Assessment of curricular competencies (December, 2019)

If what is assessed is what is valued, then in my classrooms until recently it was certainly content that was valued. With the new BC curriculum and its focus on curricular competencies some modification would be needed. I spent some of the summer of 2019 trying to figure out a way to assess the curricular competencies as standards, going as far as to ask Twitter for help.

One approach I found interesting was having the content standards as one dimension of a grid, and the curricular competencies as the other dimension. This would create cells where grades on assesments would be put. For example an assessment might require a student to demenstrate Understanding, and Communication (the competencies) on the topic of Functions (the content).

In the end I decided I would have trouble turning the grids into grades, as the weighting of each cell couldn’t be equal (some would be much more important than others, and some would necessarily be empty). If I used this method, I would also have to be much less specific about the content standards I was looking at.

Eventually I decided that I wouldn’t be able to meaningfully assess the curricular competencies in a standards-based approach this year. I simply wasn't confident in my ability to consistanty and sensiblely seperate the standards, and decide what was Solving rather than Modelling for example. I do think this is probably where I would like to head eventually, explicitly grading work on the curricular competencies, but it is important to not do too much at once.

Instead of grading the curricular competencies using standards I simply created a category in my grade book called Tasks worth 20% of a student’s overall grade. I could then assign challenging problems, which require demonstration of curricular competencies. Then I could grade them on a traditional rubric and those tasks would form a part of the student’s grade.