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Student Products
Individual products for assessment may include the following:

Concept Maps
A good way for a student to organize information is to construct a "concept map." The process of constructing a concept map forces students to pull together what they already know with new information they have learned in the module. Concept maps made at the completion of a module can reveal how well students retained concepts from the module and how they organized what they retained.

Audio-tapes (songs / raps / self-interviews)
Most students have access to audio-tape recorders. Their recorded answers to a list of interview questions can be used for assessment. Questions might include:

  • Did you get any new ideas from this activity?
  • Did you change your mind about something because of this activity?
    What did you conclude was the best solution to the problem presented in this activity?
  • Did the activity suggest steps you might take when you face a similar problem at some other time in your life?

Knowledge Charts (Murphy, 1994)
Knowledge charts combine what the students already knew about a topic, with what they learned from an activity, with what they still need to know. Key questions would include:

  • What do I already know?
  • What have I learned so far?
  • What do I still want to find out?

Response Worksheets (Murphy, 1994)
Response Worksheets can guide students through group activities as individuals rather than as group members. A student can use the worksheets to record their individual thoughts and results. Some worksheet items would include:

  • In your own words, write a brief description of the module problem.
  • List at least two resources you personally have found useful about the topic.
  • List a least five observations you have made during this module.
  • List measurements you have made, if any.
  • Display any data (evidence / graphs / tables).
  • State your conclusions, supported by the evidence.

Individual Portfolios (Murphy, 1994)
An individual portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student's efforts and conveys his or her learning within a given module. The portfolio should include the rationale for a particular selection. Key questions students should ask themselves include:

  • Why did I select this item for my portfolio?
  • What have I learned from my work on this item?
  • If I could go on working on this item, what would I do?
  • What particular area of interest would I like to try out in the future that stems from my work on this item?
  • What problems did I encounter while creating this item, and how did I solve them?

Special Writing Assignments
Below are some variations on the traditional essay.

Assuming a Persona
A student might assume the identity of a well-known scientist and write an essay on an assigned topic.

Authoring a Newspaper Article
A student could write an article for a newspaper the class is compiling.

Keeping a Journal
Scientists and professionals use journals to record their thoughts, feelings, reactions, and opinions. Individual students might enjoy doing the same.

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References
Murphy, N. (1994, March). Helping preservice teachers master authentic assessment for the learning cycle model. In L. E. Schafer (Ed.), Behind the methods class door: Educating elementary and middle school science teachers. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

 

   
 
Last updated April 28, 2005
   

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