Customized Assessment: Moving from Just-in-case learning to content mastery
Today’s learners need more than just-in-case learning or coverage to succeed in a post-secondary world. In a customized learning environment, we need to foster an experience where our learners move from coverage of content to mastering content.
They need voice and choice in how they learn and demonstrate content mastery. And our assessment practices need to catch up and become customized to ensure our learners are mastering what they learn, not just retaining enough information to move from one grade to the next.
Consider a world where we put an end to one-size-fits all projects. No more tri-fold boards and show-and-tell assignments that parents sometimes assist with or flat out complete for their children (Think about those late-night trips to the craft store when your child told you at 8PM Thursday his project was due at 7AM Friday).
What if each unit in our learners’ 13-year progression included a clearly communicated project or two they could complete to demonstrate mastery of the subject? What if our learners had voice and choice and were able to suggest another project to equally demonstrate mastery of content? If the learning facilitator accepted the project, it would become a permanent choice for future students.
Imagine the rigor demonstrated by a learner who clearly has reviewed the unit map (all the content and skills involved, standards and suggested activities) and can clearly articulate another project that would meet the standards? Customized assessment – and a shift from just-in-case learning to content mastery – means the possibilities for our learners and our learning facilitators will continue to grow. Consider a world in which our learners think about new ways to meet or exceed the standards.
Mastery learning and customized assessments can happen …if we take the road less traveled.