Assessing ELOs

The Cooperating Teacher is responsible for evaluating whether or not the student’s work demonstrates proficiency in a particular indicator. 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. 

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 achieve proficiency in an indicator. Summative assessments provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their proficiency in their chosen indicator(s). 

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
  • 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 on LiFT are used to evaluate assessments. They are an evaluation tool, consistent across grade levels and courses to address skills necessary for graduation. Rubrics not only help students understand what is required for proficiency, they also remove any confusion or evaluation inconsistencies. Students are deemed Beginning, Developing, Proficient, and Exemplary, based on the rubrics for their designated indicators.

The philosophy behind standards-based education is that a student does not ‘pass’ a course or graduate high school until all indicators have been deemed at least Proficient. This same practice extends to assessing ELOs. Students will only have proved proficiency in those indicators deemed Proficient or above at the end of the ELO term. This does not mean that a student will fail if not all indicators have been met; they will simply have to seek other opportunities to address those indicators. 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, all ELOs will help the student develop skills in self-direction, independent thinking, and responsibility for learning. 

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. Thus, at the beginning of the ELO each student creates a plan, with a timeline and benchmarks that they believe are reasonable and will result in the creation of work that will demonstrate proficiency in an indicator.

ELOs are monitored continuously by the ELO Coordinator, the Cooperating Teacher, and the Community Mentor. While the system and format for communication between the Cooperating Teacher or Community Mentor and the student is determined by those parties at the beginning of the ELO, the system for monitoring and communication between the ELO Coordinator and the student is the same for each ELO. The student and ELO Coordinator meet once every two weeks during Academic Time (AT) to review the “Bi-weekly Check-in Form”.  This allows all parties to remain aware of the students progress and any needs they may have. 

 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.