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Socializing Assessment

Written by Lacy Manship
February 16, 2011

Another lens that seems really productive is to look at these videos in terms of assessing what kids know and are able to do.  With video as the data, I get more of the context and more of the movement, spatial configuration and emotion that comes across in motion pictures.  This is a drawback too, since with all of that information, it can be overwhelming to think and talk about.  

Still given just one video, like Joanna and Joslyn’s above, I can look deeply at what children know and do in a given context.  For instance, one of many possible analyses is to see this as documentation of Joanna and Joslyn’s literacy learning.  Here I have documentation of oral composition of a story, ability to take on the voice of characters, and ability to create a collaborative and linguistically hybrid text. 

This clip alone provides data I can endlessly analyze, use to invite further reflection from the learners, center family conference discussions around, and use to support thinking about curriculum and instruction for these children and others.

Even more politically powerful is that these videos are made by the children.  So in assessing their learning, I am basing analysis upon what they are choosing to show me. This move pushes at dominant assessment practices that place the locus of power in testing companies, state and district agencies, or teachers alone.  With student made documentaries as data, students and teachers together can create rich contexts and narratives through which to talk about student learning.  Socializing assessment can happen if decisions about what counts as data moves from top down models to collective decisions between students and teachers.

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