Intentionally involving your students in the assessment process helps students to become lifelong learners. Peter Senge (2000) says, “A cornerstone of lifelong learning is the capacity for objective self-assessment – the ability to judge for yourself how well you are doing.” Similarly, William McKeachie (2011) relates the importance of helping students become lifelong learners to faculty members who intentionally involve students in self-assessment:
“After the course is over, students will not be able to depend on you to assess the quality of their learning. If one of your goals is the development of lifelong learning skills, students need practice in self-assessment.”
What are some ways to involve students in self-assessment?
I. Have students evaluate their performance on an exam using an exam wrapper.
To encourage students to learn from past tests, faculty can assign a worksheet that asks students to look at more than the grade on the returned exam. “Exam wrappers direct students to review and analyze their performance (and the instructor’s feedback) with an eye toward adapting their future learning” (Ambrose, et al, 2010).
Questions on an exam wrapper for a physics course might include the following:
1. Approximately how much time did you spend preparing for this exam? ______
2 . What percentage of your test-preparation was spent in each of these activities?
a. Reading textbook section(s) for the first time ______
b. Rereading textbook section(s) ______
c. Reviewing homework ______
d. Solving problems for practice ______
e. Reviewing your own notes ______
f. Reviewing materials from course website ______
g. Other _______
(Please specify) _______________________________
3. Now that you have looked over your graded exam, estimate the percentage of points you lost due to each of the following.
a. Trouble with vectors and vector notation ___________
b. Algebra or arithmetic errors __________
c. Lack of understanding of the concept __________
d. Not knowing how to approach the problem ________
e. Careless mistakes _______
f. Other ________
(Please specify) ___________
4. Based on your responses to the questions above, name at least three things you plan to do differently in preparing for the next exam. For instance, will you spend more time studying, change a specific study habit or try a new one (if so, name it), make math more automatic so it does not get in the way of physics, try to sharpen some other skill (if so, name it), solve more practice problems, or something else?
5. What can we do to help support your learning and your preparation for the next exam?
(From Ambrose, et al, 2010)
II. Have students submit a self-evaluation of an assignment.
Walvoord and Anderson (2010) encourage faculty to save time grading by finding out what the student already knows. “Why spend time writing comments about a students paper’s focus when the student, if asked would respond, ‘Oh, I knew the paper wasn’t well focused’? How can you tap this student information? One strategy is to ask them to submit a half-page evaluation of their work” (Walvoord and Anderson, 2010)."
"With school districts rushing to buy computers, tablets, digital white boards and other technology, a new report questions whether the investment is worth it."
"Self reported grades comes out at the top of all influences. Children are the most accurate when predicting how they will perform. In a video Hattie explains that if he could write his book Visible Learning for Teachers again, he would re-name this learning strategy “Student Expectations” to express more clearly that this strategy involves the teacher finding out what are the student’s expectations and pushing the learner to exceed these expectations. Once a student has performed at a level that is beyond their own expectations, he or she gains confidence in his or her learning ability."
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"Dual coding" implies that verbal and non-verbal systems are alternative internal representations of events. For example, one can think of a house by thinking of the word "house", or by forming a mental image of a house The verbal and image systems are connected and related, for one can think of the mental image of the house and then describe it in words, or read or listen to words and then form a mental image.
"Jaw-Dropping Classroom 3D Printer Creations
June 30, 2015
Rob Puckett adjusts his 3D printer.
Photo Credit: Todd Finley
After the school day has ended at J.H. Rose High School, Rob Puckett and his two sons, Calder and Rylan, watch a nozzle in a white box extrude resin. It's a scene reminiscent of 1976, when neighbors would crowd around a family's microwave and stare at a hotdog cooking in under a minute. But unlike a microwave, Puckett's classroom 3D printer aligns with the printing and graphic arts instructor's 21st century maker ethos.
Sitting in the middle of a studio that is stacked shoulder-high with boxes, Apple computers, spools of cheap plastic filament, and a variety of unrecognizable objects is Puckett’s Ultimaker 3D Printer -- a box with no top or front panel. As it works, ambient music emanates from the printer -- the sound that R2-D2 and a cheerful dolphin might make if they sang a duet five feet underwater.
