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Assessment

Assessment is an important aspect of any design project work. It gives designers the feedback they need to change their current designs, and helps them focus on criteria that have and have not been met. For teachers, assessment is critical in designing effective instruction. Timely formative assessment can change the direction a lesson takes, and can make the difference between students achieving memorable learning and not.

  •  Formative Assessment  Hear Paul Black of London's Kings College talk about a set of practical teaching techniques -- formative assessment -- that are strongly supported by some of education's best research.
  •  Authentic Assessment  Look at ways that design activities can support making assessment more authentic and grading transparent and realistic by making final projects more a public than a classroom event.
  •  Assessing Explanations  Listening to students' rationale for the design decisions they make is central to assessing their design work. Simply making design decisions is not enough: students must explain why.
  •  Memorizing/Understanding  Checking that students are understanding (versus memorizing facts) is important in assessment. Vanderbilt's Rich Lehrer describes traits of learning environments where students succeed in create understandings through designing tasks where they build upon and extend their own learning.
  •  Transfer Tasks  Having students do follow-up tasks where the context has been changed slightly or dramatically from the original lesson is referred to as a transfer task, and helps in checking for real understanding.
  •  Homework  Listen to and watch as different strategies are enacted for getting students to do their design-related homework.
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