IntelAssessing Projects : Formative Assessment
Intermediate Phase Case Study


Looking Back and Looking Forward
Mr. Gcaba does not see the projects he facilitates as separate and individual collections of information. Rather, he sees projects as parts of a network of learning, knowledge, and skills. He asks learners to reflect on various aspects of their learning at the end of a project.  

A Student’s Story: Zack’s Reflection
The following entries were written in response to the question, What have you learned in this project?

Zack, who has mild learning disabilities, writes:

I learnd lots of funn things abot frogs. They start as eggs and tadpoles. Then they beacom frogs who have eggs and then tadpoles again. This is a cycle becas it happens over and over again. I did a better job of litsning this tiem. I didn’t hav to ask Mr. Gcaba to repeet the intsrutions.

Molly, a learner with moderate learning disabilities, writes:

I went to the pond to see frogs. It was fun. I playd wiht my friend Leah and ate a chees sndwitch for lunch. We chaast som ducks.

Planning for Future Projects
Mr. Gcaba uses what he learns from these reflections to work with individual learners and to plan future projects. He sees that Zack uses the terms eggs and tadpoles correctly and shows that he understands the meaning of cycle. He also gives a specific example of how he listened better. Mr. Gcaba can see that Zack has learned some important content, is aware of his learning processes, and can articulate his thoughts clearly. On the other hand, Molly’s entry provides little information about the content of the project or her progress toward her goals. She clearly needs further guidance on how to reflect on her learning. Mr. Gcaba also needs to use other data he has collected to ascertain her content knowledge. If the data show that she does not understand basic concepts, such as cycles in nature, he will need to work with her or ask her special education teacher to help her develop that essential understanding.

Careful assessment throughout this project allows Mr. Gcaba to plan and conduct teaching and learning more effectively to ensure that his learners are achieving to their full potential. By using a variety of assessment strategies and encouraging self- and peer-assessments, his learners learn content at a high level and develop the skills necessary to make them independent learners.

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