Skip to main content

Assessment for AE Online Course Plans for VT, Aug 2015

Greetings!

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!

Comments

ms.jenniferway's picture
First

Here are two blogs dealing with digital literacy and tools for teachers in the 21st century. Both could be used as ideas for creating formative assessments.

http://globaldigitalcitizen.org/blog

http://digitaltoolsforteachers.blogspot.com/

TGray's picture
First

The activity I liked the most and would like to implement was about getting more hands on with students' goal planning by making a planner with short term and long term goals that will help them work towards their ultimate goal(s). Every couple of weeks they would make an observation of what they can do now with confidence versus what they struggled with or couldn't do before. I would also make my own observations and we would compare.

Carol Bryant's picture
First

I like your comments on the students' goal planning activity you would most like to implement.  I would also like to use some sort of short term goal planning activity with my students.  I can see the value in doing such an activity, and I believe students will also.

JanetB's picture
First

I agree.  My plan is to use the "My Goal Setting Interview" with a select number of students to get feedback from them around how I should introduce this to their peers. I think a learner who finds value in setting long and short term goals to gauge personal progress would be a powerful role model to provide support to other learners who do not know where to start .  Once I have some suggestions from individual students, I will experiment with a group of students, modifying the questionnaire to include student suggestions.  We will revisit and update at least quarterly, but my long term goal is to weave goal references into instruction as frequently as possible.

 

Josh Demers's picture
First

Since I'm looking at this topic from the view-point of a manager, I thought that instead of coming up with how to assess students, I would look at how my learning center uses student goals to inform instruction and assessment. 

I plan on talking with my coordinators and teachers to identify what assessments other than summative assessments like the TABE and CASAS we are using in the classroom. We'll see how directly the goals of the students (not the larger goals of "Get my high school diploma," or "Learn to speak English," but more personal goals, like "improving my writing so I can write a good cover letter," of "improving my math so I can better manage my money") influence what happens in the classroom.

Depending on the discussion, we'll take steps to increase the influences the students' goals have.

Joan Scruggs's picture
First

Josh, I'm interested in revisiting student goals. It seems to me that we are reassessing students for academic skill progress, or for meeting graduation requirements ("get my high school diploma"), but usually not for the shorter term personal goals, such as "manage my money" that you mentioned. Addressing personal goals more closely might help increase retention.

ms.jenniferway's picture
First

Thank you for reminding me of this activity, as it will help with my activity plan to show how estimation, decimals, and negatives relate to grocery shopping. 

Michelle Folger's picture
First

Joan and Josh... I do feel we need to put more consistent focus on goals for our students. I don't have the answers of how...nor what exactly BUT I do believe the closer we understand what they really want and need most immediately and assist them with working toward those goals step by step, I do believe retention will increase. This is a conversation that would include ed advisers, transition specialists and other agencies that may be providing services for our students. A closer, more aligned partnership and collaboration with all agencies supporting a particular student would also help with retention, I think.

Josh Demers's picture
First

I think you're right, Michelle - tying our instruction as closely as possible to the personal goals of our students would likely increase retention. I see some challenges - we can't teach to all the individual needs of our students - but I bet that once we dig a little deeper in we can find ways of at least showing how what they, the students, are learning in class is relevant to their lives.

ms.jenniferway's picture
First

For my next step forward, my plan is to use a weekly activity that I am sure all of my students do: grocery shopping! I plan to incorporate decimals, percentages (yah for sales tax!), estimation, and negative numbers to demonstrate what actually happens when you buy food. One activity I am looking forward to help with this task is called "Steps to My Goal." Here, we will practice each aspect of creating a list, sticking to a budget, and estimating how close we are to the budget. As we craft our lists and estimate our budget, students will work in groups to discuss their findings. I will check in with them on various aspects of this activity to allow them to demonstrate what they are learning and how important estimation and decimals are, and how important it is NOT to go into a negative budget. 

ms.jenniferway's picture
First

If anyone wants more interesting assessments, check out this book. 

Training from the Back of the Room: 65 Ways to Step Aside and Let Them Learn, Sharon L. Bowman. Pfeiffer Publishing. 2009.

Excellent example of different types of training tips. The book refers to making a training work, but could be adapted easily to teaching. 

The four main ideas of the book include: Connections, Concepts, Concrete Practice, and Conclusions. Each of the main ideas have assessment ideas for checking in, formative, and summative assessments. It uses a "brain-friendly" approach to learning, which is a fascinating topic. 

This book is a great resource. 

 

 

Ginger Baker's picture
First

I too, am looking at involving students on a more regular basis in reviewing goals, setting new ones, and keeping better track themselves as a means of seeing any accomplishments. Set backs, asking students why do they think this happened, and discussing possible solutions.