"I like the sound, too," says Puckett. "I've been meaning to make an audio recording of it."
What Is 3D Printing?
Some background: 3D printing describes a process in which solid 3D objects are created, one layer of material after another, from a single digital file. An individual starts the process by option a) creating an entirely original object with a 3D modeling program, or option b) downloading a modifiable 3D template from sites like Instructables, YouMagine, TurboSquid, CubeHero, or the popular MakerBot Thingverse community.
Option c) involves using a 3D scanner to take millions of measurements of something in the real world. Puckett demonstrates this by rotating his son slowly on a stool. A 3D scanner on a tripod positioned four feet away captures Calder's image and translates that data into a digital bust of Calder on a nearby computer.
3D scanning can also be used to reverse engineer an object, thereby removing the separation between consumers and producers. For example, when a small piece of his tripod broke, the instructor printed another piece rather than ordering one from the manufacturer. Now that 3D scanner apps can be downloaded on an iOS, Android, or Windows device, anyone with a smartphone can capture and model anything in the world and then customize it.
Further modifications of the 3D object can be made in a computer-aided design (CAD) 3D modeling program.
Sketchup Pro is one of the easier CAD programs and has a free license for educators. TinkerCad is also a free online 3D modeling tool. Another free app, Autodesk Tinkerplay, is simple enough, says the instructor, for a six-year-old to make articulated toys with an Android, Apple, or Windows mobile device. It takes a few seconds for Rob Puckett, manipulating an eraser tool, to smooth out some spikiness on Calder's digital face.
What Do Students Make With a 3D Printer?
With 3D printers dropping in price to $500 (top-rated models cost more), purchasing them is a viable option for schools wanting to make their curriculum more tactile. The many examples include printing speakers for iPods, teaching physical computing and fabrication, learning about aerodynamics by printing original toy drag racers, learning rapid prototyping, math, and 3D visualization, and printing replacement parts for a robot.
Rob Puckett (left) and Calder Puckett examine an unfinished sculpture.
Photo Credit: Todd Finley
Puckett's students enjoy making Pokeballs, and the basketball coach has requested customized bobble heads for each of his players. A girl in his class has almost completed a cuff with a slot to hold an iPod. Though it resembles Batman’s forearm armor, the entire cuff weighs about the same as a Sharpie marker.
A cuff that a student has made to hold an iPod is surprisingly lightweight.
Photo Credit: Todd Finley
Rob Puckett lets his students experiment to see what kind of "dramatic lighting" gives the best 3D scan. They use open source Cura, 3D print preparation software, to resize or hollow out the interior of whatever his Ultimaker 3D printer creates. Students can print a small bust of themselves in about an hour. Sometimes Puckett lets the machine print all night for a bigger project. When a job is finished, the Ultimaker puts itself to sleep.
What's the Potential of 3D Printing?
This is where it gets crazy. 3D printing is already used to make. . .
Organs: Companies like Organovo and BioBots are developing machines capable of printing parts of human tissue.
Engines: Parts of airplane engines and space exploration vehicles are being printed now.
Food: Ice cream, chocolate, and bear-shaped dough can all be extruded (but whether or not this actually constitutes printing is contested).
Buildings: A company in China printed 10 houses in a single day.
3D printing in classrooms, Puckett believes, is a good way for young inventors to learn the principles of design. He's also excited by the technology's potential to help students think through how to enhance the way that humans interface with the world.
Over the summer, Rob Puckett is learning how to print prosthetic limbs and hands for children. A global network, E-nable, matches 3D printer owners with children who have missing limbs. So far, they've delivered over 1,500 printed hands at a material cost of $35 each. Professionally made equivalents are about $8,000. Puckett plans to have his students participate next year.
For teachers wanting to introduce 3D printers to their students, Rob Puckett offers advice: "Let them play with it. Don't be afraid to break it." He also recommends purchasing a printer that has good customer support. In the meantime, high school kids will continue to wander into Mr. Puckett's room to stare at the future.
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