There’s a difference between assessment and evaluation (see Sarah J. Donovan’s graphic). The difference between assessment and evaluation or grading is the type of feedback the student receives and then how they use that feedback. If we want students to own their learning, to use their success and failures to grow, they need feedback from which they can rise. A grade is a final period, but assessment and feedback are moments to pause and reflect on learning and grow.
John Spencer and A.J. Juliani say that “assessment is only authentic if students own the process” (Empower 129). It’s when they own that process that they make meaning, connections, and create. It’s the type of feedback learners receive that brings them ownership of their learning. “It involves a collaborative partnership between students, peers and the teacher. When that happens, students move from being dependent (or independent) and towards interdependence” (Empower 132).
What are some means of assessment and feedback that can demonstrate student learning and provide feedback that brings about student ownership? Portfolios, blogs, self-reflection forms, and products all demonstrate student learning and by their nature provide a different vehicle for assessment and feedback. Padlet and Flipgrid are amazing and powerful tools where learning can be demonstrated and reflected on with feedback can be personalized. The new Google Sites is an easy to use tool for portfolios, blogs, project management and product presentation. Google Slides is an easy to use and access tool for collaborative products. Google Forms is a great way to obtain regular, self-reflective feedback from your students.
Assessment and feedback are vital to the growth mindset of the learner. That process might seem like it is harder for teachers, but we have so many tools available to us that make those opportunities richer, deeper, more interactive and even easier.
Want to dive more into empowering student learning? Check out the book Empower by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani.
I am a Technology Integration and LMS Specialist by title, but lifelong learner in practice. An Apple Teacher, Google Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator, my goal is to assist educators in investigating and exploring resources to embed in their instruction. I also hope to be a part of their journey toward an innovative and transformative practice that empowers learners and strengthens their own craftsmanship. I spends my free time with my family, my dogs and a good cup of coffee.