Stanford University – MOOCs Supporting Innovative Assessment Practices
Posted: Friday, May 20th, 2016
Starting this fall, 2016, Stanford University is pleased to offer a set of free online courses (MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses) to help your state and local educators use innovative assessment practices – instructionally-focused formative assessment and curriculum-embedded performance assessments for deeper learning, with a focus on language that will support English Learners. The new forms of innovative assessments are rich with language and often require different forms of argumentation and justification to support student understanding and engagement with content. In these assessments that are embedded in instruction and the curriculum, the inclusion of academic language is integrated by design, connecting language to content and critical thinking. Information on the MOOCs are detailed below.
Please mark next Wednesday, May 25 at 9:00 PDT/12:00 EDT for a webinar about these offerings, and how you might prepare your district staff to engage in these free resources. Over the years, Stanford University has developed considerable experience in supporting teacher professional development through these online resources, and has developed various collaborative arrangements with districts and states throughout the nation. In our webinar, we will also review some of the “best practices” from this experience, and address any questions you may have in utilizing them in your district or state.
Please use the information below to join the webinar, and read further for details…
Topic: Stanford University – MOOCs Supporting Innovative Assessment Practices
Time: May 25, 2016 9:00 AM (GMT-7:00) Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/804208475
Or iPhone one-tap: 16465687788,804208475# or 14157629988,804208475#
Dial: +1 646 568 7788 (US Toll) or +1 415 762 9988 (US Toll)
Meeting ID: 804 208 475
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=tDBc33d1BfqXPUAxe-IuRLn04r0jrDVv
The MOOCs will focus on instructional improvement and student learning related to both the academic standards and the English Language Proficiency standards of your state. In this particular offering, we are especially targeting Oregon, Washington and Iowa because they share standards as well as annual summative assessments in both academic areas (in ELA and Math) and English Language Proficiency – i.e., they both use the SBAC and ELPA21 assessments. However, if your state has adopted similar standards that are college- and career-ready, these courses should easily translate to the needs in any setting.
Starting this coming Fall, we will offer MOOCs that address two related strands in which participants can develop competencies:
Strand A – Language as Formative Assessment: This strand will consist of two courses that build the capacity of teachers to observe student language as a formative assessment practice during instruction. One course will focus on student-to-student discourse, and the second course will focus on the language of argumentation. Both of these uses of language are part of the practice standards in the Common Core as well as essential components of the CCSSO/ELPA21 standards. In the MOOCs, the assignments will focus on obtaining samples of student language across disciplines (ELA, Math and Science), analyzing and sharing them with colleagues in the course, and learning different ways to extend and deepen the quality of the language.
Strand B – Building Performance Assessments: This strand will build educators’ capacity to use and develop curriculum-embedded performance assessments that fit local contexts. Course activities include reviewing sample performance tasks and developing a performance task that is aligned and embedded with a specific curricular unit and performance outcomes. A second course will focus on improving the tasks by obtaining and analyzing student work samples from the performance assessments in relationship to student and community assets and funds of knowledge.
Each of the four courses (2 in each strand) will take approximately 35 hours of learning time. Successful completion of the assignments for each course will result in a “Statement of Accomplishment” which can be used by systems to recognize professional development units or, if graduate credit can be awarded, through the local granting institution.
These courses are based on highly popular MOOCs developed by Stanford University through Understanding Language and SCALE (Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity), with over 50,000 teachers registered. The courses support various aspects of English language development and performance assessment development.
Our experience shows that the most successful MOOC rates of completion are accomplished when participants collaborate in face-to-face settings in between the online sessions, such as in organized professional learning communities or during after-school meetings led by district coaches. In recognition of this fact, we will be offering a set of learning opportunities this summer to help familiarize potential facilitators with the content and the online platform. These opportunities will focus on the content of the MOOCs, managing the online MOOC platform, and facilitating skills for hybrid environments that combine online learning with face-to-face sessions. These will be offered in July-August, and will also be available throughout the course meetings.
Please forward this information to your districts or to anyone else interested in your state.
Thank you for your interest in our resources!
Lee L. Jack Professor of Education, Emeritus
Faculty Director, Understanding Language / SCALE
Understanding Language / SCALE
Note: These resources will be made free thanks to a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.
For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.
The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Marian Murphy-Shaw
If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…
Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017
by Joseph Calmer
Probably like you, NGSS has been at the forefront of many department meetings, lunch conversations, and solitary lesson planning sessions. Despite reading the original NRC Framework, the Ca Draft Frameworks, and many CSTA writings, I am still left with the question: “what does it actually mean for my classroom?”
I had an eye-opening experience that helped me with that question. It came out of a conversation that I had with a student teacher. It turns out that I’ve found the secret to learning how to teach with NGSS: I need to engage in dialogue about teaching with novice teachers. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching science in some capacity for 12 years. During that time pedagogy and student learning become sort of a “hidden curriculum.” It is difficult to plan a lesson for the hidden curriculum; the best way is to just have two or more professionals talk and see what emerges. I was surprised it took me so long to realize this epiphany. Learn More…