AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT STARTS WITH THE FEEDBACK LOOP
A true marker of student learning is through making their learning visible. A growth portfolio provides space for students to demonstrate their learning and development through a variety of modalities. Students collect, document, and curate their evidence of learning. These artifacts, such as planning sketches, research, process photos and videos, annotations of thought, revisions, written or audio/visual reflections, and artist statements, all provide us insight into what and how a student thinks about their process and work.
Students can create growth portfolios along the way, at the end of a semester, or starting on day one. Students are empowered to showcase their learning and identify why those artifacts are important evidences of their learning and growth over a period of time.
For more on Janet's teaching practices around Growth Portfolios:
Formative assessment engages students routinely in the feedback look. Formative assessments align to summative goals and are reinforced with daily targets. Targets are defined by student goals and process to support development towards identified summative goals. Formative assessments are informal, such as in the moment feedback and supports and peer discussion, as well as formal such as quick quizzes, written goal sheets, reflections, and critiques.
For more on Janet's formative assessment practices:
Summative assessments align to lesson objectives and essential standards. Each artwork unit includes summative rubrics broken down into four overarching concepts: technique, design, critical thinking, and refinement. Each of these concepts includes specific and targeted skills. The rubric may focus on skills within all four concepts, some, or one. These summative rubrics scaffold from one unit to the next to support student growth and development of all areas of the artistic and creative processes.
For more on Janet's summative assessment practices:
Authentic assessment starts with focusing on feedback and not on grade percentages and letters. In the choice-based classroom, we foster a community of learning and growth. We integrate life skills such as time management, decision making, trial and error, collaboration, and reflection. Students are inspired by each other's unique work, skills, interests, and abilities. They lean on each other for support and feedback.
Grades, which are an unfortunate part of our education system, are a hurdle to learning. They are arbitrary, inequitable, and provide no feedback for a student to further their own learning. Grading practices in my classroom focus on authenticity of learning, evidence of critical thinking, and development of skills over time. Students always know where they stand in terms of these factors as feedback is often, timely, and relevant to their individual learning needs. Because of this, students always know what they are doing in the art room, why they are doing it, and what their end goals are to achieve personal success.
Because of this philosophy, my assessment practices aim to eliminate any questionable subjectivity. Assessments align to state, national, and district standards and align with the Studio Habits of Mind. Grades are determined by the proficiency of standards and demonstration of evidence of learning through student curated artifacts within the growth portfolio. Grades are reflective and collaborative in nature to ensure authenticity and accuracy.
For more on Janet's approach to assessment and grading: