What do we know about pre-assessments?

What Do We Know About Pre-Assessments?

Although some forms of pre-assessment provide teachers and students with valuable information, others waste instructional time and have negative consequences for students. This presentation describes the characteristics of effective pre-assessments, their format and structure, and how they should be used. It also examines the types of pre-assessments that should be avoided due to potentially detrimental effects on students. Participants will learn how to use pre-assessments judiciously, efficiently, and effectively in a variety of learning contexts.

Assessments that Improve Learning

Beyond Assessments For Learning: Assessments That Improve Learning

Using assessments to improve student learning involves more than the administration of “formative” assessments. It requires teachers to make well designed assessments an integral part of the instructional process. This presentation describes how teachers can develop clear learning targets, gather useful information on students’ performance, offer effective feedback to guide improvements in teaching and learning, and then accurately document students’ learning progress. Participants will learn how to use classroom assessments as effective learning tools, how to integrate performance assessments with more traditional assessment methods, how to align assessment procedures with important learning goals, and how these procedures will allow them to better meet the needs of diverse learners.

Developing Standards-Based Grading and Reporting Systems

Developing Standards-based Grading & Reporting Systems

Effective standards-based grading and reporting requires more than just a new report card. It means reframing all the ways we communicate information about student learning. This presentation describes the development of grading and reporting systems that consider not only report cards but also open-house meetings, email, phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, student-led conferences, and other means of communication between schools and homes. Participants will leave with new understandings about how to open communication pathways that encourage family involvement and facilitate student learning.

Grading and Reporting Student Learning

Grading and Reporting Student Learning: Effective Policies and Practices

This presentation describes what we know about effective grading and reporting policies and practices. Keeping in mind the challenges faced by teachers, we will review the importance of fairness and honesty in grading and outline strategies for reporting student learning progress that ensure meaningful communication between school and home. Procedures for implementing new reporting structures, including standards-based grading, will be highlighted, together with policies and practices that should be avoided due to their negative consequences for students, teachers, and schools.

Presentations by Thomas R. Guskey

Grading and Reporting Student Learning: Understanding the Perspectives of Parents and Families

Effective grading and reporting are more a challenge in effective communication than simply quantifying and documenting student achievement.  The most important communication in this process is between educators and families.  This presentation describes the results of research studies focusing on the perspectives of parents and families, how most educators are ignorant of those perspectives, and how many reform efforts in grading and reporting fail because educators’ lack of understanding and appreciation of those perspectives.  Participants will learn how to gather evidence on the perspectives of parents and families, and how to use that evidence in developing policies and practices that gain broad-based support.

Unpacking Standards with Tables of Specifications

Unpacking Standards with Tables of Specifications

One of the biggest challenges educators face today is translating standards into meaningful instructional units and high quality classroom assessments. This presentation describes how to develop Tables of Specifications, a simple but elegant strategy designed to help teachers unpack standards by integrating curriculum content and levels of students’ cognitive performance.  Participants will learn how to use Tables to plan instruction and ensure their assessments capture essential learning skills.

Differentiating Instruction with Mastery Learning

Differentiating Instruction with Mastery Learning

This presentation describes ways to individualize and differentiate instruction for diverse students through the use of mastery learning instructional strategies. The practical issues involved in the implementation of mastery learning will be presented, along with ways to adapt these procedures to personal teaching styles, specific classroom situations, and the needs of individual students. Participants will be provided with a clear understanding of the theory and practice of mastery learning so that they can use these strategies efficiently and effectively to help more students learn excellently.

Designing and Evaluating Effective Professional Development by Thomas R. Guskey

Designing and Evaluating Effective Professional Learning

Professional learning leaders today are expected to show that what they do makes a difference. Stakeholders at all levels want to know if investments in professional learning truly result in improvement in the practices of educators and, ultimately, in the performance of students. This presentation explores factors that contribute to the effectiveness of professional learning and outlines the various levels professional learning evaluation. The use and appropriate application of these levels are described, along with procedures for establishing reliable indicators of success during professional learning planning. Participants will learn how to apply research findings to design and implement more effective professional learning activities, how to gather quantitative and qualitative evidence on effects, and how to present that evidence in meaningful ways.

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