Why Standards-Based Assessment?

Why SBA? Here’s a quick list of my thinking:

  • It focuses everyone (me, students, parents) on learning instead of a seemingly endless string of assignments tackled one at a time and then forgotten.
  • Course requirements and learning goals will be much more transparent and more effectively communicated.
  • It will help me and students assess strengths and weaknesses in a meaningful way that will allow me/them to adjust instruction/learning during the course. Assessment will more clearly inform future instruction.
  • Student self-assessment becomes a realistic and useful option during the course.
  • Parents/students who still obsess over marks instead of learning (old habits are hard to break) will have to look for weaknesses in the student’s and demonstrate improved mastery. In other words, extra credit would need to show improvement of deficient skills/knowledge instead of being some additional busy-work assignment that tops up an insufficiently full tank of marks.
  • Assignments can be resubmitted in a meaningful way instead of disappearing into the mist.
  • SBA can make adaptations and modifications much simpler and less time consuming. (Perhaps I’ll write another entry on this topic.)
  • Once a recording/reporting system is set up, marking becomes easier and more learning-centric. (Here’s another topic I should probably explain at greater length.)

That’s the list of the moment, and I’m sure that I’m forgetting some items and that I will discover more. What am I missing? Why and how do you keep the focus on learning in your education spaces?

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2 Comments

Filed under Learning Log

2 responses to “Why Standards-Based Assessment?

  1. Scott,
    This is a great list to start, and certainly enough supporting information for students and parents to buy into the idea. Best wishes for a great year! This summer I read Mark Barnes’ book Role Reversal, which goes in-depth into similar topics you’ve expressed here. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest you read it.

    Keep up the great work! Your seniors need it!

    Denise

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Denise, and for the book recommendation. Role Reversal sounds like just the thing to further my thinking (and hopefully practice). And, practice is coming soon; only a few more sleeps until school starts!

      Blessings,

      Scott

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