“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler an American futurist.
This quote found on the front page of the Intel’s Assessing Project Tool web site gives a foundation and premise for Intel’s free educational resource . For those trying to assess 21century skills, this site provides some practical tools and resources to answer this question. Not only does Intel provide a unique interface to construct a rubric, it includes theory, rational, best practices, and outstanding examples. It is more then an assessment tool, if used correctly it allows teacher’s to truely transform their practice using a planning process that starts with the end and involves on-going assessment. Please take a moment to read over my review and explore the links that will highlight some of the outstanding attitibutes of this site. As always, take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki . If you have 21century skill assessment practices to share please post a reply or send an email. I enjoy reading and make it a practice to answer each and every e-mail. – Mike (email@example.com)
The biggest question I get from teachers when conducting workshops on technology integration and 21st century skills remains, “How do you assess the 21st century skills?” While it is important to make sure content standards are integrated and assessed in student projects, many times the 21st century skills are loosely incorporated and assessed . This leaves students often confused with the attempted integration of 21st century skill, resulting in a goal never achieved. Once again, as most research suggests, it is important that all projects are designed with the end in mind. The conclusion includes both content standards, and the 21st century skills that are to be acheived by students. This end, is a part of the planning process that is communicated to students in the form of a rubric. The rubric must act as a guide while students engage with the project’s on-going process.
This preparation can be time consuming for the educator, which is why I invite you to explore Intel Education’s Assessing Projects Tool. I am a long time fan of the Intel Thinking Tools. I am just as impressed with the Assessing Projects Tool. Intel states, “When assessment drives instruction, students learn more and become more confident, self-directed learners. Assessing Projects helps teachers create assessments that address 21st century skills and provides strategies to make assessment an integral part of their teaching and help students understand content more deeply, think at higher levels, and become self-directed learners”.
The site overview page gives the benefits of assessing projects, numerous references and authoritive writings, and some outstanding assessment based websites based on 21st century education. Learn more about the purpose of assessment, various assessments that go beyond tests, papers, and oral presentations, and how formative assessment which is continuous and ongoing promotes real achievement. Additionally, while higher-order thinking such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and metacognition, can be a challenge. this tool explores methods for assessing thinking. Last, this tool explores what components are necessary for successful assessment in a school.
Intel gives you the opportunity to Try It. Here you can try a Demo to explore the Assessment Library and examine checklists, rubrics, and scoring guides on thinking skills, processes, products, and performances. There is also a video tutorial that allows you to see how features of the Assessing Projects application work in the classroom. You can also view a great animation of the process which helps simplify the process. Explore some example project assessment forms for both the elementary and secondary level. Intel states that assessment strategies can be broken into five main categories. While not all methods within a category are needed, all categories should be included in an assessment plan. The categories included are Strategies for Gauging Student Needs , Strategies for Encouraging Self-Direction and Collaboration, Strategies for Monitoring Progress, Strategies for Checking for Understanding and Encouraging Metacognition, and Strategies for Demonstrating Understanding and Skill. There is also an area that describes the planning of assessment, the changing of assessment strategies, and some sample lesson plans complete with timeline of project, venn diagram, table, and assessment timeline. I find it useful to use the large selection of pre-made rubics and modify and save them to my Intel Work Space. From here they can be exported as a Word or Excel file.
In conclusion, Intel offers a top of the line tool that is free to educators. There are other tools which I will explore in future posts but I do suggest that anyone exploring assessment of 21st century skills take a look at the Intel Assessing Projects Tool for its ease of use, vast resources of information, on-line productivity, and theory behind practice. While it acts as a rubric machine, it goes much farther by transtorming educational practice. Please feel free to email or post. I am interested in learning about other tools available for 21st century assessment. While taking your journey in 21st century education, please visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you – Mike (firstname.lastname@example.org)