[Assessment 611] Re: Your classroom today

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Virginia Tardaewether tarv at chemeketa.edu
Mon Jan 29 11:45:36 EST 2007

Besides the items listed below, we've added a Tuition Waiver Approval
process which entails: pre and post tests, meeting with an advisor,
completion of the college placement test, a goal setting process and



From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:assessment-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Susan Reid
Sent: Friday, January 26, 2007 4:00 PM
To: The Assessment Discussion List
Subject: RE: [Assessment 600] Your classroom today

Hi Marie

We use scenarios all the time in professional development - they help
make concepts real and participants can relate what they have been
working on to a real live situation.

Usually I use my own or other colleagues' personal experiences

Scenarios are very flexible too - a former colleague of mine taught me
to how to start them off in quite a simple way and then either make them
layered by adding more information or by getting the participants to add
more information - that way you find out what they are doing and are
able to ask rich questions about why they chose to add that information

Prior to that I had spent a lot of time writing quite complex and rich
scenarios and sometimes they didn't relate to the participants'
experiences so this way they build the scenario too and have a strong
sense of ownership

I find scenarios really useful in making explicit the wide range of
opportunities that exist for formative assessment - we put a lot of
emphasis on observation and recording as formative assessment rather
than 'testing' per se

Observation requires some knowledge on behalf of the teacher and a
commitment to enquiry - when they see something that they are not sure
about then they ask someone or work out what was happening

When I was first involved in PD I came across participants who had to
comment about every aspect of the course giving little examples.
Initially I found this extremely irritating until it finally dawned on
me that this was their comprehension strategy and while others might
internalise what they are learning some people haven't developed that as
a strategy yet.

In New Zealand we call IEPs Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) and every
learner in a literacy programme is meant to have one - regarded as good
practice. Certainly our practice is that they are developed with the
learner - they have a copy of them and that the goals in the ILPs are
regularly reviewed.

In the UK part of their Skills for Strategy was ther mandatory use of
ILPs - there have been a number of issues around ILPs with low level
ESOL learners

see http://www.nrdc.org.uk/publications_details.asp?ID=19

regards Susan Reid


From: assessment-bounces at nifl.gov on behalf of Marie Cora
Sent: Thu 25/01/2007 8:26 a.m.
To: Assessment at nifl.gov
Subject: [Assessment 600] Your classroom today

Hi everyone,

Thanks for these great ideas and suggestions. Keep them coming!

(Let me know if you find the use of bold below helpful or annoying - I
was trying to highlight certain sections so that you could skip over
things if you want to.)

I'm struck by just how much everyone seems to do in terms of diagnostics
and placement. I guess it could be argued that appropriate diagnostic
placement is crucial in terms of making or breaking an adult student's

Some replies to folks who've posted:

Susan - I really like the idea of using scenarios in professional
development. I think that providing a real situation for people to
respond to is really helpful in the learning process. Do you use this
regularly with people? Where do you get your scenarios from? Real
experiences or things you've heard about? Others - do you use scenarios
with either staff or students? What's that like?

Jeannette - you brought up IEPs (Individualized Education Plans). These
are so useful in terms of providing the guidance needed. I know that
they are used widely (always?) in special education - but do folks not
working in special ed use them as well? I know Katrina mentioned that
she does. I also love the idea of the teacher group discussions for
determining student progress! There's nothing more powerful than
talking things through with colleagues.

Tina - you talked about pre-tests that you develop at your program. Do
you do this on your own or with others in the program? Do you have
pre-tests for various levels or content areas? Others - do you develop
your own pre-tests and what does this look like?

Katrina - you also mentioned IEPs, but also you talked about the fact
that students have access to these and can use them as guides, is that
correct? This is a really great form of student self-assessment.
Others - do you have your students engage in self-assessment? What does
that look like?

Bryan - thanks for this great resource (Lesson Plan Blueprints, TESOL) -
it looks very intriguing. Often you need to be a TESOL member to access
their resources, but it appears that this one anyone can go to. There
are a ton of useful resources at this site including white papers on
rationale, bibliographies, real lessons, among other things. Anyone
else use this and care to comment?



Marie Cora

marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com <mailto:marie.cora at hotspurpartners.com>

NIFL Assessment Discussion List Moderator


Coordinator, LINCS Assessment Special Collection


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