Michelle Folger's picture
First

My plan is to discuss with my teachers what stood out for them in the course around goal setting that is aligned with instruction, which is not a conversation we have had. the conversations around goal setting are more global....once we get to a common ground and understanding of how we might tackle it I will also want to include reflecftion, both student and teacher reflection. The reflection would focus on the goal, the skill(s), the process and outcome. 

 

I will start small as to not overwhelm them because there has been a lot of PD provided over the past 12 -14 months and I am having to deal with over load, too.

Ginger Baker's picture
First

My activity planning form was completed around having several of my students review their goals. I am going to adapt a couple of the worksheets from the goal toolkit and have them complete them next week. Some of my students are very new so they have just completed the intial goals worksheets during our orientation classes.
 

chris anson's picture
First

Setting short and long term goals with  some of my students can  be delicate situation, some have never had to think about future goals.  I will start of with discussing , What is a goal?, What goals did they have in childhood, (ride a two wheeler, tell time, tie their shoes etc)? We will complete the, “What Are My Goals?”  from the Adult Learner Goals Toolkit and as a group, will watch:

 Dropout Nation | FRONTLINE | PBS and  discuss the video and the impact it has made on them.

 Re-visiting goal every couple of weeks will hopefully keep my students focused and on the road to success. 
Joan Scruggs's picture
First

I want to, once again, visit our Orientation procedure. This is more of a program assessment than a student assessment, but since it is really the start of our relationship with a student, I'l like to make it as meaningful as possible, with the long-range goal of improving retention. I plan to adapt the questionnaire we looked at by asking the 2 following questions to help students reflect on the process:  1. What action that anyone (facilitator or student) took during Orientation did you find most affirming or helpful?  2. What action that anyone took during the Orientation did you find most puzzling or confusing?  I may make some additional adjustments to the wording of those questions. I would probably follow up the written responses with some discussion and to clarify some of the thinking.  

Heather Kelman's picture
First

I love this idea, Joan. We have really found that the more personalized attention a student gets up front, the more likely they are to engage in their learning plan. Asking them these questions about their orientation experience works for the student and for us in terms of great feedback.

Jay Callahan's picture
First

After two weeks of class, student and teacher will meet to look at an online (and hard copy) Math Class goal form the teacher has created. On the basis of their mutual experience of the class and also on the basis of another form, one which specifies the math areas needed to pass the TABE to enter HSCP, and another doing the same for the Accuplacer and CCV, the two will set a series of goals, short and long-term. They will discuss barriers and supports, and put tentative dates to the goals. (There will be a straightforward way of adjusting dates.)

 

Every two weeks, the two will meet briefly during class to monitor progress, and to discuss challenges and ways forward.

 

I’m looking for increased student buy-in with the class; increased retention; and more students meeting their testing goal.

A sheet evaluating the Math Class will include a place in which students will think over their experience with goal-setting, and how that affected their experience.

 

Ongoing informal evaluation through conversation

 

33% increase of students meeting testing goal.

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Bryant's picture
First

Jay, I like the student reflection piece of your plan and having students identifying both the barriers and supports.

Natalie Reigle's picture
First

I plan to add a couple of group activities to my Pre-Algebra class that I can use as an informal assessment during the units on decimal, fractions, and percents.  I will give students a reflective questionnaire to help me gauge which activities worked the best and which they liked the most.  I will use my observations and results of the questionnaire to determine if more instruction is needed.  A copy of the diagnostic pre- and post-TABE will let students know how they have improved.

Carol Bryant's picture
First

I am planning on using the My Goals: Planning, Monitoring and Assessing activity with students.  I want to begin using it with my Basic Math Class and then try using it with a second class.  Students will work on identifying their short term learning goals and setting deadlines to meet these goals. We will monitor their progress periodically, make revisions to their plan, and then assesses their results.  I believe this process will help students to feel successful, encourage them to identifying realistic goals, and to take responsibility for their learning.   

Virginia Dugan's picture
First

My activity is going to be around goal setting – how to set manageable goals to facilitate success in class

  • Begin with class discussion on our ultimate goal – what’s the “end” result that you want
  • As a class, begin to talk about what these goals have in common
  • Start to identify where they are with their skills right now, and where do they need to be to reach that ultimate goal. As part of this, start to incorporate a discussion on standards in terms of what types of skills and knowledge are these standards addressing. (ie – what does it mean “support ideas with evidence in writing”)
Yvonne Sonoda's picture
First

Instructional/Assessment Activity Description:  After reading, examining and discussing a model paragraph, advanced English language learners are given a checklist (the use of which the teacher makes sure they understand), and they work in pairs to arrange sentences, clauses and transition words (on sentence strips or using a SmartBoard) to form a logical paragraph.  Students then compare their completed paragraphs with those of another pair of students (using the checklist) and then with the teacher’s version, which is re-read and discussed as a whole class.

