How Should We Assess People in Educational Contexts?

How should we assess people in educational contexts? - Quora

There’s an interesting group of answers to this question appearing on Quora as part of #purposedassess. I thought I’d add my answer here as well:

When working with adults in my role in FE I am involved with portfolio and observation based assessment. This involves the collection of evidence of both knowledge based and applied learning into a portfolio. In theory this is great and close to what I think I would like to see in schools. However the performance criteria are very detailed and tightly defined and so the reality for many of my learners though is that they muddle and fudge their way through. Anything that’s not assessed is vigorously avoided and often discussion and deeper learning is stifled. Their goal, reasonably enough, is the certificate. It is a variation on the ‘is this on the test?’ question.
I am very drawn to a more informal approach like the Open Badges model possibly combined with project based learning. Always answering the question “What do I need to learn next?” and then showing evidence of that learning in an authentic way seems to me to be a useful approach. Using technology based tools to help collate and collect a body of work mixed with reflections on what has been learned is a very good description of how my degree (Ultraversity) was achieved. Could that work in primary? I don’t know but I’d love to see it tried! I know it can work in secondary – just have a look at Notschool sometime.

There are a couple of days left to answer this question before the #purposed ( I won’t link to the twitter hashtag for that as it has turn out to not be unique enough) discussion moves on so why not have your say, either here in the comments, on Quora, on twitter ?

If you use google+ don’t forget to follow +Purpose/Ed Team

 

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