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.

How the RAP Works

Each week you'll reflect on your work and learning in your blog (Critical Reflection Post -- see below) and assess your performance in your RAP -- in both spaces I'll be able to comment and respond to questions.

Each project has a varying number of components with distinct due dates. You'll find the due dates on the Working Syllabus.

For each project, I have carefully constructed rubrics/checklists that are linked from the Reflective Assessment Process homepage in Google Docs (now Drive). You'll not need your RAP until Session 2 (beginning Aug. 27) and by that time I will send you an email with the link to access your RAP folder. Google Docs and now Google Drive works well for this process. No worries if you've not switched to Google Drive yet, Google Docs should work fine. I just made the switch when NC State updated to Google Drive and there are no complications. You can learn how to update from Docs to Drive at Google Apps @ NC State

You may complete the self-assessment for any component of a project any time before the due date for the completed project. Whenever you would like feedback, simply message me within Google Drive/Docs. Please allow 48 hours for feedback. We are working toward mastery learning and so you are encouraged to use any feedback I give on completed self-assessments before the project due date to edit and revise as advised. Unfortunately, revisions cannot be accepted after the project due date because work on the next project must begin.

Each rubric includes a self-assessment criterion, and I encourage you to use this to reflect on your progress toward becoming competent and confident in your own self-assessment.

Critical Reflection Posts

You will begin in Session 1 to critically reflect on your learning for that session in a brief blog post due by the end of that session. I've written about the blogging that you'll do for our Collaborative Critical Inquiries, but the Critical Reflection Posts are different. No need to be creative. Just practice critical reflection (which we will study in Sessions 2 & 3 with our Waves of Change CCI to construct a pedagogical framework for learning and teaching through literature with young adults). The "critical" aspect essentially means to examine your assumptions and that should be extremely helpful as you reflect on how your views of teaching literature for young adults may be changing.


You'll find in the Grading section (Grade Components, specifically) the possible points for each project. The focus is on autonomy, mastery, and purpose (Pink, 2010) and if you hold to these and work consistently with careful reflection and self-assessment, then you'll be successful in the course and the numbers will reflect that. The RAP puts you in charge of your formative assessment, and, ultimately, your final grade.

Relative Grade Evaluations

(See Syllabus Unabridged for more details).

15% -- Pre-, Mid, and Post- Funds of Knowledge Inventory
You’ll begin the course by inventorying what you bring to the course in terms of the three course outcomes and then set personal goals. Your FOKI-Pre includes your Journey Book VoiceThread mini-podcast. Then at MidTerm, you will review your progress to date. At the end of the course, you’ll review your FOKI and update it.

4% -- The Waves of Change Collaborative Critical Inquiry: Creating a Pedagogical Framework for Learning Through Literature for Young Adults
This Collaborative Critical Inquiry begins with every student presenting a VoiceThread minipodcast about a theory of learning, literacy, or literature and then responding to those of others to weave a rich tapestry or framework for learning and teaching through literature with young adults.

25% -- The Printz Project: Literary Quality of Young Adult Literature
You'll first reflect on what you know about literary quality of young adult books and literature in general. Then you'll read the title of your choice from the 2012 American Library Association's Printz Award winners (you may need to request access to this site). Plus two titles from the Eva Perry current short list for the 2013 award. For each book you read, you will create a book blog post in which you reflect on your personal response to the book and then consider. You will blog about what you have learned about YA literature and literary quality. Finally, you will create a bookcast for one of these.

24% -- Trends and Issues in Learning Through Literature with Young Adults
You'll engage in collaborative critical inquiries -- reading, reflecting, and blogging -- in preparation for real-time virtual seminars on contemporary issues in the teaching of literature for young adults. Issues/topics include:
  • the role of young adult literature in the curriculum (the promise and the peril),
  • the place of nonfiction,
  • evolving forms such as sequential art (graphica/graphic novels),
  • what multicultural literature looks like, and
  • intellectual freedom and censorship

12% -- The Change Project -- Teaching and Learning the Common Core and Beyond:Teaching for Social Justice and Positive Social Change
You'll inquire into how nonfiction literature for young adults may contribute to the teaching of social justice and positive social change.
Components include:
  • reading Sugar Changed the World by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos and collaborating with an inquiry group interested in a compelling question inspired by the book; you will research the question and share your group's resources and argument.
  • reading with a book club one additional Aronson nonfiction title and designing a Collaborative Critical Inquiry.
  • contributions to The Change Project wiki and live seminar/interview with Marc Aronson.

