Assessment and Evaluation at the end of CEP811

This week is the last week in my CEP811 course from Michigan State University.  The focus of this course has been on the idea of making or contributing to the society and not just consuming.  Our last assignment for this course is focusing on assessment and evaluation.  Not only assessment and evaluation of our professional growth but also assessment and evaluation of our personal growth as well.

Professional Assessment & Evaluation:

Looking at my maker kit that I have worked with over the last seven weeks I am going to be using the activity I have designed in my classroom.  I am waiting on additional LED’s from Squishy circuits to be able to complete the activity.  I however have decided to not use the dough as the shelf life is not very long on the insulation dough.  I had mold on the dough within 2 days, which made breathing very difficult.  The salt dough is still mold free so I am going to continue to use that dough in the student wand.  I am going to change the conducting dough to insulated wires to removed the need for the conducting dough and increase the length of time that the activity can be used.  If I want students to be able to try, make mistakes, and then learn from their mistakes the activity needs to be available for more than two days. I will measure the effectiveness of this activity by the willingness of students to try again.  I know in the past with similar activities on paper getting students to look at their mistakes and figure out how to fix their mistakes has been very difficult.  I am hoping by integrating technology into the activity it will remove enough of the school pressure to be able to learn from their failure. However, I see the squishy circuits as a tool to help me engage students in learning something in my mathematics classroom not an activity in and of itself. I enjoyed the experience of looking at the activity through the lens of Universal Design for Learning, as it helped me to look for ways to ensure every student can participate. I can see using this method every time I plan a new unit to help me ensure that all students have the largest chance to be successful.  Our school is trying to ensure that all students are successful by adequately programming for all students.  On the flip side of that our school is also implementing a policy to hold students accountable for passing if they are being programmed for correctly.  Failure due to unwillingness to try is no longer an option but making mistakes to improve your competency is.  This year will be full of growth and the growing pains that go with it as both students and teachers work together to create an environment where student success and growth is a given.

Personal Assessment & Evaluation:

To look at evaluating and assessing my personal growth I will refer you to the evaluation philosophy of Michigan State University which is as follows:

As adult learners, we are most interested in your growth — and you will be evaluated on the basis of how far you go, not on the basis of where you started. This doesn’t mean that different standards apply to different students. On the contrary. We hold each MAET student to a very high standard of academic and professional excellence. We expect each of you to push your limits — whatever those limits are — and to contribute your own, unique learning experiences and perspectives to our learning community. We expect each of you to write well, and in accordance with the elements of style outlined in the APA manual.  We expect each of you to meet deadlines.  We expect each of you to ask good questions. We expect each of you to seek out answers by leveraging all of the resources at your disposal. We expect each of you to adhere to professional standards of academic integrity, to respect the work of your peers and to offer thoughtful, constructive suggestions that sharpen our collective understanding and focus. (Michigan State University, n.d., MAET Evaluation Philosophy)

So where did I start in CEP811 and how did I grow over the course?

The conference proposal was an interesting exercise because I have attended many conferences I have never presented at one.  I never felt that I had the skills or expertise to offer to other teachers.  I have a different way of viewing teaching and learning that is not the way many other people do their job.  Thus creating the conference proposal really made me feel that I had something of value to share.  While, I am not yet at the point where I will actively seek out presentation opportunities, I know I could do it, if I so chose, something I did not think was possible less than eight weeks ago.

At the beginning of CEP811 I had not used any of the technology used in this course before.  Some of them I was able to great things with like Sketchup Make and some I got something accomplished but not without great frustration like Popcorn. The frustration I felt with Popcorn will help me to get inside the frustration students often feel in math class and to help them see a way through the frustration to learning.   I understood the idea of Universal Design in regards to things like sloped sidewalks for wheelchairs also helping those with strollers but I had not thought of it in regards to education.  CEP811 has also pushed me in how I was using Twitter.  Before stating the CEP program at MSU I only used Twitter to see where the local food trucks were set up, I did not even see Twitter as a tool for education.  During CEP810 I used Twitter to post links to my blog as assignments dictated , but I looked at little else but the tweets put out by other members of my class.  In CEP811 I have started to look more at what information is being referred to in Twitter.  I have started following more people because of the educational learning potential that is there.  Although I am still unsure how to get my posts to show up in a hashtag search, seems Twitter doesn’t consider me a real person yet:(.  Using the Squishy circuits also taught me something valuable about my creative process.  I have figured out that having something and being told to do something with it, makes creating something more difficult for me.  I spent many hours thinking of how I could use the squishy circuits in my mathematics classroom.  I find I am the most creative when either I have a concept and I look for something to help me engage students or when I see something that sparks my imagination and the ideas just seem to leap into creation.  I guess that links back to the idea of TPACK (Koehler & Mischra, 2008 ) in which they urge educators to figure out what to teach and then decide what technology will be best to facilitate learning and now rush for the new toys and say now what am I going to do with this.  However, having to experience design from here’s a technology now do something with it has increased my caution with wanting new technology because it is new.  Unless seeing or using the new technology sparks new ideas to make, design, or create I will choose to say no thank you and look for things that inspire me in my quest to facilitate learning for the most number of students possible.

Koehler & Mishra (2008) Teaching Creatively: Teachers as Designers of Technology, Content and Pedagogy [Video file], Retrieved from Vimeo http://vimeo.com/39539571

Michigan State University (n.d.) CEP 811: Adapting Innovated Technologies TO Education, MAET Evaluation Philosophy Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_gxF-0Vyy24tTq1sjNMvfuXb5eFvaD7ULwADsWdDd-A/pub

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