As an educator charged with the assessment of student learning, I would assess creative problem solving during maker-inspired lessons in the following ways…
Assessment of student learning comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes. Rarely do we see creativity on a rubric or summative assessment. In order to assess creativity in Maker education, we must first define how we are going to assess such a broad, opinionated topic. What I may see as a creative idea may be seen as a bland idea to someone else. Grant Wiggins states that “students easily understood the difference between “engaging” and “not engaging” and accepted the assessment criterion as common sense.” When looking at Maker Education I believe that is important for the end product to be engaging. It should invite the reader or viewer in. I also believe that Maker Education should follow a Likert Scale that way we can clearly outline what we are looking for in a detailed manner.
The design of these assessments is justified by the following connections to learning theories, and/or to the ideas presented by Wiggins, Isselhardt and Gee…
Wiggins speaks about impact over content and process. He states “The point in any performance is to cause the appropriate effects in a performance, i.e. achieve the purpose of the performance.(Wiggins 2012)” Educators would seemingly be unanimous in saying that the end of game is more about the impact on the learner rather than the process or content pedagogy. If a student fully understands a lesson their creativity will do all the talking.
Isselhardt speaks to transforming a regular curriculum to a full blown school wide PBL process. He speaks about what they have learned after the first week of the study and I thought to myself that during Maker Ed, this is just as important with students as it is staff. Isselhardt states (Isselhardt, 2011) “Throughout any given project, we must be able to informally touch base at any time.” Collaboration amongst teachers during Maker Ed must have constant feedback and communication. However, I think it is just as important to have conferences with students during Maker Ed as well. We need to be able to relay exactly what we are looking for and allow a students creativity to take the lead in their learning.
James Paul Gee discusses videogames and their correlation to creativity. When listening to his Youtube video on Grading with Games I was touched by his comparison to a video game manual and an assessment. He speaks about how when reading a video game manual he felt as if he was reading a textbook. That is the last thing you want when trying to figure out how to play a game! You are most likely already frustrated and upset and when you turn for help you are directed to a textbook. I think it is important that we speak to the terms that our students will understand. Yes, we can push for instructional level and I am 110% about challenging my students. I just want to make sure that we aren’t confusing them when they need help the most.
Isslehardt, E. (2013, February 11). Creating Schoolwide PBL Aligned to Common Core [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/PBL-aligned-to-common-core-eric-isslehardt
Wiggins, G. (2012, February 3). On assessing for creativity: yes you can, and yes you should. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/on-assessing-for-creativity-yes-you-can-and-yes-you-should/