Special Challenges Associated With Effective Communication Using Grades
Educators encounter unique challenges with standardized grading systems in practice. Notably, teachers often find it difficult to understand and apply current guidelines for using standardized grading systems effectively. They have to provide an accurate and fair reflection of the learner’s current level of achievement. Furthermore, they have to manage vast information about students’ performance, efforts, abilities, and work completion to obtain a precise account of the pupil’s level of learning (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2020).
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Focusing on one variable may not capture the student’s progress correctly. As a result, instructors have to revise the reporting system to align it with standards-based instruction and learning. These issues may compromise their ability to provide a fair and exact measure of the learner’s achievement levels.
Portfolios differ markedly in terms of their structure and purpose. Project portfolios allow people to document the trajectory of a project. Analyzing several drafts of work can show a student’s cumulative efforts and learning. Growth portfolios document progress toward one or multiple learning goals. Assessing the pieces of evidence provided before, during, and after the task can generate valuable insights into the student’s improvement.
However, it may be challenging to determine the artefacts that provide an error-free evaluation of the student’s progress. An achievement portfolio demonstrates the level of attainment in a specific area at a particular time (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2020). Assessing students’ recent work in a given area can help in determining their preferred learning styles and priorities. However, decisions about the types and pieces of evidence to collect are always problematic because vast amounts of information have to be gathered to obtain a precise picture of the student’s progress.
Competence-based portfolios are used to show if and how the required learning outcomes were met. They provide an accurate portrayal of how the learner has developed in a specific area. However, it is difficult to select experiences that are relevant to the learning target and information about how the student performed (Pool et al., 2020). Celebration portfolios differ from other tools as they seek to exhibit outstanding work or most remarkable achievements. This type of portfolio gives students a chance to choose specific accomplishments they are most proud of.
I intend to implement competency-based portfolios by directing my students to provide samples of work to demonstrate competence for each area. I will coach them on identifying meaningful artefacts and activities which align with the learning target. I will also consider their perceptions to reduce possible conflicts between what they learn and what is evaluated. I will utilize project portfolios by requiring students to document the specific steps, resources and competences involved in the project, as well as evidence of successful completion. Continuous monitoring of these elements will help maximize resources, minimize potential risks, and make well-informed decisions (Pool et al., 2020). These outcomes will help to improve project delivery success and student evaluation.
Three Different Types of Behavioral Models of Teaching
Direct instruction, explicit instruction, and mastery learning are similar in several ways. First, they are hinged on constructivism, a school of thought which perceives students as active players in the learning process by constructing knowledge rather than passively taking in the content (Joyce et al., 2015). As they experience the world and reflect upon the instructional materials and activities, they construct their own representations. Second, all the models involve scaffolding as the teacher provides support or positive reinforcement to not only enhance student learning but also help them master the tasks. In a mastery learning system, for example, the instructor monitors student progress and encourages those who struggle completing the task.
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Similarly, direct instruction involves face-to-face presentations where the instructor explain and demonstrate new concepts and skills, illustrate tasks using visual aids, and monitor students to determine their understanding (Stockard et al., 2018). Third, all the frameworks focus on observable behavior and relationships between teachers and learners. Fourth, they stress student participation and responsibility toward learning. They aim to maximize students’ learning time and help pupils become more independent in pursuing educational goals. Finally, they require teachers to create specific and individual goals.
However, there are some marked differences between the three models. Majorly, they vary in terms of the role of expert performance. Direct and explicit learning frameworks are highly teacher-directed as instructors administer all learning activities and maintain a central role during instruction (Stockard et al., 2018). In contrast, in mastering learning, students are allowed to work as individuals. Furthermore, the three models differ in terms of their social context. Direct instruction is delivered in a structured learning environment. I could use this method when introducing a new concept, skill, or strategy.
The positive feedback and structured nature of the instruction can encourage learners to move gradually to mastery. Explicit teaching is delivered in a similar context which is highly controlled by the teacher. A good example of where I could adopt this strategy is explaining a step-by-step process (preparing food) where any deviation or omission may lead to an underwhelming outcome. In comparison, students in a mastery learning system work individually based on the time they need. I would adopt this framework when teaching about highly sequenced tasks such as facilitating an interview or group discussion.
Lastly, the three models of learning vary based on their syntax. Mastery learning is defined by a straightforward syntax where the educator clearly states learning objectives at the beginning of the lesson and then provides a sequence of tasks and materials to facilitate their completion (Joyce et al., 2015). In contrast, direct instruction starts with an orientation and progress through presentation, structured practice, guided practice, to independent practice. In explicit instruction, the teacher reads the model and explains strategies for comprehending it.
Chappuis, J. & Stiggins, R. (2020). Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right—doing it well (3rd ed.). Pearson.
Joyce, B., Weil, M., & Calhoun, E. (2015). Models of teaching (9th ed.). Pearson.
Pool, A. O., Jaarsma, A. D. C., Driessen, E. W., & Govaerts, M. J. (2020). Student perspectives on competency-based portfolios: Does a portfolio reflect their competence development? Perspectives on Medical Education, 9(3), 166-172. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40037-020-00571-7
Stockard, J., Wood, T. W., Coughlin, C., & Rasplica Khoury, C. (2018). The effectiveness of direct instruction curricula: A meta-analysis of a half century of research. Review of Educational Research, 88(4), 479-507. https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654317751919