One of the greatest challenges educators face is how to accurately assess student learning.
So often, the assessment tools are divorced from both the curriculum and common sense, leaving the educator struggling to chase not only a moving target, but a target that changes with shifting political winds.
This is true even in the emerging pedagogy of “maker spaces.” The maker movement which is growing in popularity in the U.S. currently has all the trappings of just another educational fad, despite its well-intentioned ideals.
In an effort to legitimize the movement, there is now an effort to create assessments that might help educators understand the student learning process. So, MIT in collaboration with Maker Ed has developed a research project to study this-Beyond Rubrics.
The three main questions the Beyond Rubrics projects will attempt to answer, according to the website:
- What might embedded assessment in maker activities look like?
- How do teachers codesign embedded assessments for maker-centered learning, and practice the skills necessary for implementing them?
- How does embedded assessment in making support the student learning experience?
In all honesty, I am not sure these research questions are necessarily unique to the “maker” movement. Eliminate the word “maker” from any of the above sentences and you have the essential questions that all educators grapple with daily as they wrestle with educating students for a world that does not yet exist, assessed on outcomes that can be analyzed using the most advanced statistical techniques, but tell us nothing.
Best of luck.