Self-Reflection on the Assessment Design Checklist

I have completed the final version of my Assessment Design Checklist (ADC)! The most significant change I made for version 4.0 was including Universal Design for Learning (UDL). While giving peer feedback for version 3.0, I noticed UDL in a classmate’s ADC, thought it a good idea, and promptly eschewed the incorporation of it into my ADC. My feelings towards UDL are ambivalent: I recognize the excellence of its concepts, but I am overwhelmed by its broad scope. It wasn’t until my recent study of racism in assessment that I finally acknowledged the need to integrate UDL into my own ADC as an essential vehicle for equity in my classroom.

Overall, I started my ADC with just the barest of knowledge, only a surface understanding of assessment, not much more beyond needing to test for students knowledge and collecting data to figure out what to do next. It amazes me that assessment itself could contain such depths to plumb. I cannot claim to know now all there is to know about assessment, but I know a hell of a lot more than when I started.

(Self-reflection is hard! I was hoping to deliver some insightful detail into the decisions that I’ve made over the past couple of months, but sadly ended up with some uninteresting generalizations and some nice platitudes. Part of the struggle is that I don’t really remember all the reasons behind the choices I made. Perhaps I should’ve commentated on my ADC as I was writing it, using sidebar comments. I’ve tried to do this before while writing longer pieces using a text editor with split-window function: one window for the outline, one window for the writing, and one window to comment on the intention of each paragraph. For the purposes of this reflection, maybe I can focus on the main concepts that I have learned during this process...)

Overall, the ADC identifies some key concepts in assessment that I wasn’t fully aware of beforehand: the need for clear learning goals, feedback, and equity. Having those concepts in my checklist as future reminders will ensure I practice those elements in my classroom; returning to the ADC and updating it from time-to-time will also make me engage in periodic self-reflection on assessment, which intrigues me. I have reflected on individual lesson plans before, but I do not recall ever just reflecting on an aspect of practice. Also, the ADC will allow me to reflect on each individual assessment concept! The ADC has turned out to be a potential lifelong tool for self-reflection on assessment itself! Très cool!

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