that is on the assessment they have to pass, i.e. the CASAS Competencies. I like your idea of setting the review of the goals at regular intervals.  I wonder if there is a "best" amount of time between reviewing the self-assessments.  When I taught Jr. High, I did it once a quarter, but adult education is different.  Maybe halfway through the 70 hour instruction time and then just before testing might be appropriate.  What are your ideas? 

 

James Gagnon's picture

I have developed an employment based goal survey intended to guide my lessons with each student I teach. My class size is usually 1:1 at the moment, so I am able to tailor lessons relatively on the fly. I have pasted the results of the completed form below:

Activity Description           

During my initial meeting with a student, I will ask the student to fill out a personal goals checklist focused on employment that I have derived from similar surveys in addition to my own experiences. Conversation around survey statements are expected and encouraged. I have not yet developed, but will also create and provide personal goal surveys regarding community activity and family. Coursework (whether TABE, GED, College Prep, or other ASE opportunities) will involve working toward increasing the confidence of the learner when participating in the survey in the future.

Activity Purpose  (What result are you looking for?)           

My observation of our student body is that employment is their first priority. The purpose of this activity is to generate the idea that we are working together to generate success in an occupational way. Results of this survey and associated conversations will help provide opportunities to weave lessons which relate to self-identified areas of need within or tangential to areas of math and science. Surveys regarding community and family will follow in time. I believe that responses to questions of a more personal nature will be more readily answered and honest as rapport has been built.

Class Description  (Level and demographics)           

My classroom at the moment is typically a 1:1 teaching opportunity. This is ideal for this particular approach, because it only depends on the building of trust between myself and the student in question, and I can tailor learning opportunities to that which has been identified as a goal. In particular, I am hoping to increase retention of beyond high school age male students. These learners often register in our program and depart in short order.

Resources Needed           

Survey(s) – Created and will continue to adapt.

Collect resources and ideas for ways to incorporate building of identified skills within/tangential to a wide range of math and science work, but most immediately TABE basic math.

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

Formative: Students will produce work which reflects a better understanding of the identified areas of skill improvement need.

Summative: Students will retake the personal goal survey when they are ready to move on from our program.

Student will also develop their own goal survey more directly associated with the employment path they seek.

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

I will talk with my students.

asoto's picture

Activity Description: Create Student Performance Profiles to inform learning.

Activity: By helping learners (and their instructors) clarify which concepts/competencies are challenging, we can inform instruction and provide additional resources to help them meet their learning goals.

Class Description: Advanced ESL/ABE learners who have been in the program for more than a year and a half who have not shown progress on their two most recent standardized assessments (CASAS).

Resources Needed: List of learners with assessment history, Student Performance Profiles, list of additional learning tools/resources

Evaluation: The impact of the activity will be evaluated following the learner's next assessment. The post-test scores will be compared to previous assessments.

Communicating with Students: Assessment scores are shared with learners right away during a one-on-one discussion with the Program Coordinator (me) and/or instructor.

Rational: I am out in the community as we speak, administering post-tests before the semester ends next week. There are a handful of learners who've been with the program for an extended period of time, and although they are showing progress in other ways, they have plateaued on the standardized assessment we offer. Most of these students are in our advanced ESL or "Bridge to Career" (ABE) classes, although I can think of one who is intermediate. These are learners who are dedicated, have decent or great attendance and have been in one or more of our classes for at least a year. It's a select few, but I think the above activity I outlined would be a great way for these learners to see why they keep missing the same questions. It would also be helpful for the instructor, particularly if learners keep missing the same competencies. And by providing additional resources, learners can take control of their own learning outside of the classroom.

Wanda_Kezar's picture

I find this idea very intriguing and helpful.  I recently worked with a student for 6 months that had been in and out of the program for 4 years without making any progress on test scores.  He has finally had a breakthrough and passed Reading, and slightly improved in math,  but math continues to be a problem.  Identifying and offering alternatives for this kind of student is essential in what we do, and I am happy to see you are addressing it.  I think that, too many times, those students just give up, and we don't see them again.  It gives me food for thought about how to assess and reach out to potential quitters who feel their test scores never improve. What kinds of additional resources do you offer?

Chris Norway's picture

Activity Description     

Create Student Performance Portfolio.

Activity Purpose 

By collecting students work in an organized way will help students reflect on their academic goals and progress as learners. Compiling, reviewing, and evaluating student work over time can provide a richer, deeper, and more accurate picture of what students have learned and are able to do than more traditional measures

Class Description 

This will be done by High School Completion Program students

Resources Needed

Student enrollment form, any assessments the student has taken, student work, and the students plan.

Evaluation 

Looking at student work and skill development will show how students have reached their goals.  Meeting with the student and updating the portfolio on a regular basis allows students to see growth.

Communicating with Students                                      

Students will know if their performance has improved by reviewing pre and post assessments.

Annette McDonald's picture

This is such a great resource for both student and instructor!  Good luck!

Wanda_Kezar's picture

I love portfolios too.  They are in my future plans. 

Heidi Hartshorn's picture

 

 

Activity Description

 

 

Students will keep a learner portfolio throughout their program. This portfolio will includes pre-tests, progress tests, post-tests, writing samples, formal and informal assessments, self reflections, and final projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

 

The purpose of the learner portfolio is for students to take ownership of their own learning and and presentation of learning. Ideally students will have more dedication to their program and persist through difficult times when they have this responsibility and ability to show off their work and accomplishments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

 

High School Completion Program

Open to all Vermont residents age 16+.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources Needed

 

 

General office supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation

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

 

 

Monthly meetings with the director to present the learner portfolio, showcase completed work and progress from that month, discuss any hurdles or concerns, and plan for continued success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communicating with Students

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

 

 

Proficiency based rubric that students will have access to ahead of time. This will include items like keeping the portfolio neat and professional, the minimum evidences of performance, and attendance at scheduled monthly meetings.

