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Although I use many types of assessments in my teaching, I rely heavily on the use of

summative assessment tools such as rubrics, quizzes and tests to evaluate a student’s

progress toward curricular goals. Frequent summative assessments provide me an opportunity to determine the extent to which a student has mastered the material. I incorporate the use of rubrics for grading oral (through-the-air) sign assessments; in addition, rubrics are also used for grading as are a wide range of quizzes, tests and midterm and final exams that incorporate written question and answers along with watching video clips in order to assess receptive signing skills.

Although I use many types of assessments in my teaching, I rely heavily on the use

These assessment tools are an important aspect of the ASL class for both teachers and students. Through the use of frequent and varied assessment tools, both teacher and student can monitor student progress, and the teacher can judge the effectiveness of his instruction. Using these tools allows students to know exactly in which area of the curriculum they show strength and where they need to improve.

I like using rubrics because they clearly outline the criteria for the student prior to the exam. Students have a clear picture of how they will be assessed and the instructor has a measurable way by which to document student progress.

This is an example of a rubric used to assess a student.

Although I use many types of assessments in my teaching, I rely heavily on the use

In this example, a rubric was given to the student prior to the exam. The instructor reviewed what each criterion meant, and student indicated that she understood the topic being tested, as well as what was required to succeed. In this scenario, the most recent unit was about the student’s ability to demonstrate mastery of description. The student must be able to describe location and placement using signs to create a picture, specifically incorporating the newly- learned skill of the use of body shifting. In addition, the student must include mouth movements to indicate size (thin, chunky, huge) and provide detail with sign, using traditional ASL grammar.

The instruction to the student was, “Describe, in detail, your dream house.” The student was to

describe both the exterior and interior of the house. She was also to explain where the house was located, how the furniture was arranged and basically create a picture for me using ASL so

that I could “see” the house as well.

In this example, a rubric was given to the student prior to the exam. The instructor

Click this photo twice and you will see a video coming out. When you are done watching this

In this example, a rubric was given to the student prior to the exam. The instructor
In this example, a rubric was given to the student prior to the exam. The instructor

video, scroll down and click anywhere, the video will disappear.

I tend to use questions that are generally open-ended, as well as questions that involve specific identification of particular items. In this video, I asked different questions, such as to explain the design of the living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and office. I evaluated students not on the design of their dream house but on their level of mastery of vocabulary, hand shape, movement, the use of classifiers, locative sign and facial expressions. As stated earlier, in this lesson I was looking for mouth movements, body shifting and classifier usage in particular, since those skills were newly introduced.

Questions were designed to demonstrate the level to which the content was mastered, as well as to assess the student’s ability to use critical thinking skills. This type of rubric allows for both qualitative and quantitative assessment. Qualitative because attitude, motivation, confidence and respect for ASL are all part of the language experience, and quantitative because the rubric assigns a numeric value to such aspects of language as handshape, location, movement, facial expression and palm orientation, as well as to facets of the language such as fingerspelling and the use of classifiers.

In this example, a rubric was given to the student prior to the exam. The instructor

The rubric provides a clear explanation to the student regarding what is required and her specific test results. The challenge for the teacher is to be sure that the questions are clearly

stated and fair. I base my questions on the individual components of the curriculum, and I follow

Bloom’s Taxonomy to help me classify educational learning objectives into specific levels of

complexity and specificity.

Finally, I am cognizant of the washback effect, which refers to the impact of the test on students and teachers. I realize that for many hearing students, being tested on their ASL skills can create tension. Although I do not teach to the test, I do ensure that all students are familiar with the goals and expectations for the course. Beyond that, I want ASL to be meaningful in their lives and for them to have fun expressing themselves in ASL. My goal is not to teach to the test. My goal is to teach to create lifelong signers.

I incorporate real-world scenarios into the course so that students can incorporate aspects of their own lives in their responses. I give students ample opportunities to do self and peer analyses in class using the same rubric as the test. Content mastery is the ultimate goal, and students are always given a clear path toward what is needed for continued success.

Finally, I am cognizant of the washback effect, which refers to the impact of the test
Finally, I am cognizant of the washback effect, which refers to the impact of the test