I waited to join Cohort 21 until I was certain about what I wanted to research. I want this journey with C21 to truly act as professional development: my personal goal with this program is to set a strong and intentional foundation for the professional that I want to be as I move forward with my career. I don’t only want to learn about what I might do or change in this specific year; I want my learning with C21 to shape my practice for many years to come. To that end, my goals aren’t in any way urgent, but they are certainly important. One of the conversations from the first face-to-face C21 session was around the question of what is urgent vs what is important, and a key idea that emerged was that the important things can sometimes take time. My goal is to take my time with what I’m learning this year.
I chose the Pedagogy and Wellbeing (7-12) strand precisely because I am deeply interested in assessment and its relationship to teaching and learning. More and more, I’m interested in skills-based assessment, and believe that it is the key to developing our students into critical thinkers who are interested in and engaged with the world around them. Though this isn’t in any way urgent learning for myself or my school, I consider it to be deeply important. Right now, I have more questions about skills-based assessment (from checkbrics all the way to gradeless models), but I think that’s an okay place to be in this moment. I’m so excited to learn from other educators who are just as fascinated by and giddy about teaching and learning as I am. Here’s what I’m wondering currently, in no particular order:
- To what extent can rubrics be used in a cross-curricular manner? What skills are the same between subjects? What skills are different?
- How do we decide which skills are important?
- How might skills-based assessment be used to support PBL, especially in cross-curricular projects?
- If we take a “one rubric all year” approach, what does that look like? Especially for reporting?
- How might we use skills-based learning goals to help students understand and assess their own achievement? Are exemplars integral to this, or is there another way?
- What does a gradeless classroom look like? What implications does “going gradeless” have for reporting?
One educator that has deeply influenced my thinking about skills-based assessment is Tyler Rablin. Starting with scouring his blog, I’m hoping to find some breadcrumbs that will lead me on my own journey.