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Rubrics or assessments for students working in SOLE

I was wondering if anyone out there had ideas for assessing this student work. Even though, students will be learning a great deal, I still need to show some kind progress that students are making in my class room through grades. Any ideas on rubrics, assessments, how to grade presentations, etc would be much appreciated!

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    Apr 30 2013: You might find useful ideas through reviewing some of the free courses available online at Many of these courses included embedded mini-quizzes in the lesson videos. Peer review and assessment is also incorporated, and in my experience the students are competently able to score (other people's) assignments relative to a clear rubric. The students can offer constructive feedback to their fellow learners as well.
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      May 1 2013: In tne course I took through Coursera, students expressed a great deal of disattisfaction with peer review, believing the assessments were not truly faithful to the rubrics. The rubric went more to following directions than to quality of response.
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    Apr 26 2013: Randy, In order to talk apples to apples .. In education terminology, scoring rubric means "a standard of performance for a defined population" and SOLE is Self Organized Learning Environment.

    If you are in a group then the grade is dependent upon achieving the standard as stated ... however that result may have been on the strength of one or two memberts and the rest are still in the dark. Therefore, a means of individual evaluation must also be in place.

    My soloution would be in competent / non-competent testing prior to advancing to the next level. In math, science, etc .. the steps used to arrive at the answer are improtant building blocks. Therefore testing should involve the demonstration / performance of the task. I required my kids to show all steps until I was satisfied that they completely understood the process .. I could evaluate that. I am not a big fan of A,B,C grading. That is why the competent / non-competent terms are used. Each student has a course map comprised of modules ... test out to advance to the next module. In this manner the student advances at their rate of learning and remain with their peers for social development. At 12 years old a exceptional student could be doing college level courses and still growing socially and physically with his peers .. not in a college dorm where he is a freak and exposed to out of age group events.

    The course map / module allows a one on one with student and instructor any time for assessment. It also allows for individual time for tutoring as necessary. This does away with the bell curve and peer placement grades and focuses on learning. It would quite favorably compare with Independent Studies.

    Am I correct that this is in the UK?

    I wish you well. Bob.
  • Apr 26 2013: Michael, thank you for your comments and insight!
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    Apr 26 2013: I think the best way to measure a students time elapsed learning, would be to have them demonstrate said skill sets in an application that utilized such. An experiment, a project, a creative assignment that took a hands on approach to showing off their newly acquired subject matter.

    Grades are a false means to measure a students ability since it takes away completely from what the grade stands for and replaces it ( in the students mind ) a new issue of making that low grade higher through application of effort. The grade pretty much becomes the mean distraction to the learning process.

    I was looking at my kids report cards, and yes they had grades but as well they had subsections with N, O, S N = needs improvement, O = Outstanding, S = Satisfactory.

    Maybe just use something along those lines erasing this grade letter system, and using a more function smaller letter marker set. Maybe this could help improve the learning process by allowing them to focus more on learning and use the Learning measurements for a guide like they should of been. How many of us got so wrapped up with grades and test scores that we were completely distracted from actual learning. ( raises hand )
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      Apr 26 2013: There is research to the effect that narrative grades are much more productive for students than letter grades. In fact, narrative grades are more effective that a combination of narrative and letter grades, because students often focus on the grade and don't focus on comments when they are both there.
  • Apr 18 2013: No, but I was looking for a variety and something different than what I have already used in my classroom. Just looking for some more ideas to expand on and think about!
  • Apr 18 2013: I tried a little digging and searching online, but it was difficult to find assessments and/or rubrics using SOLE. I have created my own rubric, using one and organizing it a little different from the original. I do have a few formative grades, as well as a summative. Proportion? That's a good question! I would say about half of the summative assessment will be about the content they have learned. The rest will be on presentation, grammar, etc.
    Thank you for responding!
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      Apr 18 2013: Do you think SOLE is so different from other group inquiries commonly used in constructivist-oriented classrooms that the rubrics/assessment strategies would need to be different?
      • Apr 25 2013: I'm two SOLE sessions in with my year 6 students (UK) and was also wondering about assessment options. Now you have posed the questions - I'm unsure if SOLE would need their own assessment forms.
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          Apr 25 2013: Timothy, did your sixth graders work on research projects in small groups last year also? What sort of rubrics did you use for that? How is what they are doing within the SOLE regime different from what you had them do last year?

          I ask this because I have seen twenty years or so worth of group projects under my roof, in the form of things my kids have worked on at school, and I cannot now visualize why a different sort of rubric would be required for SOLE. The biggest difference with SOLE is that it is entirely computer driven, whereas in group projects I have seen over time students might also have used books or been directed to have a variety of types of sources- for example, not all encyclopedias.

          Of course in some schools, or in some countries, group projects may be uncommon, but in the United States and, I am guessing, in the UK, working on research projects or inquiries in groups with a lot of freedom in their collection of information has been common for a long, long time.
      • Apr 25 2013: My school does not use any rubrics at all for assessing students in group work. I believe the reason for this is because the current UK primary education system does not encourage this type of learning and assessment. Standardized testing at Year 2 and Year 6 with the publication of League Tables have a tremendously negative impact on student learning and teachers confidence in planning. I wont go into why I think this is the case in this thread. I just wanted to explain that I believe the UK's education system does not encourage "research projects or inquiries in groups with a lot of freedom in their collection of information" and I fear this will only get worse. This is at least true for the school and area I work in and I would have assumed this to be the case in some areas of the US.

        Shortly after I posted my reply I looked into a few rubrics online and found a number that could be easily adapted for SOLE specific learning. So, I agree that a different sort of rubric might not be required for SOLE; however, a SOLE specific (branded?) rubric, provided with the toolkit, might be useful and valuable.

        I know how much people like to collect big data. Isn't this a great opportunity to do exactly that? Wouldn't a Rubric developed for SOLE provide some extra reporting opportunities? Obviously on-line, with all teachers/educators taking part being encouraged to input data directly to the cloud.

        I'm hoping that all sounded reasonable.
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          Apr 25 2013: I think everything you wrote sounds reasonable, though rubrics are ultimately subjectively evaluated by teachers who could also have an incentive, perhaps, to inflate the performance of their students if these rubrics are collected systematically.

          I am sure there are schools in the US also that don't employ group work, but I am fairly certain that would be the exception.
  • Apr 18 2013: i recently watched the TedTalk about 'The School in the Cloud'. How do I get my 11yr old to be a part of SOLE?
    • Apr 26 2013: I learned about SOLE through a parent sending me the video of Sugata Mitra talking and I was sold when I heard his research and passion from his work. I have a little flexibility with my curriculum, so I was able to take a litle time and create some questions and other materials that would be exciting for students. I would suggest sending the video link to a teacher that your 11 year old has and see if you get any kind of response! I hope this helps!
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    Apr 18 2013: How do you usually assess group inquiries and presentations in your classroom? How old are the kids?
    • Apr 18 2013: The students are in 6th grade, but I may also try with my 7th and 8th graders. I have a rubric that I have created for another assignment that I have adapted to try wih the SOLE project, which includes tasks like, "presentation is easy to read and legible" and "presentation has no technical problems or issues". I have made it 45 points total for the final project, but have created some check points along the way, such as notes and observation of student roles and so forth. Thank you for responding!
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        Apr 18 2013: As you are a teacher, you know there are lots of resources online for formative and summative assessment of group projects and presentations. What proportion of your assessment will be related to what students learned and seem to have understood about the subject/question they have researched?