As a resident of Los Angeles County, I’ve been teaching on Zoom for over a year. At first, “do no harm” was the only requirement and we only expected to be out for two weeks. We are currently still remote teaching and everything that I’ve built up in my 20 year career was all thrown out the window, including assessments.
I’ve had to start the backwards design process all over again while redeveloping my curriculum. I’ve had a lot of luck replacing traditional rubrics with a Single Point Rubric. I had to get creative with equipment knowing that I couldn’t expect any of my students to have any one item. Sadly, a sock ball or a paper ball have become our equipment of choice. I’ve replaced a robust K-8 curriculum with a new COVID friendly/at home version.
My primary method of assessing students has always been observation. Zoom makes it challenging to see students. I’ve had to get creative and ask for students to move their camera to the floor. In other cases, I’ve sent messages to parents asking them to videotape a skill. My older students can take pictures or videos that can be loaded onto Google Classroom. The rubric feature allows me to assess and provide feedback. As assessment in person could easily take one class period while on Zoom in can take longer.
For a few years, I’ve assessed cognitive connections through self graded Google Forms. I had started to use GIFs more often in these assessments as it required my students to video analyze a GIF (of myself doing something wrong) and then to identify the mistake.
As a Southern California teacher, most of my instructional time revolves around being outdoors. Using GIFs was limited to Google Forms. This year, I’ve started to make slides with GIFs that break down a skill.
A new approach I developed was to make GIFs to check for cognitive connections. Normally, I would perform a skill in person that was wrong but on Zoom I would use two GIFs. I asked my students which one was correct and they could show or type the correct answer in order to see if they were making connections to the content. For my older students, I would put up the incorrect GIF and ask “What is wrong with this?” I’d wait for them to answer in the chat.
I’m starting to think about my next phase of hybrid or concurrent teaching. What will assessment look like next? I do not know the answer yet but, as I reflect on what the current school year has provided me, I realize that GIFs have become a lot more normal in my lessons. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to utilize some of the technology that I’ve created this year. I don’t normally have Google Slides running in my outdoor classroom but I might need to find a way to make it happen. My focus on assessing students will not change but how I assess will constantly update and improve. The last year has provided me an opportunity to think in a new way that I’ve not had to do before.
This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Matthew Bassett, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com
Pair this blog post with the following: