"Formative assessment is indistinguishable from teaching and learning." -- University of Derby, Learning Enhancement & Innovation

". . . no one knows the work, the thought behind it, and personal goals better than the individuals themselves." -- Erin E. Lawler-King, Self-Assessment and the Quest for Self-Improvement

The Reflective Assessment Process (RAP) is one that I've worked to evolve over the years. My goal has been to design a process that places the student at the center of the assessment process and uses self-assessment as a learning tool. The best way to improve one's current performance is to start with a realistic self-perception and then engage in critical reflection using set criteria as guides. Critical reflection requires that we examine our assumptions and open ourselves up to change.

I also have an ulterior motive. The part of teaching I most enjoy is the mentoring. In truth, I always learn more than my mentees, but mentoring is a way to give back to all those teachers who have given so generously to me. So you'll see that I've included a formative assessment process that provides opportunities for a great deal of reflection and self-assessment that I can use to begin a dialogue about what you're learning and what your plans are for future projects.

I invite you to examine your assumptions about assessment as we explore what a student-centered, reflective assessment process might look like.

Formative and Summative Assessment

A Reflective Assessment Process is used.

The Reflective Assessment Process (RAP) has three components:

Contract Grading:
We are essentially a community of practice defined by Wenger-Trayner as a group of people with a common purpose or passion who join together to learn all they can about how to achieve that purpose or fulfill that passion. It seems most appropriate then that your grade depends on your contributions to the community.

You determine your grade for the course by fulfilling a contract that spells out clearly what's required. The advantage is that know your personal goals for the course and your commitments to other coursework, job, and family. This is particularly important during the summer sessions when the brief duration leads to double-timed intensity. You prioritize and contract accordingly for the grade that best matches your goals and commitments. There's no less respect for a B well-earned with course goals met and other commitments fulfilled in a balanced way that enables you to enjoy the course. I remember students who lament that they had to read way too fast to enjoy the books and that needn't happen. You know by graduate school that grades are for accountability but it's what you take from the course and how you use it that will get you the position you want or enable you to achieve the credibility and success you desire.

Here's how the contract grading will work:

You decide how much work you can best accomplish, and, if you complete that work on time and satisfactorily, you will receive the grade for which you contracted. All work is graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory. There are rubrics for each project that describe satisfactory work very clearly. Unsatisfactory work may be revised and resubmitted for full credit if the revision and submission is within 24 hours of the feedback.
Critical Self-Reflection:

You'll begin the course by taking a personal inventory of where you currently are in terms of the Course Outcomes (Professional, Literate, and Virtual) in the Funds of Knowledge Inventory. At the end of each week (Sunday midnight), you'll refle
ct on your personal learning and contributions in a blog post to your Portfolio Blog. This is public writing and open to the world. Then on a Google Doc that serves as the contract and reporting sheet, simply check off if you feel you have contributed satisfactorily for that week to the degree you had contracted and add any comments you feel relevant. This Google Doc is private to you and me. I'll review and provide feedback within 24 hours. You then have another 24 hours to revise and resubmit for full credit if you'd like.

At the end of the course, you will revisit your Funds of Knowledge Inventory to critically reflect on your progress towards Course Outcomes and your personal goals. This will serve as your final exam.

Peer Assessment:

Each student will take the lead in contributing to one week's Collaborative Critical Inquiry. The student will work in a team of three to design the unit on an issue/topic related to teaching literature for young adults. This unit can take the form of creating a collaborative inquiry with pre and post-discussion activities, designing an experience to engage us with the issue, or even preparing us for some opportunity to reach out into the community/the real world and make a contribution. Possibilities abound. Leaders for each unit will be responsible for assessing each member's contribution. This will be accomplished via an online survey with each member assessing themselves as well. Results will be visible to all. I'll lead the first unit on the social nature of literature (beginning May 26).


