The MetaCat Assessment Tools were used in several university courses this spring. The feedback samples below are from classroom teachers in Wyoming taking an advanced course in assessment and pertain to the value of the class and the value of using collaborative tools as a component in that course. The students accessed the tools and additional resources from: HeapHealthLiteracy.com.
Student Feedback 1:
"Although I have had a lot of practice constructing my own assessments for health and physical education I have not gone in to the detail that was expected for this unit. I really enjoyed the fact that we were given a specific health task to assess by creating a constructed response that touched on all the components needed to make a quality reproducible assessment.
The HEAPHealthLiteracy website has been a great tool for compiling this information and putting it into a format that is easy to read and print. It allows a teacher to touch and all aspects of a quality assessment and use them to better serve their students. These aspects include blooms levels, reading level, criteria, grade level, rubric and skill cues.
The process of creating these assessments allowed me to think more deeply into how and why I would assess health skills and the feedback system used allowed me to see if what I was thinking and creating made sense to other educators. What I found was that although everything that I was doing made sense to me, it didn't make sense to others reading it. Also, by using this system I was able to get some really good feedback on ways to improve my assessment to better fit the needs of my students.
Using this feedback has opened my mind to the importance of collaboration and what a great tool it can be if used correctly. I plan on meeting with other teachers in my department/school and using their expertise to create and administer high quality assessments."
Student Feedback 2:
"The third unit that was very helpful to me was week #12-13 creating constructed response Items on the HEAP. I found this unit very helpful, as it let me use what I had learned so far and put it to use. I really liked having our classmates be able to critique our assessment item, but probably learned the most from critiquing other response items. When reading the other response items for this assignment, I was able to look for certain things they needed to have, and at the same time ask myself if this was evident in my response items. I felt comfortable giving others advice, as I liked getting their suggestions for my question. It was also very helpful to look things up on the Internet to use to aid my question. It is always nice to know these things that are out there, so I can help out my students when they need to look something up, plus it helps me be aware, because many students are very advanced in technology, and I want to be able to keep up with them.
Making sure the criteria in the rubric met what you were expecting from the question item, was probably the most difficult to do. This is also the most important because the students need to know what they are expected to do. I really like this type of question that we created, because it allows the students to show what they know, and be able to back it up with research. This type of assessment is great because it gives a student the opportunity to "show their stuff", and does not involve memorizing facts. "Assessment becomes responsive when students are given appropriate options for demonstrating knowledge, skills and understanding." (McTighe and O'Connor, 2006).
This assignment does just that, it gives the student the option to demonstrate their knowledge and skill as well as understanding. This is exactly how learning takes place, and is shown to the teacher. Another great part about this assignment is that there are now even more items to pick from in the HEAP that were developed by students in this class."