So, spending time describing what you are trying to accomplish, in sufficient detail so that you can get feedback on how things are going, is a key step in thinking differently about assessment. In fact, the question, “What would it look like if we succeeded?” discussed regularly with your colleagues is at the core of improving performance.
Planning backwards from “what would it look like if we succeeded?” forces you to be clear about missions and goals, standards and criteria. Things constantly come up that demand our time and energy, and we need to have some way of saying, “This is what we have decided is important. This is what we have decided to do, and this is what we have decided not to do, however worthy that activity might be.”
Say you wanted to build a green building, how would you know if you have succeeded? The US Green Building Council created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) scale to answer that very question. Click here to see a tiny sample of some of one of the categories on the detailed LEED project list. For example: you get points if you use local or regional materials because of the energy use required by transporting materials long distance that most people do not account for. In absence of someone raising this priority, what criteria would you normally use to select flooring materials? Price. However, if you are planning backwards from trying to achieve a LEED standard, purchasing the slightly more expensive product from Pennsylvania instead of the cheaper product from British Columbia makes more sense. The decision can only be made by PLANNING BACKWARDS.
So we have an important concept here, but now we need a tool for planning backwards.
- Intro: the Dodge Assessment Initiative Online Workshop
- Are there any aspects of your work that you wish were better?
- What do we mean by assessment?
- What is exemplary feedback?
- Planning backwards
- The rubric: if you can describe it, you can measure it
- Rubric practice
- See how others have written their rubrics.
- Rubric review
- Important reminders about the rubric writing process.
- Uh oh. Roadblocks.
- Overcoming the obstacle of time.
- QII and assessment exercises.
- Overcoming the obstacle of change.
- Assessment principles and concepts. One more time.