Book Report

Book: "ASSESSING STUDENT OUTCOMES-
Performance Assessment Using the Dimensions of Learning Model"

by Robert J. Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jay McTighe
 
 

Report presented to

Dr. R. Ghusayni

American University of Beirut
Educ.326

By

George Rizkallah

March 2001


Assessing Student Outcomes along with focused curriculum and learner- centered education come jointly as the one of the most successful tool in contemporary teaching and assessment techniques.

In their book Marzano, Pickering, and Mc Tighe accentuate teaching with the five dimensions of learning in mind and they are:

Dimension1: Positive Attitudes and Perceptions about learning.

Dimension 2: Acquiring and Integrating Knowledge.

Dimension 3:Extending and Refining Knowledge.

Dimension 4: Using Knowledge Meaningfully.

Dimension 5: Productive Habits of Mind.

After acquiring a good grip of the learning dimensions, performance assessment is defined as being the variety of tasks and situations in which students are given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and to thoughtfully apply knowledge, skills, and habits of mind in a variety of contexts.1

Standard is used to refer to knowledge and skills as opposed to instructional activities that should occur in the classroom2. Now, standards are divided into two main streams: Content Standards that includes the Declarative Knowledge, and the Procedural Knowledge and The Lifelong Learning standards which are categorized into five areas, the Complex Thinking Standards, the Information Processing Standards, the Effective Communication Standards, the Collaboration/Cooperative Standard, and the Habits of Mind Standards.

As educators construct the objectives of their lesson plans based on the above-mentioned standards and implement them accordingly, then the various evaluations are called Performance Tasks. It is good to note that performance tasks are more than a 50 minutes test. They require time to be arranged by the educators and more time given to the learner to build on his/her acquired knowledge. So, the construction of a performance tasks follow six steps: First, awareness that a content standard is included in the performance tasks. Second, more than one complex reasoning tasks is included, since they directly relate to the 3rd and 4th learning dimension.

Third, to achieve excellence, the test constructor must make a draft of the performance tasks. This practice will help him/her detects any gap in applying steps one and two. Fourth, some performance tasks must relate to explicit information and processing vehicles. Fifth, some tasks must relate to the habits of Mind and employ some collaboration/cooperation techniques. Sixth, communicative skills must be part of the performance tasks.

Scoring a performance tasks is not a simple mathematical operation, actually performance tasks have more than one correct answer, and computers cannot correct them. The authors advise more than one evaluator for objective assessment. For that purpose rubrics are highly suggested. These rubrics are presented to the students along with the performance task. If more than one standard is being assessed through a task then more than one rubric will be created. Scales runs from 1 to 4, 4 being for excellent achievement and 1 for low performance.


Fig. 1 gives an illustration of a Task Evaluation Form

Task Evaluation Form3

Student

STANDARDS  EVALUATION
Understands that war forces sensitive issues 
and force people to confront value
1 2 3 4
Accurately assesses the value of information  1 2 3 4
Effectively communicates in a variety of ways  1 2 3 4
In another form students are requested to self-construct their performance tasks based on the following steps: 1- identification of a question related to the study unit.2- Student will write a draft of the task that makes up one or more reasoning related to the 3rd and 4th learning dimension.3- Student must recognize standards from the information processing, effective communication and the collaboration/cooperation category. 4- students will develop the rubrics for standards that have been built into the task. Moreover, information about studentís achievement can be gathered from naturalistic observation of the student in formal and informal settings, and lastly through teacher made tests.

In the light of the various evaluation procedures how can a summative assessment be achieved? Well, the authors developed a special grade book form based on summary validation space for a summary score for each student on each standard.


Fig2. Grade Book Form

STANDARD CATEGORY
C

(Content Standard)

HM

(Habits of Mind)

CT

(Complex Thinking)

STANDARD
Knowledge of the 15th,16th century
Seeks perspectives and considers choices
Uses a variety of complex reasoning
ASSESSMENT

Key

 


15th

Century

task 2 tests

15th

Century

Obser.

11/20


15th

Century

Decision Making

Third

World

Def.

Invest.

Research Summary
Summary Validation
 
Summary Validation
Columbus

Task/

Compare

Summary Validation
Student Names
         
Bill

 

3
2,3
4
4,3
4
4
3
3
   
4
4
Jane

 

3
4
2
3
3
3
4
4
2
2
3
3
In assigning summary scores four general rules are followed:
1- Use as much information as possible since this includes the teacherís final recommendations.
2- Weigh the various scores using sound criteria. Not all tasks should be weighed equally, since some tasks require more effort, other may require more mental and cognitive ability.
3- Scores need not be assigned if adequate information is not available.
4- consideration of the nature of standards are very crucial since it reveals whether standards focus on diversity on one hand and on consistency on the other.
Finally, portfolios are an excellent compliment to multiple validations. They include a physical evidence of student ability to meet the content standards and the lifelong learning standards.

1- Extracted from " Assessing Student Outcomes" by Marzano page 13.
2- Extracted from " Assessing Student Outcomes" by Marzano page 15.
3- Grade Book Form is extracted from " Assessing Student Outcomes" by Marzano page 38.

Page created on April 8, 2001 | Last updated on April 9, 2001
Copyright © 2001 George Rizkallah & Nada AbiSamra

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