Assessing ELOs

The Cooperating Teacher is responsible for developing required assessments that will measure the mastery of each proficiency. The Community Mentor, however, will be asked to assist in the evaluation of the student while on the ELO site. This will be done informally, on a regular basis, through written and oral communication with the ELO Coordinator as well as formally twice during the duration of the ELO. The midpoint and end of year evaluation asks the Community Mentor to rate students on their demonstration of work ethic and 21st Century Skills. It also asks the Community Mentor to evaluate the student’s engagement throughout the ELO. The Community Mentor will also be asked to provide feedback on a Work-Study Practices rubric. These evaluations are combined with the assessments completed by the Cooperating Teacher, the projects/products, and presentation scores to give the students’ their final grades.

Both formative and summative assessments are ongoing components of an ELO throughout the process. Formative assessments help to inform student progress and give information about whether students are moving in the right direction and gaining the knowledge and skills required to master their competencies. Summative assessments provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their mastery on either one or more competencies. Summative assessments build on the skills and knowledge that has been learned during the learning activities and periodically assessed through formative assessments.

Formative Assessments may include:

  • Student self-assessments
  • Progress Check-ins (ELO Coordinator and Cooperating Teacher)
  • Reflection journal entries
  • Completion of learning activities
  • Completion of work-site learning activities
  • Student self-assessments
  • Content quizzes
  • Worksite performance reviews
  • Feedback from Community Partner/Mentor

Summative Assessments may include:

o Research papers

o Final project/product

o Final presentation

o Content exam

o Completion of work-site projects

Rubrics are used to evaluate or score assessments. They are an evaluation tool, either created with the student or provided in advance, to outline a set of academic guidelines or expectations. Rubrics not only help students understand what is required for mastery, but they eliminate any confusion or evaluation inconsistencies. Standards-based rubrics are created using a 4 point scale of Emerging (1), Developing (2), Proficient (3), and Exemplary (4).

The philosophy behind standards-based education is that a student does not receive credit for a course until all indicators have been mastered or deemed at least Proficient. This same practice extends to assessing ELOs. Students should only receive credit for their ELO when ALL indicators have been mastered. This does not mean that a student will fail if not all indicators have been met. Standards-based education provides students with an opportunity to edit, revise, and redo until Proficient or Exemplary status has been achieved. Students are not held to a semester or year-long course time frame; they can continue making improvements until Proficiency has been attained.

Although the indicators selected for ELOs may be different depending upon the essential question, goals, and/or learning outcomes, the four components of an ELO (research, reflection, product, presentation) are included in every ELO. Every ELO student will show Proficiency or higher in the following indicators:

  • Multiple Sources (research)- Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize, information from multiple sources to build on knowledge.
  • Persistence (reflection)- Persist in solving challenging, problems and learn from failure
  • Solutions (project)- Generate a variety of solutions, use evidence to evaluate each and justify the best solution
  • Flexibility (presentation)- Demonstrate flexibility, including the ability to learn, unlearn and relearn.

Evaluating ELOs and the ELO System:

Innovation thrives when given a chance to be evaluated openly with a spirit of continuous improvement. This doesn’t mean frequent arbitrary changes. This means that data is collected continuously and then examined periodically for trends and outcomes. If outcomes are favorable, trends are strengthened and supported. If outcomes are not as hoped for, then those aspects are reconsidered, discussed, problem-solved, and altered for more positive outcomes.

One aspect of the ELO system that needs data collection is the involvement, perception and experience of all involved. At the end of each ELO, the Cooperating Teacher, Community Mentor, and student will be asked to complete an evaluation of the overall ELO experience. The Community Mentor will be asked about their role in the ELO and include a simple exit survey. This information will be used to evaluate various components of the ELO initiative. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to complete this evaluation and survey. We can all learn a great deal from each other.