Often times when teaching, we are putting on a performance that tries to engage students in new concepts, skills, and ways of thinking. Unfortunately, as dynamic as that performance may be sometimes just because we did it doesn't mean it reached all students. One idea I think is interesting in addressing this issue is the concept of flipping assessment. Instead of solely focusing on assessing students through projects, tests, and quizzes, turn the tables and have students assess how you are reaching them as a teacher.
This is something I have done informally on the last day of class so I can adjust and reflect on my performance as a teacher. Students write a response to the following: 1. What was something that I should change for next year? 2. What is something that should definitely stay the same?
Sometimes there are responses like "you shouldn't mark us down if we didn't bring in a project" or "you should let us sit with our friends all of the time" which is unlikely to be something that can always change, but often there are direct and pointed critiques of how lessons are taught and what could have been done differently to help them learn the topic more. It is also nice to receive the feedback on what went well. It helps you get an idea on what made the biggest impact on students and think about the circumstances surrounding the projects or lessons to make that so.
For my Digital Arts Camp, I tried a different approach. I used a Google Form to create a survey of why students participated in the camp, what they thought about the camp, and what could be done in future camps to make it a success. By using a Google Form, I am able to compile data and use that data to drive future decisions. This is a great tool to consider using in the beginning of the school year to create student interest inventories or types of learning styles. You could also use it throughout the school year to check in on student attitudes and feelings about the class. Because you can make responses anonymous, it allows students to freely divulge their opinions.
|Google Form compiled responses to why students signed up for camp.|