Updated: Jul 26
If first base work is all about curriculum development and alignment, second base work is all about the purpose and use of quality assessments. Unfortunately, very few of us (myself included!) have ever taken a course on how to create tests, quizzes, rubrics, formatives, success criteria, tiered questions...in short: all things related to assessments.
The purpose of an assessment is to help students and teachers, together, determine who knows what, and where they need to go next in the learning journey.
One of the best ways teachers can partner with students in the learning process is to facilitate activities that students can share what they already know about topics. Self-assessments are a great alternative to pre-assessments/tests. A pre-test centers on information without asking the learner to judge where they are in their learning progression. A self-assessment can still point out the criteria/content that students need to know, but it adds an evaluative element that allows the learner to ask themselves, "How much do I know about this topic?"
Adult learners need opportunities to share what they know, and I'd argue that we don't build in enough time for this in professional development.
If you and your team are focusing on second base assessment work this year, consider how you will draw out of your teachers what they already know about assessments.
We created this Self-Assessment on Assessment as a way for teachers to review qualities of assessments (as well as discussion protocols around data and assessment within their PLCs). Teachers can rank/self-assess their abilities while at the same time reviewing key topics or traits of assessment to consider.
There are 20 components for self-assessment on the resource, and I recommend allowing 7-10 minutes for teachers to complete this. Consider giving them this as a paper copy so they can also mark up the descriptions under each category. And, you may want to alter the topics and descriptions to better fit your teams' needs---so edit and revise as you see fit.
The purpose of this self-assessment is not to evaluate teachers or create fear or anxiety. The purpose is to allow them, in a low-stakes way, to review what they know about quality assessments. Use this as a trust-building tool, not a judgment tool.