- Transitioning assessment systems
Job demands and academic studies are evolving to reflect rapid changes in labour markets across the US and global markets. Work and academic environments are technology-rich, problems are frequently dynamic and people work in teams to achieve their goals. Participants in this session will have the opportunity to see two innovative assessments tasks that measure Critical Thinking skills embedded in Math and ELA content areas. Findings from a US and international pilot study will be shared with participants and the panel of CCSS experts will discuss the implications of 21cS tasks and findings on next generation assessments.
The first task will illustrate how students apply their critical thinking skills to come up with an evidence based recommendation. Students will use technological tools to gather evidence and make their reasoning visible. Usability testing has shown how these tools help students think through complex problems and increases engagement levels in students. By embedding textual and visual representation of information and capturing student responses by various mediums, students are able to demonstrate their proficiency and content mastery.
In the second task students are assessed on their math critical thinking skills in a real life situation. Students engage in a simulated conversation to investigate patterns of association in bivariate data to make predictions. Students monitor and evaluate their progress and adjust their decisions based on newly presented data throughout the task. They use technological tools to explore and deepen their understanding of the problem.
The critical importance of developing 21st Century Skills (21cS) in young people is now widely recognised around the world. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) has incorporated higher order thinking skills and many 21st Century Skills in the new ELA and Math standard sets and practices. By teaching and assessing 21st Century Skills in classrooms we can better prepare our students for success in college and the workforce.
Allowing students to optimally demonstrate their 21Cs will involve a shift in the assessment designs used in many conventional assessments. Students are required to demonstrate their higher order thinking skills in authentic situations. With the advancements in technology assessing 21cS can be made scalable. In many cases students can be asked to perform a variety of actions using a diverse set of technology-rich environment tools to solve problems within rich, complex scenarios that reflect age appropriate authentic situations.
This presentation illustrates how computer based innovative assessment can bridge between CCSS skills and 21st Century competencies. Within this session we will share two examples on how 21cS can be measured today in CCSS assessments. Presenters will illustrate task models and supporting research on how Critical Thinking can be measured in math and ELA context. The panel will comment on various ways to apply 21cS assessments to common core task models. The panel will discuss the implications to both summative and formative CCSS assessments as well as on classroom instruction.