Sunday, July 6, 2014

Assessments Drive the Bus for PBL

From Wikimedia Commons
One of the main goals of formative assessments with Project Based Learning is to drive future learning.  The summative assessments will show understanding of content, application and new learnings.  But who drives the bus? Formative assessments drive the bus! Students participating in various forms of this type of assessments will be guided and the teachings can meet needs of the learner.  Personalizing this guided learning can be beneficial for all students.

Assessments in project based learning should include both formative and summative assessments.  Assessment formats should be varied. Self assessment/reflections and peer assessments are essential when learning to effectively work together and share learning. Also, it's imperative that students know expectations of final rubric and even more beneficial if they participate in the creation of the rubrics.

Immediate and direct feedback could be the difference between a successful journey on the bus and a project going nowhere. Improvement on work needed, additional skills needed, and additional content and direct instruction taught could be provided by the guidance of the teacher with the right formative assessment tools. Again using this feedback can drive the bus right into a successful journey.

Both formative and summative assessments should:

  • provide the opportunities for student reflection on learning
  • provide feedback from other people besides the teacher - students, other teachers, community members, and/or administration
  • occur throughout the project
  • provide clear criteria for the project before work begins
  • provide the opportunity for revision and improvement of work
  • use a variety of formats, methods, or tools for assessment
  • must test standards