In our conversation, when Lorrie Shepard said that point systems are the death of formative assessment and that grading systems are turning teachers into point recorders, whoa… that blew me away. These felt like true statements to me. A key thing I learned in this conversation was that when we try to gather evidence of student learning, it is important that we attempt to learn something meaningful from it, not just create a score. And that we ask students themselves to make meaning out of evidence of learning. This is part of Lorrie’s bigger idea of ambitious teaching which she describes in more detail during our talk. The word I keep mulling over from that notion is “substantive”. Lorrie shares ideas about the importance of designing learning experiences that generate substantive evidence of learning that teachers and students can use on a daily basis to move learning forward. This feels like a paradigm shift to me.
– Barbara Jones
With Lorrie Shepard, Gerzon and Jones discussed the following topics:
- The relationship among ambitious teaching, formative assessment, identity, agency, and equity
- What we are learning about the relationship between accountability, learning, and equity
- Creating equitable assessment approaches to measure student online learning
- Moving formative assessment out of the “balanced assessment system” and into a framework for teaching and learning
Curated segments of this conversation can be played in the Padlet below. Please click on the play button in the upper left corner to play the video directly in Padlet. An audio recording of the entire conversation and session materials can also be found on this page.
Lorrie Shepard is the University Distinguished Professor and Dean Emerita at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Her research focuses on psychometrics and the use and misuse of tests in educational settings. She has led research on the use of assessment and testing in a wide range of testing areas, including the effects of high-stakes accountability testing, grade retention, teacher testing, and the use of classroom assessment to support teaching and learning. In 2019, in preparation for the National Council of Measurement in Education Special Conference on Classroom Assessment, she and her colleagues convened national experts to develop Classroom Assessment Principles to Support Teaching and Learning, a publication that describes how classroom assessment can best be enacted to support deep learning. These principles provide a framework for teachers, leaders, and policymakers to develop new conditions for learning that foster student agency and self-regulation.
See the other conversations in this series: