Keeping SBG Authentic

I’ll be teaching both physics 11 and physics 12 again next year and I’m interested in doing more performance task assessments than I did this year. I had intended on using more goal-less problems in ph11 this year but I always felt like I was under the gun for time constraints. As for ph12 next year, my co-worker is interested in sharing some common assessment strategies between his classes and mine.

Physics Performance Tasks

One thing I’ve been trying to implement more and more into my units are Performance Tasks. McTighe and Wiggins in their Understanding by Design framework say that a Performance Task is an authentic assessment where students demonstrate the desired understandings. In my context, I currently use small SBG quizzes for the bulk of my assessments. Jay McTighe, who I had the pleasure and privilege of having lunch with, would probably call my quizzes “supplementary” evidence.

The Big Idea of Electrostatics

I’ve often wondered if all of the segmented learning objectives in Standards Based Grading results in too much reductionism and micro-managing of learning, where the forest gets lost in all of the trees.¬†In response to this, I’ve been reading “Understanding By Design” by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, with hopes of clarifying the learning intentions with my students.¬†Certainly my students should be aware of individual skills or required knowledge, but how these pieces fit into a bigger picture is more important.