Checklist:  Are the sentences arranged in a logical sequence?  Are all transition words used properly?  Are all the sentences grammatically correct?

Elaine Colan's picture
First

One of my favorite activities for a math class is using the number line.  It gives the teacher a good understanding of students' fraction, decimal, and percent knowledge.  It helps to give students a value to the numbers and to see which ones are equal, larger, and smaller to the others.  It also allows students to understand how a number can be written in three different ways all having the same value.

Heather Kelman's picture
First

During the initial ed advising (before a student is connected to their HSCP Advisor) I would like to use the template of What Are My Goals? from the goals toolkit in order to get students to think more broadly about their goal(s)--about what they would like to achieve in these four areas: personal/family life, work life, life in the community and their educational goals. This will tangibly connect them to the world of EFF standards and allow them to see the relevance of these standards to their lives.

Suzanne Pelletier's picture
First

As a HSCP Plan Manager - not a teacher - I had to figure out how to use this class to help me better meet my students' needs.  This activity will do that, save time, and keep student motivation up.

 

Activity Description

 

 

TABE Assessments for new students

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

Focus on meeting the student’s goal of a NRS 5 or above to qualify for HSCP

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

At or after Orientation, students take the Locator to determine which level of assessment they should be give (E/Easy, M/Medium, D/Difficult, & A/Advanced).

 

A teacher reviews the Locator to see which version of the TABE assessment the student should be given.

 

With a shallow D or a high M level indication, the student is not given the TABE but is given the end-of-book Performance Assessment instead to determine specific weak areas.

 

Weak areas are reinforced one-on-one, on Khan Academy, or through self-paced skill building via the TABE workbook.

 

After skill building in these specific areas, the student is then given the TABE assessment.

Resources Needed

 

Quiet room

Pencil & Scratch paper

Calculator

Timer (untimed to accommodate an IEP)

TABE book (for specific topic)

Computer (Khan Academy)

 

Evaluation

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

 

This practice will take more time up front; however, it will save time in the rear as learning centers need to wait “40 days/40 instructional hours” before a student can re-TABE.  Once targeted skill building is accomplished, the student has a better chance of hitting a solid D and entering immediately into the HSCP.

 

When the student comes back to take the actual TABE, he will be more confident because he has completed some targeted skill building in his weaker areas. 

 

Communicating with Students

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

 

The student will have invested time into specific skill building.  He/she will have scored better on the TABE after this investment vs. taking the TABE right after the Locator.

 

If the students’ goal is to enroll into the HSCP, this saves time and allows them to potentially start the program earlier as they will not need to wait “40 days/40 hours of instruction” before they can re-TABE (which can be discouraging).

Marie Cora's picture
One hundred

Goal setting with staff

 
Elaine DeMasi's picture

Submitted by Elaine DeMasi on August 31, 2015 - 10:01am

35 Views0 Likes0 Comments
Groups: 

Because I am a Manager, I do not work directly with students in a class.  My activity involves staff and the Individual Professional Development Plans required to be completed yearly.  Using the SMART goals, I would like to see these plans to be use more intensely throughout the year.  Because instructors are more focused on student growth, I am interested in keeping the team working, using healthy work styles and feeling good about their own level of professionalism.   In this way, I can check in and observe how goal setting is being used with their students.

 
Marie Cora's picture
One hundred

Personal Goals and Connecting to Career Pathways

 
Ethan Maurer's picture

Submitted by Ethan Maurer on August 31, 2015 - 9:05am

156 Views0 Likes4 Comments
Groups: 

I am posting a process that I used with students for goal setting as part of a professional development class.  It centers around using the SMART goals format for students to engage in a process that connects a personal goal with the opportunity to connect it to their graduation expectations for earning a high school credential.  Any feed back is welcomed.

Thanks, Ethan
 

 

Activity Description

Initial Student Goal Setting

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

For students to begin to engage with a process that helps them identify and carry out a personal goal that is connected to learning and graduation expectations

 

Students should be able to see that personal goals can meet other academically related outcomes

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

Ideally this activity could be used at any level for any demographic.  What might change is how much support is given during the process

 

Resources Needed

 

 

SMART goal setting questionnaire

 

Evaluation

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

 

Similar to the pre and post assessment activity in this course, having students evaluate their progress at beginning and end will give great information.  Additionally, having students during a monthly check in will report out progress to identify if any additional resources are needed

 

Communicating with Students

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

 

As said above a monthly check-in either face to face or via electronic communication will use the SMART template to ensure that students are keeping their goal in mind throughout their educational process.

