How To Play the Better Assessments Game


If you haven’t read this, this, and this, then stop. Go. Read.

Bored and uninspired? Go play Olo. (Seriously. It’s awesome.)

Fired up and ready to play? Read on!

What To Expect

Every so often (hopefully about once a week), I’ll post an assessment. Usually it won’t be my own (though sometimes it will). The assessment will come with some commentary, so the author can set the context, explain the rationale behind some of the choices made, and ask for specific feedback from anyone playing along at home.

If all goes according to plan, a conversation will ensue in the comments, with questions asked and answers given, feedback provided and (if the author chooses) adjustments made. If the author is sufficiently inspired, a tweaked version of the assessment might even be posted to keep the conversation rolling.

What We Need

If this experiment is going to work, we need (at the very least) the following:

If you see yourself as a contributor in either of those categories, then welcome! And thanks in advance for helping me (and hopefully many others) ninja-fy their assessment skills.

One More Thing

Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if everyone who thinks this is a worthy undertaking would provide an occasional Better Assessments shout-out. (My voice only carries so far in the MTBoS.)

An Overdue Beginning

I’ve been putting this off for far too long.

In late March, I wrote Tasks and Assessments and A Further Call To Arms (over on Reason and Wonder). My goal with these posts was to stir up a small community of people who would write, share, and reflect on their assessments, on an ongoing basis, and through that process learn to write better assessments (and through that, become better teachers).

Well, in April I sort of launched the project. But not really. What I did was ask for the first submissions. Submissions were submitted, but I never did anything with them. I blame end-of-the-school-year burnout. But now it’s summer (for me, at least), so I can’t use that excuse anymore. And when I’m out of excuses… it’s time to do what I said I would do.

So here goes.

As soon as I hit “Publish” on this apologetic and uninspiring post, I’ll fire up another “New Post” and lay down the rules for this getting-better-at-writing-assessments game.

As soon as that’s zapped across the Internet, I’ll kickstart yet another “New Post” and offer up our first submission/specimen.