Week 6

A Way To Assess

 

Student evaluation is the most important factor when bringing success in the classroom. It’s used to monitor the student’s progress and understanding of the course. Having the right evaluation tool will keep them on track as it continuously provides feedback. Using the wrong type of assessment tool is not only useless, but it’s also a waste of time for both parties.

My current workplace uses two forms of evaluations when assessing students. The first is called a KBT (Knowledge Base Test), which is a formal assessment where the students have to answer a variety of multiple choice, true and false, and short answer questions. The second is a practical where the students have to physically demonstrate completing a task. Both of these tools are competency based assessments where the students must prove they understand 100% of the content. If they do, they are considered competent which means they have successfully completed the task.

It’s important to review assessments on a regular basis to ensure all questions appropriately match the course content. In my department we have an annual validation meeting, where we review each assessment, and collectively agree/disagree on any changes. Once the changes are made we revise the assessment, review it one more time, then publish it for public use. Having this validation committee allows everyone to provide their input. When assessments are put through this process a stronger program is created.

If we find problems in our assessments and have solutions to fix them, it’s critical that we contact our program developer to makes these changes. Standing in the shadows and hiding in our offices will not benefit anyone.  In order to positivity impact our students lives, we must stand up and make a difference.

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Filtering The Way We Communicate

In chapter six of the skillful teacher, Brookfield (2006) indicated the importance of using a mixture of teaching and communication approaches with our students. He said that lectures should advocate at least three different approaches or modalities. We can accomplish this by introducing a variety of visual aids, guest speakers, web broadcasts etc.

Teaching technical programs to ESL students in the Middle East requires flexibility, patience and creativity in the classroom. Many of my student have a hard time staying focused during a (required) four hour lesson. First of all they culturally have a difficult time keeping still and away from their phones, secondly listening to me lecture for that amount of time mentally mind boggling. The “fix” to this problem is to use different communication approaches during the lesson.

A few weeks ago, I spent a couple of days reviewing all the components that makes up an instrument air system. In order to achieve this, I broke down each component separately and came up with different ways for my students to learn. E.g.; Filters are a component of an instrument air systems. To maximize their learning I started off with a lecture to ensure they understood basic filter fundamentals. Next they watched a YouTube clip where they learned about filter installation. Then I took them to a workshop where we dismantled a filter together. By coming up with these different approaches I was able to speed up their learning, make the class more interesting, and maintain their interest level.

Thoughts?