Assessing Student Performance and Understanding
In order to determine whether your integrated/contextual learning environment and activities increase what a student knows, can do, and knowledge about the processes to solve real world problems, it is necessary to design and use assessment strategies and tools. This zone will describe a few assessment techniques and you will be given the opportunity to choose one or more of these, or select different assessment techniques, for use with your integrated/contextual lesson.
Integrated/Contextual learning requires a teacher to move beyond traditional forms of assessment. Teachers of integrated/contextual instruction need to use open-ended, complex challenges that enable learners to demonstrate ways in which they construct their own meaning for content and concepts, and solve various real world problems.
There is no right or wrong assessment strategy, there are only various ways of attempting to determine what a student knows and is able to do. Measurement tools or strategies are only as good as their relationship to the goals and expected outcomes which have been established for a lesson. Goals and outcomes should have been written in such a way as to encourage a broad range of assessment strategies which will measure a student's performance and knowledge of processes on a learning activity or project. These may include authentic assessment, performance assessment, systematic observations, portfolios and journals. Teachers should select an assessment strategy, or strategies, which are "most" relevant to their students' learning.
Let's examine each of these techniques: