Educators have been seeking to transform the school system for years and, for many of them, it could all start by making changes in the way students are usually assessed.

For decades, it seems that it was impossible to assess learning without taking exams, but the truth is that it can and there are other equally didactic and effective ways to do it. That is why in today’s article we wanted to gather all the experience of teacher Jessica Smith who, for those of you who do not know her, is an English teacher who has created a methodology that can also be applied in other areas and is revolutionizing the world of education .

Let’s see what this is about!







Ideas to assess learning without exams

Jessica Smith, trained in education at Antioch University New England , in New Hampshire (USA), has spent more than a decade teaching the language of her language in her local high school, placing a special emphasis on the collaborative learning and possible mechanisms capable of transforming traditional teaching and assessment systems .

Aspects such as emotional education, trust or respect are just some of those that Professor Smith considers necessary to achieve that much-needed educational transformation. That students have a leading role when learning, along with some of the following ideas, is the basis for a future and perhaps a more effective educational model:


  • Paradigm shift

Exams are strategies that are applied in the classroom to better understand that possible knowledge that a student has, or should have acquired at a certain moment. This process is based on asking questions and waiting for “correct” answers as learned. But the exams should be seen for what they are, which is nothing more than a specific type of evaluation strategy, but not the only one. Knowledge advances in the educational field and strategies also change, lose effectiveness or are modified. Therefore, the first thing to do as a teacher is to open up to new possibilities and fields of action .


  • Make sure students get the essentials

Text evidence is an excellent technique that can be implemented for reading comprehension, for example. Although this technique is applied by Professor Smith to teach children the subject of English (a common language subject for her students), it can also be applied in other areas and subjects.

For example, the teacher indicates to her students the need to highlight “non-negotiable elements of reading” . These elements are those that act as central characters within the text. But it’s not only about highlighting them, but also about acknowledging their emotions so that students can empathize with them.


  • Discover new products

Brainstorming is the next necessary phase of learning. Once “non-negotiable elements” are highlighted, all students are involved in a dynamic of about 10 minutes to solve problems related to the design of “new products” based on reading. These products are related to poetry, songs, scores or dioramas, among others.

The idea is to promote creativity, collaboration and teamwork . For Professor Smith, involving students in her evaluation form makes them participate better. Unlike the traditional test method, this allows students to view and participate in other students’ proposals.


  • Let the student discover himself / herself

The perspective of the talent that one has to tackle the project is another of the initiatives of this technique. What skills does the student have to face a certain project? Let your students discover themselves in this regard. In this way, students will be forced to reflect on their abilities, talents and desires , in order to face the challenge of their decisions and to place themselves within each project in the best place for them according to their own criteria.





  • Process feedback

Finally, feedback is in charge of closing the learning process by letting the student think about what he could or could not have done better, such as around the distribution of time, the waste of materials or having decided to tackle another project with which to empathize better.


And you, do you always take exams to evaluate or explore other techniques?





Excellent article…!!!

It is the beginning of Disruptive Education. It is applied without naming the principle of Reverse Education. From the individual to the general. The participant is an actor and promoter of their learning. Build learning spaces promoting the development of the Near Zone

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