By Mark Winegar on Tue, 01/01/2013
"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time." - Rabindranath Tagore
Assessing higher order thinking can be tricky because you and your student may see issues from different perspectives. The safest strategy is to assess the form of the expression rather than it's content.
I often engaged college freshmen in higher order thinking projects so they would have something to write about in their general education course on Microsoft Office. The English faculty desired the students to learn to write papers in accordance with the MLA Style Guide so I focused on the relevant features of word processing. We also studied the writing style requirements online using OWL (the Online Writing Lab) at Purdue. Students were required to write their opinions of specific current issues such as health care reform after doing an online literature review. The grading rubric was entirely based on mastery of the word processing software and was shared with students early and often. I stressed content was not part of the grade. The students were free to express their own opinions.
The quickest way to stifle higher order thinking is to challenge it, especially in the beginning. So don't do it. Learning is truly a lifelong process and students will learn from one another through sharing their work with each other and as time passes. So will we!
I imagine readers will be engaging students in projects involving the production of podcasts so I am listing a short list of possible criteria to use in evaluation:
- References. Set an appropriate number and format.
- Graphics or visual aids. Are they used to support the message?
- Time. Is the length of this podcast appropriate for the assignment?
- Speech. Is it clear and understandable.
- Logic. Is a clear case made for the student's or team's position?
- Focus. Is the video in focus or not?
This is just a quick list to get us thinking about assessment. You need to add and subtract to it to fit your own situation. You might consult the Common Core standards for more ideas.
Creating videos for class projects is very easy as the Katie Gimbar's video (below) demonstrates. They can be created with iPhones and iPads using the standard Camera software.