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What is Student-Engaged Assessment?

Student-engaged assessment is a strategy that helps students understand and take ownership of their own growth as learners. Student-engaged assessment changes the primary role of assessment from evaluating and ranking students to motivating them to learn.  It empowers students to identify where they need to go as learners and the steps they need to take to get there by challenging and engaging them, transforming everyday teaching and learning. It also builds the independence, critical thinking skills, perseverance, and self-reflective understanding students need for college and careers and that is required by the Common Core State Standards.

What are Student-Engaged Assessment Learning Experiences?

Our student-engaged assessment learning experiences consist of a series of professional development workshops, activities, and direct teacher coaching that are drawn from NYC Outward Bound Schools’ best practices in implementing the EL Education model. Schools choose from one or more student-engaged assessment learning strands which are customized to meet the individual and varied goals of each school. NYC Outward Bound Schools’ staff work with leadership and teachers to help them implement specific student-engaged assessment practices that prepare students to become leaders of their own learning.

What You Will Learn To Do

How to weave assessment into daily instruction through:

  • Student Learning Targets
  • Checks for Understanding
  • Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback

How to implement public presentations of student learning, such as:

Sample Teacher Learning Targets

  • I can explain how to foster a growth mindset in my students.
  • I can explain what student-engaged assessment is and why it matters.
  • I can describe how to unpack a learning target with students.
  • I can identify strategies for creating a respectful and supportive culture for critique and feedback.
  • I can determine what structures will need to be in place within my school to set us up for success with student-led conferences.
  • I can design lessons that allow me to immediately respond to the needs of my students.

Offerings Include

  • A “Student-Engaged Assessment 101” professional development sequence to introduce the concept and purpose of student-engaged assessment and the selected focus areas to all staff
  • “Core Learning Experiences” which includes a variety of professional development workshops around one or more Student-Engaged Assessment Learning Strands, individual and group coaching sessions, classroom observations, and leadership meetings
  • A half-day of staff team building activities
  • A half-day planning session for an end-of-year celebration of learning

Select Strategy: Crew

Crews focus on building essential character and academic skills through a combination of team building, student-centered academic support, conflict resolution, and adventure. Learn more.

Select Strategy: Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. Learn more.

Student-Led Conferences

Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) replace traditional parent/teacher conferences and are a cornerstone of student-engaged assessment, a strategy that helps students understand and take ownership of their own growth as learners. During SLCs, students select and present examples of their work, including places of mastery and struggle. Students take ownership of their own learning, publicly reflecting on and communicating what they’ve learned, in what ways they need to grow, and how they plan to do so to a panel of their teachers, advisors, and parents.

Celebrations of Learning

Celebrations of learning are opportunities for students to reflect on and articulate what they have learned, questions they answered, research they conducted, and areas of strength and struggles. Students present high-quality products and performances that are often modeled after real-world formats and are intended for an audience beyond the classroom.

Passage Portfolios & Presentations

Passage presentations are benchmark presentations by students who are transitioning from middle to high school or from high school to college. During Passage presentations, students use a portfolio of selected work they have already reflected on as evidence to demonstrate their readiness to move on to the next level of their education and present their journey to an audience of teachers, family, and community members.

For more information about Select Strategies, contact Jessica Bardy, Director of Program Services, Select Strategies.

Sample Teacher Learning Targets

  • I can explain how to foster a growth mindset in my students.
  • I can explain what student-engaged assessment is and why it matters.
  • I can describe how to unpack a learning target with students.
  • I can identify strategies for creating a respectful and supportive culture for critique and feedback.
  • I can determine what structures will need to be in place within my school to set us up for success with student-led conferences.
  • I can design lessons that allow me to immediately respond to the needs of my students.

Offerings Include

  • A “Student-Engaged Assessment 101” professional development sequence to introduce the concept and purpose of student-engaged assessment and the selected focus areas to all staff
  • “Core Learning Experiences” which includes a variety of professional development workshops around one or more Student-Engaged Assessment Learning Strands, individual and group coaching sessions, classroom observations, and leadership meetings
  • A half-day of staff team building activities
  • A half-day planning session for an end-of-year celebration of learning

Select Strategy: Crew

Crews focus on building essential character and academic skills through a combination of team building, student-centered academic support, conflict resolution, and adventure. Learn more.

Select Strategy: Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge. Learn more.

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