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Nick Rossi 1.

Context

Assessment During Instruction

EPSY 485

I am teaching at a high school (9-12) in a medium-size urban area. There are approximately 30 students in the class. Similar to the district numbers, the school 44% White, 36% Black, 9% Hispanic, 8% Asian and 3% Other. Almost 17% of students in the school have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), indicating that there will likely be 5 students with disabilities in the classroom Im working in. Additionally, over half of students in the school are identified as low-income or economically disadvantaged. Lastly, the attendance rate at this school is 4% lower than averages in the district. My students are in 10th grade and they will just begin learning about the Renaissance period in Western Europe. Students will have a basic understanding of social movements from 9th grade US History and will have historical context through previous study of the Dark Ages and Reformation in the course. 2. Unit of Study The unit that this assessment would be located in is called From Religion to Reason: Social Shifts in Medieval Europe, designed for tenth grade students. The plans for the current week follow three weeks of study on the social and religious structures of Western European society during the Dark Ages as well as the religious reformations that began with Martin Luther 1517. These plans focus on the social shifts that began in Italy around the 14th century and spread to the rest of the continent by the 16th century during the period that would become known as the Renaissance. The overarching understandings for this unit primarily revolve around the idea of change: what factors influence social change? How are changes in politics, economics, religion, institutions and culture interrelated as well as independent? How can individuals bring about lasting change? Specifically, students will explore the relationship between religion and science during the era of study: What were the dominant social and religious institutions in Western Europe during the Dark Ages as compared to the Reformation/Renaissance? What were some of the factors led to the growing prominence of science and art in relation to religion during the Renaissance period? I have identified two learning objectives for this unit from this assignment. They are developed from Illinois Learning Standards with Blooms Taxonomy in parenthesis: 1. Students will be able to identify, analyze and compare to previous structures the political, social and cultural ideas that emerged during the Renaissance as well as consider how these ideas persist in the present day. (knowledge, comprehension, synthesis, application) 2. Students will be able to identify and assess/express the importance of specific historical figures during the Renaissance period. (knowledge, comprehension)

Nick Rossi

Assessment During Instruction

EPSY 485

3. Assessment During Instruction Activity DIRECTIONS: Please answer questions using information discussed in class today. Be sure to be clear and specific as possible when appropriate. Please ask if you need help. 1. Which of the following figures has traditionally been identified as the best example of a Renaissance Man? (3 points) A. Martin Luther B. Leonardo da Vinci C. Sandro Botticelli D. Erasmus 2. For the answer given in Question 1, identify and elaborate on three (3) characteristics of this figure that makes them the quintessential Renaissance Man of the period. (6 points) Examples of da Vincis characteristics: - Artist/Painter/Sculpter: Mona Lisa, Vitruvian Man, The Last Supper - Writer: kept journals his entire life on various topics and published on the topic of painting - Scientist: studied anatomy, light, gravity and space - Inventor/engineer: designed a helicopter, tank, solar power concentrator, calculator, etc. - Personality: known during his time, had pupils, taught others

3. Does the idea of the Renaissance Man still exist today? If so, give an example of a person who embodies this idea with an explanation for this choice. If not, give your reasoning for why this idea may not persist in modern society. (6 points) - This answer is less strict than the other two. If supporting the idea that the Renaissance Man exists in modern society, the student should demonstrate an understanding of the concepts discussed above in Item 2 as well the idea of being well-rounded as essential to the concept of the Renaissance Man in order to be considered correct. If asserting the concept no longer persists, the student should acknowledge the social/cultural/economic reasons that this may be the case. Some supports for this opinion may be but are not limited to: specialization in industry/education, globalization, public education, influence of technology.

Nick Rossi Analysis of Items

Assessment During Instruction

EPSY 485

Item 1: This item is directly linked to the second learning objective listed for this assignment because it assesses the students knowledge of significant historical figures of the period as well as their ability to comprehend the meaning of specific historical terminology. This item does not necessarily expose higher level thinking or mental processes, but it does serve as a quick check if students have a general understanding of content. Item 2: This second item is primarily meant to delve into a deeper display of comprehension related to the second learning objective by tasking students with indirectly explaining their reasoning for their answer to Question 1, but the question also begins to tap into the first learning objective by gauging the students ability identify and analyze social and cultural ideas that emerged during the Renaissance period in their own words. By using the short-answer format, I want to allow students to display their understanding in a less restricted format so that deeper understanding can be displayed as well as hopefully guiding them towards the correct answer to the first item by forcing them to assess their own motivation for choosing the answer they did to that first item. Item 3: This last item is directly aimed at fulfilling the first learning objective by asking students to analyze the essential characteristics of a Renaissance man in context as well as their ability to apply this concept to the present day as well as synthesize understanding of current unit/lesson content with their broader understanding of history gained through their previous enrollment in freshman US History courses as well as perspective gained from simply being submerged in modern culture. This item is meant to relate historical content to the students life and help me get a sense of how they are approaching the content through their modern lens. The ability to apply historical content to the contemporary is essential to the social sciences as well as aids the student in becoming a successful member of society. Ultimately, I felt this assessment was fair in terms of readability, directness and ability to display knowledge. While the vocabulary in the questions is not extremely simple, I did make an effort to guide students in the direction I wanted them to go with the short answer questions and I planned to provide assistance with vocabulary when needed. For example, I would automatically write the definitions to quintessential and persist on the board for students to refer to while taking the test and I made it clear in the instructions that I am a resource that they can ask for help if they need it. Lastly in terms of fairness, I allow for a wide range of answers and perspectives with the second and third questions in order to eliminate any biases that might occur from certain students not remembering a certain term, set of events, etc. Addressing reliability, I would make sure to construct a rubric for the short answer questions in order to make sure that each question was being graded on the same scale in order to make sure that Im picking up on the areas in which students are struggling instead of looking at the entire assessment as a whole. I would hope this operationalizing would allow me to give this assessment to other classes in the same demographic and receive similar results and insights. Finally, the fact that I made sure to relate every item solidly to my learning objectives as well as to ground all questions in the content of current lesson supports the validity of the assessment. I made sure that the assessment indeed measured students ability to display basic content knowledge, analyze those basic concepts at a higher level in context and apply those concepts in a broader historical sense,