 

Annette McDonald's picture

Charting a course - Personal Goals Checklist ( 1 of 8 activities)

http://www.aelweb.vcu.edu/pdfs/charting.pdf 1.

 

Activity Description

Students will keep a Career Portfolio-Personal Goals-Checklist and Progress Spreadsheet as per the guidelines of Missouri DESE-Missouri Options Program.

 

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

 

 

Goal Setting - Learners will self-assess their current skill level for each checklist by

selecting goals utilizing the  three Equipped for the Future (EFF) Checklists

(worker, community member and family member)and prioritize their goals.

 Completed checklists will be data of learner choice of goals for FEC Grant End-of-Year Report.

Use the learner responses to inform instruction and curriculum

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

 

Missouri Options Program - High School Completion Program

Open to Kansas City,Missouri School District students -  age 17-20 –

must score  9th Grade Level on T.A.B.E. Math Comp/App.Math/Read

Resources Needed

Colored copies of Checklists.

 

 

 

Evaluation

(How will you gauge the impact of the

activity on your students?)

 

 

 

Weekly “Pow-Wow” (meetings} with the Missouri Options Instructor

 to discuss Checklist responses, plan goal-meeting strategies,

discuss any hindrances or concerns that may keep student from reaching goals,

 and plan for continued success-new goals to add?

 

 

Communicating with Students

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

Attendance at scheduled weekly Pow-Wows and the minimum evidences of goals met.

 

Chris Norway's picture

You are correct Annette, Portfolios are a great tool for both students and teachers.  I am in the process of transferring to a digital portfolio.  Have you tried this before?  If so I would really like your feedback!  Thank you 

Annette McDonald's picture

Hey Chris - I have HOWEVER most of my students do not have access to a computer - be it a tablet or laptop or a desktop. They have a smart phone and that is about it.  AND NOT A LOT OF MEMORY! SO we work on our portfolio in class and then when everything is completed I have them download everything on a flashdrive so they have their info - including resume, test scores, scanned copy of their transcript, etc. Seriously the kitchen sink! :)

Darn it! I thought I had my harddrive here @ home I was going to download the Portfolio Checklist that I use. Email me and I will send it to you!  Happy Holidays!

Carolynne's picture

 

 

Activity Description

 

 

Percentages vs. $ amount Activity: When is it better to have a coupon with a percentage off vs to have a $ amount off.

 

 

 

 

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

 

Previous to this activity the class should have learned about percentages and how per cent literally means out of 100.

To relate the definition of percent to an actual number and see a connection.

The students should find the impact each coupon has and which one they would prefer. Would you prefer $35 off a $50 item or 35% off a $50 item? You can relate it as the first option would be a 70% discount. The second item would yield a savings of $17.50.

 

 

 

 

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

 

Adult learners who are in a pre-college math class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources Needed

 

 

Various coupons with $ amount and % off.  I used slides and put it onto a power point. Asking if they would prefer a coupon for 20% off and item or $20 off?

 

 

 

 

 

Evaluation

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

 

 

After a number of slides with various coupons, they should see that they would prefer the $ amount off if the original total is less than $100 and a % off if the original number is over 100.

 

The idea is to have activities that relate to real world problems.

 

 

 

Communicating with Students

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

 

As the activity continues they should feel more comfortable with which answer to pick. If they aren’t making the connection give them the answer after a while and continue practice to see if it is picked up.

 

Individual activities after you feel as though the class or individual has grasped the concept would be the formative assessment needed to conclude the lesson. This could include real coupons from stores or examples created by the teacher. This could be a cut and paste activity into a T chart with one side of the T being the most beneficial coupon.

 

Wanda_Kezar's picture

Nice authentic assessment activity.  I love these because they are so real world and capture everyone's attention.  

Wanda_Kezar's picture

Activity Description:  I will use the Math Goals Self-Assessment as a model to develop my own Math Concepts Goals Self-Assessment based on the CASAS Competencies and what we have been working on in class.

Activity Purpose:  Students will self-assess which Competencies they are self-sufficient at, which ones need more work, and which ones still need to be addressed.  This will drive individual and group instruction in the future.

Class Description:  Students in my Math Concepts class are primarily at EFL 3 and 4 levels and are striving to pass a Level B then C of the CASAS.

Resources Needed:  Math Concepts Self-Assessment Handout; Follow-up Interview questions

Evaluation:  I will meet with each student during his or her individual work time and discuss the Self-assessment.  By asking probing questions, I will be able to see and hear if the student understands the progress he or she has made (to be celebrated), the areas to continue working on (immediate goals), and the concepts that still need to be addressed (long term goals).

Communicating with Students:  Students have just completed a round of testing, so we can compare their past and new scores and analyze the types of problems they now know how to do compared to their intake testing.  After 70 hours of instruction time, they will have another chance to improve scores.  Hopefully, between now and then, I plan on having a pre-assessment developed that reviews everything so they can really see how much they have improved their skills.  This can serve as a final review tool and hopefully, a confidence booster, as we also continue to work on test taking strategies and reducing test anxiety.   I plan on using the Self-assessment again before they test in the spring.