Assessing Learning of a Student Who’s “Thinking As a Learner”

What happens when students starting “thinking as learners” and stop “thinking as students?”  For one thing, we can not continue assessing student learning through methods that only assess students as students.  The common forms of testing we use today are convenient and simple like multiple choice tests with a 25% chance of getting the right answer.  But, how does that really tell us how much the student knows?  Sure, they can guess and get the right answer that would get them through the exam and move on.  That’s what seems to be happening today with testing…moving on to the next step.  But, what happens when students start to become learners?

When students convert to learners and start to became what we have always envisioned them to be our methods of assessing them must change.  In the past, testing methods have been geared towards test design with question, four choices, pick an answer, and move on.  However, learners use their knowledge and solve problems with it.  Problem solving scenarios would be found in performance assessment activities.  This would allow the learner to use their knowledge to solve a problem and provide a better overview of the student’s learning of the content.  In order for this to happen though, students must stop being students and become learners.  Until that happens, assessment will be used to assessed student and not learners until they make that conversion.


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