Requirements for a Grade of A:

(1) Class Attendance/Participation (includes reading/viewing/listening to unit resources and class participation) (10% of total grade)
Class attendance each week is required. If you contract for an A in the course, you may miss no more than one class with an official (doctor or pre-approved) excuse. To be approved, you must include in your advanced request for pre-approval a plan for how you will make up any missed work.

Rubric for Class Attendance/Participation

(2) Weekly Book Blog (400-500 words or equivalent) (30 % of total grade)
Each week you will read and respond to a YA book in your Portfolio Blog. The first three weeks will be devoted to Printz books, the fourth to sequential art (graphic novels), and the fifth to nonfiction. You will read and then respond to the Printz books in some form of self-expression to reflect upon what you take from your transaction with the book --- what Rosenblatt referred to as the aesthetic experience. The goal is not to summarize or review the book but to create something -- a poem, a drawing, an animation, a photograph, a podcast, a video (bookcast) -- something tangible. You then briefly reflect on your creation and what you learned about responding to literature in the process. Note that you must over the course of the semester create at least one bookcast -- a response using video.
Rubric for Weekly Book Blog . . .
Rubric for Bookcast . . .

The 4th book, Sequential Art, will be completed in a book club with a collaborative response and the 5th book, Nonfiction, will be part of the Interdisciplinary Collaborative Critical Inquiry to which your book and accompanying activity will contribute.

This book blogs are due each week on Wednesday by midnight. Each student should review the responses of other students and briefly comment before class time on Thursday at 7 pm.

3) Collaborative, Peer-Led Unit on a Selected Issue/Topic in Teaching Young Adult Literature (30% of total grade)
You will work in teams of three to research and design a unit for us on an important issue/topic related to teaching literature for young adults. Suggested issues/topics include: the freedom to read (providing books for a diversity of readers and censorship), the Common Core and nonfiction literature, reading for social justice and positive social change, cultivating empathy through literature, the reading-writing connection, literature as Vygotsky's More Knowledgeable Other (scaffolding with literature), and the social connection and reading (book clubs)[chosen by Cris]. We'll select these topics during our first Google Hangout. One student will serve as the leader and will be responsible for guiding the planning, equitable contributions, and assessing each member's contribution in the post-unit assessment survey.

These units will make a valuable contribution to our class and to the larger community of practice. Plan on posting your unit to a blog, wiki, Google site/doc by Sunday midnight for the week ahead.

Rubric for Collaborative, Peer-Led Unit

4) Weekly Critical Reflection (400 - 500 words or equivalent) (20% of total grade)
You will begin your critical reflection by reflecting on the Course Outcomes -- what you bring to the course in these areas -- and your personal goals in the Funds of Knowledge Inventory due Wednesday, May 21 midnight. At the close of each
week, you will reflect briefly on their week's contributions in a blog post to your Portfolio Blog due by Sunday midnight -- with the exception of Week 1 that you may save until Week 2's Critical Reflection due Sunday, June 1 midnight. After blogging your Critical Reflection, you will check off and add any comments to their Google Docs reporting sheet. You will receive a link to your Google Docs reporting sheet during Week 1.

Rubric for Weekly Critical Reflection

5) Interdisciplinary Collaborative Critical Inquiry Designed by Our Community of Practice (10% of total grade)
Contribute one book to our text set and an accompanying activity for our class-designed interdisciplinary project. We'll vote on the topic/issue/theme that must relate to social justice or positive social change. Note that the book you contribute could also serve as your nonfiction or graphic novel selection.

Rubric for Interdisciplinary Collaborative Critical Inquiry

6) Two Assessment Conferences (virtual via Google Hangout)
One during the first two weeks of class to discuss class requirements, personal goals and potential contributions and a second the final week of class for review and closure on the summer session's experience.

Preparation for Assessment Conferences

I understand the requirements for an A for ECI 521 and agree to complete them satisfactorily. I also understand that I can schedule a conference (virtual or physical) at any time to review my progress and renegotiate this contract if necessary.



Cris Crissman, PhD