Nick Rossi

Assessment During Instruction

EPSY 485

which is exactly what I was getting at with my learning objectives and overarching understandings. Ultimately, this assessment would be used to see at what levels and with what concepts students struggled in order to modify the lesson plan from which the assessment was drawn as well as to inform future planning for this class. 4. Explanation Conducting and Grading the Assessment: I would give this assessment at the end of class on the day that a lesson about the concept of the Renaissance man was discussed. I would block out fifteen minutes at the end of class for students to complete the assessment individually since the majority of the points come from the short answer questions, which may take a bit longer. I included the point totals for each question on the assessment, but this is mostly to guide students with timing so that they spend more time thinking about the last two items in order to provide me with richer qualitative data on their abilities and gaps. I designed this assessment as being in a class where this type of assessment is not uncommon, basically using this type of quiz as an extended and more focused alternative to an exit slip. I would hope that this amount of time would be ample for students to display the abilities or expose the gaps that would help me design better lessons in the future. In terms of grading, the assessment will be graded, but will be approached as the small formative assessment that it is rather than large summative assessment that would be worth more points and affect students grades more heavily. The motivation for giving this assessment is to see how well students are absorbing the material presented in my class, reinforcing historical thought frameworks addressed in previous social science courses as well as gauging how well my teaching style is supporting the learning of all students in my classroom, so grading the assignment in the traditional sense is less useful. Addressing the students with special needs in the classroom, I will now which students have IEPs in my classroom and I will have amended assignments to be provided to them individually when these types of assignments are done. For example, I would only require a student that has trouble reading or writing to answer the second question with two characteristics instead of three or may allow them to respond in bullet points rather than complete sentences. By monitoring the classroom during the assessment, I will be able to see where students are getting stuck and help students on an individual basis as I see them struggling. Performance Criteria for the Assignment: Since this assessment is fairly in depth and contains two extended response items, I will have to be deliberate when producing a rubric for the assignment. In order to make sure that I am accurately gauging every students individual understanding, I plan to use the following evidence in order to gauge understanding for both learning objectives: Expert understanding: Students answer all questions correctly using the terms/concepts identified in the rubric/answer key. If students answer slightly off-center they are simply making a details mistake, but display understanding of the larger concepts. Students display a complete grasp of historical facts (Item 1) and a strong understanding of concepts (Items 2 and 3). Competent understanding: Students answer the questions mostly correct. When questions are partially wrong or completely wrong, it is because the answer is the incorrect choice (Item 1) or

Nick Rossi

Assessment During Instruction

EPSY 485

that the answer has incorrect parts or does not meet the requirements for length given in the question (Items 2 and 3). Novice understanding: Students struggle to identify facts covered in class (Item 1) and fail to display understanding of broader historical concepts, shown by the inability to identify characteristics of historical figures (Item 2) or connect the present to the historical through a historical framework (Item 3). Performance Criteria for the Class: Addressing the class as a whole, I would obviously love if all my students fell in the expert understanding or competent understanding range because it would allow me to continue forward through material using similar strategies and a steady teaching style. This would provide me the time and ability to either cover a broader range of concepts or to delve into particular concepts more deeply as the semester progresses. Students falling in the novice understanding level would receive extra attention based on the gaps that are revealed through formative assessments such as the one in which this assignment is grounded. I would make sure to explain the gaps to the students so that they know where they need to work on improving as well as listening to students to find out what I might do to improve their learning experience as a teacher. Since the majority of this assessment is written, I will be able to gain insight into understanding by seeing how much detail students are able to delve into in the time they are given, acknowledging that short, sparse answers may indicate that the material may not be as clear as I presumed and that lengthy answers display a deep, inherent understanding of the material. On the other hand, if my class falls primarily in the competent and novice ranges, I will need to make significant changes to my teaching and as well as reaffirm my assessment strategies to make absolutely sure my style is not disadvantaging students in my classroom. While it may be tiresome to cover the same content again, I would make sure to teach to the same concepts and objectives in following lessons with a different teaching style in order to channel those objectives in a different form in hopes of building student understanding in a different way. I would likely do less formal formative assessment every day that mirror the written assessment conceptually, but will allow for a less formal display of knowledge as well as provide instant feedback on if the concepts are being displayed in a way that make sense to students in the classroom. I may ultimately decide to discuss teaching and learning strategies with the students if they continue to display less than desirable levels of understanding.