Assessment in the 21st Century

Brian’s TRT Blog picked up one of my blog posts from Educon’s session Taking.Play.Seriously. Brian has only a very short response to this:

So, would more play produce more creativity which would result in higher test scores? Hmmmm………

That “Hmmmm” sparked the following comment from me:

That is exactly what I am pondering as well. How can we have the same assessments (standardized tests) to measure “learning” if we want to encourage creativity? Why would schools/teachers change the way they have taught for years, if they are seeing results in their test scores? Why would curriculum change to prepare students for THEIR future if the assessment of the present will not measure nor value these skills?

All this seems to connect well with the book “Curriculum21“  by Heidi Hayes Jacobs that I am currently reading. Heidi advocates that change growth in schools should start with upgrading assessment. Now this makes sense to me. We can’t ask teachers to change grow in their teaching, but continue to expect them to evaluate students with the same types of assessments as they did 50 years ago.

Wikipedia defines educational assessments as:

the process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs.

Since we don’t want/can’t overwhelm teacher by asking them to CHANGE everything at once

Curriculum Decisions

Heidi challenges teachers to a 21st Century Pledge by taking one “traditional” assessment and replacing it with a new kind of assessment. Those new kinds of assessments include:

  • Documentaries
  • Podcast
  • CAD projections
  • Web sites
  • E-mail exchanges
  • Digital music compositions
  • Webcasts from live sites
  • Online Journals
  • Films
  • Online courses
  • Video podcasts
  • Screenplays
  • Quarterly e-reports
  • Video conferences
  • Second Life simulations
  • Blogs

Note: I am not sure of the difference between an online journal and a blog?

I would add the following to her list of possible assessment replacements:

  • Wikis (information depository & collaborative work)
  • VocieThreads
  • Tutorials

What would YOU add to this list of assessments which could measure more accurately skills of the 21st century?