of Responsibility #6:
incisive and relevant assessment and evaluation techniques
(e.g., product or project which uses formative and/or summative
6: Multimedia 1 (GWHS) – Final Project Evaluation
designing and delivering instruction, many educators fail
to create and utilize assessments that their instruction
in a relevant manner. The instructional planning-assessment-feedback
cycle is often mismatched or misapplied to refining instruction.
Though teachers adopt rubrics and other assessment strategies,
these are often poorly designed and ineffectively interpreted
for the purposes of refining instruction. Creators of educational
materials have traditionally provided assessments that are
easy to administer and score. While this type of assessment
is often sufficient, it may not give the teacher an understanding
of the student’s learning process.
address the issue of incisively designing and applying evaluation
during the learning process, I have approached the format
of my courses to assess the following components:
& Project Based Learning – The nature of
vocational education is congruent with my personal philosophy
and I have adopted the practice of directly observing the
skill a student has developed. Whether watching a student
change the oil in a car or creating a business letter, the
teacher has a clear understanding of the student’s skills
and knowledge. While this type of assessment is time intensive,
I’ve fine-tuned my approach to evaluation with the help
of some tools. Rubrics have helped me define even more
clearly what my expectations are for my students. During
the last several years I have been developing a Multimedia
course at George Washington High School. This course teaches
basic design, digital video, digital audio, imaging editing,
computer based presentation skills, project management,
and authoring. As I’ll describe later, each of these units
or components includes several levels of evaluation.
of Learning - One of the most exciting components
of the Multimedia course is the accumulative final project.
Students must partner with an academic teacher (sponsor),
creating an interactive educational multimedia CD-ROM for
that teacher. Past projects usually address the course
requirements for two classes (e.g. the requirements for
Multimedia and a project for Chemistry to demonstrate student
understanding of the Periodic Table). Students create project
proposals, navigational flowcharts, screen mock-ups, a draft
project, and the final project. The sponsoring teacher
“signs off” each step of the way. Students learn project
management (The Systems Development Life Cycle), user needs
and communication, academic content --all in the context
of multimedia design and authoring.
and Evaluation (Formative and Summative Evaluation)
- Many students and adults struggle with breaking a large
project into small components and remaining focused on the
‘small’ tasks. By using a variety of assessments and feedback
loops, students learn the importance of project management
and assessment. Students receive a project memo
describing each expected ‘deliverable’ and project requirements.
The project memo is used by students to track progress on
the entire process. Specific due dates are stored on the
assignment calendar posted on the classroom wall and written
on the chalkboard. Each deliverable
has an associated assessment, breaking the larger project
into manageable small tasks. The student interacts numerous
times with the sponsor and teacher performing an informal
needs assessment, negotiating project content and design.
feedback loops of self-evaluation.
Student to student,
student to sponsor, student to instructor have also been
built into the design of the course. Students evaluate
their own work before they hand it in to the instructor
and they also evaluate each other.
technology projects benefit student learning in a variety
of ways. Students are more motivated due to subject and
design input, they receive cross-content reinforcement,
and they receive multi-sensory instruction.
benefit staff relationships as well. I am continually surprised
by and thankful for the feedback I get from my fellow teachers
and administrators. Our tendency and ability to collaborate
across content areas increased greatly following the success
of the first few sections of the Multimedia course. The
IT projects have served as a bridge between staff. Teachers
see the value of integrating academic content into a technology-based
context. International Baccalaureate teachers even invite
me to recruit students during their classes. They see the
Multimedia course and me as an instructor as a support for
their student learning objectives.
element of the Multimedia project is that it be based on
some real life or school based topic. Student, parents,
and other teachers recognize that educators don’t need to
work in isolation but can accomplish common goals by using
technology as the context or framework for exploring core
knowledge areas. A topic that might be fairly unappealing
to most students can become interesting when paired with
the bells and whistles available through multimedia.
type of project also helps students distinguish the importance
of different evaluation methods, especially self and peer
evaluation. Students learn the importance of creating a
project focused on needs other than their own. They also
learn to develop critical self-evaluation, relating their
work to stated expectations (the instructors and the sponsors).
They are also encouraged to gain help and feedback, both
formally and informally, from peers. Students need to develop
the ability to collaborate with others as well as to tackle
learning independently. I believe that these are life skills
that will support their learning in all academic areas.
would describe the Multimedia course as an overwhelming
success! Evidence of this success has occurred at four