I picked this cartoon from Nearing Zero because I work in medical education where for years pain, embarassment and punishment were the preferred method of motivating students and faculty alike. This technique works in a limited fashion because it forces conforming without thinking to a set of rules; on the other hand, it also creates bullying, avoidance, apathy and educational scars that last a lifetime. Learn Me Good has a great video about Flip Flopping, one of the behaviours that results from trying to tell the teacher what they want to hear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgnU3ASnb9s
This month’s important question: How do you and your students assess how well they are achieving the course goals/objectives/learning plan?
For ease of use, I have divided what we want to assess into the following four broad categories:
This month, I will focus on assessing how well students remember required facts, processes and theories. For teaching techniques, see: http://blogs.usask.ca/medical_education/archive/2007/10/active_learning_1.html or http://blogs.usask.ca/medical_education/archive/2008/01/active_learning_6.html.
In Bloom’s taxonomy
Formative Assessment Methods
Active learning environments provide a unique opportunity for students to constantly be receiving feedback on how well they are doing. Here are some examples of tools that help give you and your students’ feedback:
Cumberland County Schools has created some great bookmarks to help people think of questions based on Knowing and Applying in Marzano’s taxonomy. One of the best teachers in medicine constantly asked closed questions in an exciting and dynamic way as he shows animations and live action recreations in his 100 student classroom.
All first year medical students at my university recieved clickers this year and they love using them for instant feedback on learning. Here is an explanation http://telr.osu.edu/clickers/
Crossword Compiler http://www.crossword-compiler.com/
PowerPoint Games http://facstaff.uww.edu/jonesd/games/index.html
Quiz Games http://quizlet.com/ or http://hotpot.uvic.ca/
Look under the games link in my Delicious (right hand column) for more examples
Graphic organizers http://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/
Mnemonic http://www.web-us.com/memory/mnemonic_techniques.htm or http://www.medicalmnemonics.com/
Lists: use numbers to help students remember a series of words, steps etc.
Power Teaching recieved very good coverage by So You Want To Teach? in Revolutionary Teaching Style http://www.soyouwanttoteach.com/videos-revolutionary-teaching-style/ by including video examples from Grade 1, 3, 4 and 6 as well a College Philosophy class.
Please send other examples of formative assessment through the comments section.
Summative Assessment Methods
Testing students’ ability to memorize is a minefield because of the standardized testing questions being raised at every level of education. One way of dealing with this issue is to take a critical look at your course objectives and determine the following:
- what fundamental information students only acquire through memorization. (You may find your answer is very little.
- how much can my students memorize without it taking time from the higher order thinking skills required to understand course content.
Some methods of summative assessment, you might want to investigate:
Extended multiple choice
Please send other examples through the comments section.
Next month, I will examine processes for assessing how well your students know/critically understand the content of your course. Please submit articles, examples by March 2nd.