In class today we looked up various ways of assessing learning. There are many apps and websites that help teachers assess student learning, particularly for art teachers. Since art can be fairly subjective in some ways, it can be hard to assess. However, the more formative assessment that is done, the better the student progress and learn and I think many art teachers feel that is much more important than a summative grade at the end. Having said that, the school system still dictates we grade students with a letter based on performance rather than what they are learning in the process. So there are ways to look at student learning in that way – thesmartteacher has ideas on this – ways of using multiple choice to assess the learning in class of art principles, artists, and art history. Although I don’t believe that multiple choice is the best way to assess, since students can have difficulty with tests and often take art because it aligns more with their way or learning. When people appreciate working with their hands and the type of study that comes with art – introspection, journaling, documentation, producing work, creating, being innovative with art – and these do not lend themselves to a multiple choice test. It is even a bit offensive to me to use that. Why would you assess someone with a process that is entirely unrelated to the subject itself?
There is another formative and summative assessment site for teachers that has a lot more good ideas – theartofed – better assessment than multiple choice and more focused on a student understanding of concepts that they can write about and think critically about rather than potentially guessing at the right answer.
I’ve also been looking at flipped learning as a classroom process. This is a fantastic idea and there are many art class applications as well as shown in this video. I’m impressed with the idea of lectures being homework and the work being done in class. This is obviously much easier for the teacher to know what the students are learning, rather than talking at them and expecting them to remember it at home when they are trying to work through problems by themselves. Flipping this gives them time together and with the teacher to ask and answer questions and learning from each other. Here is a local video on this (and thanks Devin for showing me how to paste this video into my blog):
Trello is the other website that is helpful in formative assessment. It helps the teacher see who the student or groups of students are organizing their ideas and where they are at in terms of working through those ideas. It gives the teacher an opportunity to offer direction and also references that the students might want to look into. As education becomes more project and inquiry driven, this is a good way to keep track of how the process is going and even a potential timeline of what needs to be done.