Sunday, June 1, 2014

Assessing 21st Century Learning

This week we defined a set of 21st century skills and reviewed ways of assessing those skills.  Our instructor gave us a task of plotting some 21st century skills on a graph with Ease of Assessment on the vertical axis and Importance of Learning on the horizontal axis.
On an interactive slide in a google presentation we were able to drag and drop the skills on to a graph like the one below.

This activity heightened my awareness to the relationship between the two variables.  I spent some time really thinking about the importance of each skill.  I feel strongly that all the skills are very important.  It was difficult to prioritize them.  As I came back to the activity several times over the course of the week I challenged my own judgments.

As I reviewed  my classmates graphs it was interesting to notice that almost all of us had 3 areas that were both harder to assess and important.  Those areas were Critical Thinking, Digital Literacy and Global Understanding.  Is it surprising that the most important skills are hardest to assess?  Or is it that these skills are relatively new and we are not yet fully aware of the best and easiest ways to access them?  I found myself wanting to create some type of transparent overlay to more clearly see where we all overlap and what might be the outliers.

Here is a screenshot of my graph.

I know that I will continue to ponder about this exercise as I delve deeper into the topic.

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