Apr 12th 2016

Designing for Deeper Learning: How to Develop Performance Tasks (NovoEd)

Given their emphasis on complex and sophisticated disciplinary skills and understandings, the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and the C3 Framework for State Social Studies Standards require ways of assessing that go beyond routine multiple-choice tests. Whether students are learning to select, use, and explain evidence to support a claim or to analyze data to evaluate a hypothesis, tests that require that students only bubble in a scantron are inadequate to measure (or support) students' learning and growth.

Performance assessments are more suited to this task. While performance assessments vary along multiple dimensions, including duration and focus, they all demand that students use and apply critical skills and knowledge to demonstrate understanding.

This seven week course, produced by Katie Wilczak and Daisy Martin, will focus on building educators' capacity to use and develop curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Course activities include reviewing sample performance tasks and developing a performance task that is aligned with a specific curricular unit and performance outcomes. We will use a learning-centered approach where assessments are not only about measuring learning, but are also events for learning.

This MOOC is designed for grade 6-12 teachers working in the core disciplines of mathematics, language arts, history/social studies, and science. We also welcome other educators and policymakers. Participants will work collaboratively with other educators in their discipline to accomplish course learning goals and assignments.

The three main objectives of this course are for participants to:

- Understand and identify features of high quality performance assessments;

- Develop a grade-level, course-specific, practical, performance task that is aligned with (and embedded within) a curricular unit of study;

- Contribute to building an online community of educators focused on using performance-based assessments to identify and develop students' abilities.