Cathryn Hayes's picture
First

We DO understand that you are a supervisor, and do not normally have “learners” you normally interact with.  So we ask that you make a plan to either:a) use one or more of these assessment practices with your peers or employees (ex: as a team-building exercise, or as a training tool/example) OR b) as if you *are going* to have a group of adult learners soon. A s a new or returning instructor, what would you want to know? For what purpose?

While preparing for a group of adult learners I first would want to know more about each student's Learning Style. At Vermont Adult Learning, our orientation process includes a Learning Styles Inventory, which is used as a resource in creating learning goals. Becoming familiar with each student's NRS Levels would help me create lesson plans and assessments that are challenging, engaging and address student goals. Teaching adult learners is more about motivating than following any set curriculum. Adults learn effectively when they are motivated to develop a new skill, acquire new information, improve their lifestyle or professional competence. This is a practical approach to learning that needs to be connected to real life goals. Most adult learners have limited time for engagement at a learning center. I would need to maximize the time I have with each student. Lesson planning will need to include focused classroom activities paired with distance learning options and project based learning. While I enjoy the challenges of a supervisory role, I do enjoy supporting great teachers who recognize the importance of:

  • creating a comfortable and welcoming learning environment
  • creating lesson plans focused on direct application to adult learners 
  • keeping adult learners actively involved in their learning process
  • designing a range of assessment tools
  • using a variety of teaching methods

Cathryn Hayes

 

Nancy Smith's picture
First

 

Activity Description

 

 

Developing Reading Skills

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

 

To understand the main points of a story.

To be able to read, comprehend and enjoy reading.

 

 

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

Intermediate readers.

Talk about genre.

Read books from an assortment of genres.

Discuss the main points.

Use an assortment of graphic organizers to show thought and understanding.

Allow students to choose their own books and feel comfortable in a library.

 

 

Resources Needed

 

 

Books.

White board to write questions and interesting points of view that students come up with.

Graphic organizers.

Library (can be a field trip.)

 

 

Evaluation

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

 

 

Gauge the impact of the activity by the tone and mood of each student.

Ask questions about their favorite part, have them reflect on and write a short summary.

Have individual reading conferences.

Graphic organizers.

 

 

Communicating with Students

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

 

 

Have the students keep track of all the books they read and at what level the books are.

 

Vincent Pellegrino's picture
First

I start by teaching how to diagnose a book and search for author's voice.  I move on to teach students how to insert their voice in what they read, interpret, reflect and bring new thinking to the table.  It excites my students to find their voice and utilize it.  All the best, Dr. Vince Pellegrino

 

 

Beverleeee's picture
First

Activity Description

 In an early meeting of a new conversation course, I plan to use a revised version of Jane C. Miller’s “Our Language Goals / Our Learning Goals” worksheets with my students.  I plan to have group discussion around the parts of the worksheets and invite students to take a few minutes to complete them. I will then invite students to share their answers with the group & hand the worksheets in to me for future reference.

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

The purpose will be to help me determine topics of interest to my students as well as why they are interested—that is, what they hope to learn and be able to do with what they learn.

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

High-intermediate conversation class with adults who are non-native speakers of English.

 

Resources Needed

 Worksheets for students to complete, which have portions for preferences on topics that are essentially related to civics (work, health, community, etc.)

 

Evaluation

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

 By their engagement with lessons that follow

 

Communicating with Students

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

I can use the students’ responses from the worksheets, in which they will have indicated what they hope to learn and be able to do with what they have learned, to ask them later to assess the progress they will have made in those areas. I will offer them my own observations, but my idea is that students will evaluate their own progress—especially (I anticipate) around their level of confidence when speaking, their in-class participation including with interview-type activities (hopefully with guest speakers), their readiness and success in talking about various topics and with various people outside of class (such as neighbors, colleagues, supervisors, doctors, their children’s teachers, bankers, etc.), and their knowledge of our local community. But I’ll know more about their goals once the class begins, of course!

 

Nancy Smith's picture
First

 

Activity Description

 

 

Developing Reading Skills

 

Activity Purpose

(What result are you looking for?)

 

 

To understand the main points of a story.

To be able to read, comprehend and enjoy reading.

 

 

 

Class Description

(Level and demographics)

 

Intermediate readers.

Talk about genre.

Read books from an assortment of genres.

Discuss the main points.

Use an assortment of graphic organizers to show thought and understanding.

Allow students to choose their own books and feel comfortable in a library.

 

 

Resources Needed

 

 

Books.

White board to write questions and interesting points of view that students come up with.

Graphic organizers.

Library (can be a field trip.)

 

 

Evaluation

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

 

 

Gauge the impact of the activity by the tone and mood of each student.

Ask questions about their favorite part, have them reflect on and write a short summary.

Have individual reading conferences.

Graphic organizers.

 

 

Communicating with Students

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

 

 

Have the students keep track of all the books they read and at what level the books are.