Assessment for Learning on Google Documents – AFL on the Cloud!

My professional growth plan is coming together.  I have been wanting to reflect on it and get my ideas down.  Tuesday I had the chance to meet with two teachers to just ‘talk it out’.  WOW…how helpful was that!  Just being able to listen and ask questions of another teacher who was thinking out her goals, strategies and evidence.  It was really helpful.

Tomorrow I am meeting again with another teacher.  I have my GSP data together.  Our gifted children have not been showing the desired learning gains so I have been thinking of ways to pull that into a PGP goal.

I wanted to center it on formative assessment but my principal felt that was not much of a stretch.  I hope next year the district considers allowing us to develop mastery for a goal and we don’t have to look for ‘new’ concepts each year.  I worry about becoming jack of all trades and experts at none.

Student work together first to talk it how..what makes sense?
Do I understand what your document is and what you want me to do?
Next…we will give it a go and they can’t talk face to face. 🙂

For this year though…it is how it is.

So I looked at an area that will be new to me….using Google Apps as a classroom instruction, curriculum and assessment tool.

I want to develop the benchmarks in literacy, math, writing as well as their gifted standards within the Google Applications.

So…we jumped in…literally!  I would bet that my students were the first elementary students on Google Apps for our district.  We are learning by leaps and bounds on the good, and the not so great aspects, of digital desktop collaboration.

First… working together on-line seems easy until you realize how clear you need to be in order to get others to 1) engage with a document you have created and want to collaborate on and 2) understand how you want them to work with you on the document.

I also have been thinking about how to develop teacher, peer and self assessment processes that are clear, linked to learning and support progression within our learning targets.

 Assessment for Learning on-line and remotely…that is new to me!

AFL strategy to modify: 2 stars and a wish (on paper) =  (*)Star, (W)onder or (?)Question in the digital world.

On Google App documents you have the option to allow people to view, edit or comment on your work.  If you give them edit or comment capability, others can enter your document, go to INSERT and enter a comment.  If they do it well (select the word/words in the work they are commenting on), the text will turn yellow when the Comment box appears on the right. Then students enter their feedback ‘linked to learning’ targets.

AFL *, W, ?
Assessment linked
to learning using
Comments on Google Documents!

They start with a *, W or ?. A ‘*’ tells the author that you feel that have hit the target!  They have achieve one of our learning objectives that was stated as a learning goal or assessment criteria.

* You can great a Goole Document to share that has a clear title and instructions for use.
* You can collect research on learning spaces that note the original website the data was pulled from.
* You can collect research on the ISS.
*You can collect research on learning spaces.
*You can share, in detail, information about you.

A ‘W’ is a wonder or a wish  After reading their work or research, if there was something that came to your mind that you wondered more about the topic or you wished they might add – these are not a questions (see the definition of ?) – you start with a ‘W’.

W – I wonder why I can’t edit your work but I can comment?  I wonder how many people can work on a document at the same time?
W – I wonder how learning spaces link to learning styles.  I wish you would…
W – I wonder how Russia’s rocket exploding will effect the ISS.
W – I wonder … I wish…

Wonders and wishes are thoughts beyond are learning targets that will extend or enrich the student if they worked to reach for them.  Students do not have to engage with Wonders or Wishes but may want to and create a new dimension to their learning.

Questions start with a “?”… a peer or teacher will leave a question if the work they’ve read is not learn or not clearly fulfilling all the learning objectives/targets.  For example…

? What is this document for?  The title is not clear and I’m not sure what to do?
? Your research says learning spaces need to be flexible.  What do you mean by flexible? 
? What website did you get this data from?
?  You have information on the ISS but what countries take part in supporting it?
?  Where is your research on learning spaces?  I can only find research on learning styles?
?  What books to you like to read?

Questions help the student/author to develop more detail in their work or more closely align it with our learning topics.  These are questions the readers have when reviewing…and if they aren’t clear on what you are trying to say, chances are the teacher won’t be either.

So far this is going well. I introduced the concept from 3rd to 6th grades and have been going back into student work and observing other students using the technique correctly!  We did model and give examples/non-examples of what feedback is when it links to learning and when it does not.

Wait until I share our lesson on ‘What is feedback linked to learning?’  I love AFL!


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