Thursday, April 17, 2014

Learning Together: Feedback and Critique

As I grow and learn with PBL my assessment practices evolve too. I was excited to share my learning at a recent regional Professional Development conference. Here are the slides from that presentation:

For me one of the biggest take-aways as I've pushed to blend good assessment practices with PBL as that strong peer assessment allows us to really "activate learners as resources for one another" (an idea Dylan Wiliam really got me thinking about). If students are getting deep with their questions to their peers then they can really push one another's thinking. How powerful is that!

The second big lesson in PBL based assessment, and really throughout classroom teaching, is that structure and routine are so important. The assessment based application of that in my classroom is critique protocols like this one from BIE. We actually distinguish between "clarifying" and "probing" questions in that clarifying is for us the audience, and probing is to push the thinking of the presenter. Questions first, before giving feedback is so key here in that it forces us to really consider the presenter and their dilemma and try our best to help them on their way with our feedback. Our tendency is to want to jump in with feedback and comments, but its so much more valuable to listen, clarify, and probe before we get thinking about feedback.

Its been great learning about feedback and critique with my students, and its helping our learning very step of the way. What forms of assessment are you using in your classroom? How do you vary your assessment practices with different tasks? What does assessment look like when there are different products being created by different groups or individuals?

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