10 August, 2020
Assessment is a Teacher-Student partnership
-Ms. Namrata Cheke
On 8th August 2020, a few of our staff representatives attended a webinar on Assessment conducted by the Adhyayan’s Community of Practice via the zoom app. The speaker for the session was Mr. Myron Dueck, who is the District Administrator of Assessment and Innovation in British Columbia and has spent 21 years as an educator.
The session began with a simple game of rating the speaker Dueck’s pronunciation of Indian place-name, for example Takshashila, which he compared to what our learners must be experiencing while being graded. After that he dived into the National Education Policy 2020 of the Government of India and drew parallels between it and a book named Extreme Ownership(a book on Navy Seals),in which the concept of Decentralized Command was introduced to us. It basically means that every tactical level member must understand not just what to do, but why they are doing it. Similarly just with any teacher-learner setup, there are teachers who try to take on too much upon themselves. When this occurs, the classroom can quickly dissolve into chaos, boredom, routine, exhaustion and burnout. Mr. Dueck said that the fix is to empower all our learners through Decentralized Command and ensure they are running their teams to support their overall mission.
Mr. Dueck stressed on the need to empower others. This allows for more freedom for the leader to focus on what’s most important. One of the main objectives is for students to move away from content acquisition and arrive at skill based, process oriented and collaborative learning. Mr. Dueck further explained the fact that even the tech giant Google are in search of people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer.
Mr. Dueck had a word of praise for our National Education Policy saying that it has huge scope for being actual learning oriented. Delving further on other concepts of grading and empowerment, he explained a basic understanding for the Span of Control, saying that the Effectiveness of a leader decreases as the number of people increases. Furthermore, we need to change our grading language, adding that an A+ or 100% should not be the last or final thing in learning, there should always be room for something more.
Finally the concepts of Shared Ownership and a Rubric were introduced. A rubric has 3 parts-criteria: elements on which the learner performance is judged; from learner outcomes a fixed measurement scale that identifies levels of performance; and a detailed description of student performance at varying levels of quality.
For us participants, this webinar on assessment was a new learning experience and thoroughly informative.