30% -- Action Learning Project
You’ll choose a relevant inquiry question, design a project, and then implement some aspect of the project and evaluate it. You’ll then produce a multimedia report (video) that you’ll present during our Action Learning Celebration. The basic ALP is valued at 20% and to earn an additional 10% (required for an exemplary grade of A) you must also write a literature review-lite to inform your project design.

Project Specs, Rubrics, & Exemplars

ECI 521: Learning Through Literature with Young Adults is designed as a series of projects. Some projects are a session in duration while others may continue for several sessions or even throughout the semester.

Project Specs include a description of the project, the specific objectives, exemplars, a directions checklist, and a rubric.

A hallmark of this course is that we use technology to share what we learn so, in effect, we are working for a greater purpose beyond our own classrooms (present or future). Based on Kearsley and Shneiderman's (1999) Engagement Theory, we share the products of our project work with other educators through a process of "collaborate, create, and contribute."

You'll see many references to events and productions in the Project Specs. These are real-time project culminations/celebrations shared with the world from our virtual classroom on North Carolina State's Wolflands in Second Life. All live events are produced on Thursday nights from 7 to 9 pm ET.

Note: Project Specs below are provided in the table below and the rubrics are linked from the Reflective Assessment Process (RAP) template for easy access as you complete your self-assessments.

Project Specs

**FOKI -- Pre, Mid, & Post**

Pre- (includes Journey Book -- see my model).
Pre-FOKI by Annie (MAT student with no teaching experience)
The Monk Speaks by Michele (an experienced high school English and Latin teacher)

Please note how much an imaginative title contributes to a blog post!

Mid? Sorry, no exemplars since this is a new component of the assignment.

Post-FOKI by Annie
Monk No More by Michele

The Printz of YA Literary Quality Collaborative Critical Inquiry (includes Bookcasts )

See Collaborative Critical Inquiries below for exemplary blog posts.

Poemcast of "A Road Less Traveled" by Robert Frost – A Hard Choice (created by Ramapo Middle Schooler)
Teen-produced bookcasts -- You'll be impressed! Hats off to Michele and her students!
Bones of Iraq (Lara)
Shatter Me (ToonDoo +) & Please Ignore Vera Dietz (Michele)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Ashley)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Megan)
Revolver (Will)
The Cardturner (Scott)
Shiver (Christine)(Note Common Craft style)
Wintergirls (Katrina)
Monstrumologist (Stephanie)
Punkzilla (Allison) (Note use of ToonDoo to create images that were then captured using Jing and added to MovieMaker)

More bookcasts -- You'll see some incredibly creative bookcasts here. Some may seem more like book trailers and a few have copyright issues. I've tried to add notes to identify problems.
Collaborative Critical Inquiries

Exemplars of blog posts:
How to Get a Boy to Read a Book Michele set a goal of creating blog posts creatively and she succeeded beyond expectations. You should take a look at her collection.
Multicultural Literature -- Annie's argues gracefully for her position; be sure to see the exemplary comments, too.
Nonfiction and the Teen Reader

Multicultural Literature
Marc Aronson Author Study & CCI, including

The Change Project

Exemplars of Collaborative Book Responses:
The Orange Houses
The Arrival
The Wall

Action Learning Project (with Literature Review)

Multimedia Reports
Building Literary Bridges
The Adventures of Lisette: An ALP Quest -- Michele (how gender of the protagonist may influence teen reading); also includes teen-produced bookcasts
History and Context in the English Classroom
How to Choose Books for Young Adults
Tailoring WebQuests to Target Creativity
Multicultural Literature and Moviemaking for ESL

More on Symbaloo Webmix . . .

Literature Reviews-Lite

The Relevance of Canon Revealed Through Young Adult Literature:
Building Bridges Between the Past and the Present -- Jen

Creativity in the English Classroom in an Era of Accountability -- Kendra

Visual Literacy as a 21st Century Skill -- Hannah