standards based confusion

Today I set up a digital grade book for Euclidean Geometry. This was different from the usual set up (get student names and ID numbers, make columns for assessments) because I am trying Standards Based Assessment.

I feel like I got a handle on the technology. UNI has a Google Apps set up, so I opened up Google Drive and made a spreadsheet/form combination. The form is a simple webpage with spots for me to enter assessment data, and when I hit submit, it records the stuff as a row in my spreadsheet and sends me an email copy. Google has a convenient collection of basic question types that makes it relatively easy to get rolling.

In this arrangement, a row is an assessment, not a student. And a column is a standard, not an assessment. So, where do he students go? Well, that is one of the data points associated to an assessment, so student name is a column, too.

I fiddled around with the Google Scripts capabilities until I made it so that when a form is submitted, the student gets an email, too. For this, I spent time on three things: man pages for Drive, Web searches for things other people have done with forms and scripts, and refreshing my knowledge of javascript syntax. (It has been a long time since I last wrote javascript code.) So much for my afternoon.

Anyway, that all works. I have a simple form, and submitting it does three things: archives to my spreadsheet, emails me a confirmation, and sends the student my evaluation. I am generally happy with that arrangement.

Now, what is wrong? (There is always something wrong.) I tried running through a batch of summative assessment from the first four weeks. I am 17/25 of the way done, and it doesn’t feel right. Somehow the work I just did feels unmoored from reality. It lacks the specificity of being tied explicitly to a particular piece of work performed by the student. And I feel like I am writing the same thing for each person.

Tomorrow I will take a few minutes and discuss with my students and see if we can come up with a better way. We need something that feels authentic and valuable to everyone.

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