In June, when we received the go-ahead to offered eCampusLive Biology, I wondered how my views on assessment would evolve. Would paper & pencil assessments still be the hallmark of success or were other means waiting for their "day to shine?" It turns out change was waiting for its inevitable introduction.
I'd volunteered as part of a strategy group at my school to with Tom Schimmer to integrate formative assessment. I was immediately taken with many ideas, after just a few sessions. Like food for thought, assessment changes segued naturally with the ongoing experimentation in my flipped classroom. The flipped format provided the time needed to consider formatively assess strategies to apply and review afterward. A bit like playing with dominos, a change to one area inevitably led to a change in another.
First, we began working with Google Forms. The entire class had fun with formative group quizzes and analyzing the results. Using anonymous formative assessment turned out to be so useful, we used it to obtain feedback from the class on how to improve the program. Amazingly, one small change - using Google Forms, led to much greater ones. The benefits have been tremendous.
Second, it was time to attempt different assessments strategies. We decided to forgo a traditional paper assessment for Phylum Echinodermata. This time, students researched echinoderms, then completed a starfish dissection presentation. The criteria were similar to many projects that came before: survey and explain external & internal structures, describe how the major body systems are accounted for with the organs present (or absent), and lastly, provide a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" factoid. While we didn't have time to film the entire interview for each team, we do have some short clips of a few interviews to share. One thing about Biology -- students love to roll up their sleeves, snap on their gloves, and dive into a dissection =:}
Dissection 1 - A Tour with Team Ninja hey - they chose the name ;)
Dissection 2 - "Diving in" with Team Second Row
Welcome to the eCampusLive blog. I'm Jerry Bleecker. I teach Biology, Science, Information Technology, Computer Arts, and more. It's an exciting year to share our experiences with our flipped classroom endeavour.