Assessing the Whole Student

Assessing the Whole Student

Jason Montgomery

Architectural Technology/Technology and Design

ARCH 1130 Building Technology I

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In this course, students are required to set up their e-portfolioon OpenLab. Here the e-portfolio is used as a learning log, assignment submission system, and assessment tool. All aspects of the student work for the semester are documented and uploaded, including their sketchbook sketches, their notes from assignment readings, as well as their technical drawing assignments.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

There are multiple goals of this approach to using the e-portfolio:
1. Students learn to use an internet tool to present themselves to an audience.
2. The way the students organize the site, the clarity of the presentation, the rigor of the organization, the care put into the graphics (clean scans, neatly cropped versus smartphone picture with poor focus or lighting and background distraction…) is an opportunity to assess digital skills, engagement, presentation skills and to work with students that need help with these.
3. The e-portfolio serves as a learning log, where students can become more conscious of their learning, seeing the connections between various activities in the course and across different courses when this activity is more broadly utilized (breaking out of silos).
4. The faculty can use this tool assess the student holistically, especially with a range of required activities in the course (such as reading comprehension, building foundational knowledge in the discipline, technical drawing, thinking and articulation of ideas through freehand drawing)
5. The e-portfolio becomes a tool for subsequent faculty to assess the skills of students at THE BEGINNING of the semester, so they can tailor assignments and adjust sequence to address needs of that particular group of students.

Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?

The e-portfolio must be introduced at the beginning of the semester in order to effectively capture the whole semester of student work. The students require more or less a one hour demonstration of how to set up their site, the interface on OpenLab, scanning and uploading images, adding pages and organizing menus. It is important to show them the support pages on OpenLab and the help desk.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The faculty member may need training in OpenLab to be better able to administer and support this activity. The faculty member and the students could benefit from seeing examples of other’s e-portfolios to inspire and help them visualize what they are trying to do.

This activity is important if it becomes part a broader tool across a department, so the stakes are significant in this context.

Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?

This activity is a tool that facilitates assessment, but it could be assessed directly too, with a rubric that gauges the care and organization of the site.

Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?

The students’ portfolios expressed a wide range of skill and care, but this in itself is useful. As the end of the semester approached, the students had a very clear visualization of what remained to be completed; they had a clear sense of their responsibility to meet the course requirements.

Many students struggle with what are becoming entry level skills with technology: scanning, manipulating and converting files, digital editing… These skills become important to the success of the students, but are often not part of the curriculum. This activity raises awareness of the need to support the students with their development of these skills.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

A particular component of this activity, which will be documented in a separate L4 activity template, is the reading and note taking activity that was part of the e-portfolio submissions. This activity proved much deeper and more direct as a tool for assessing student reading comprehension than a typical quiz.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

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