Evidence and Assessment

What is Evidence?

Throughout the Growth and Reflection phase of the Personal Learning Framework, students will be collecting evidence related to a wide range of interests, activities, goals, and experiences. A teacher recently asked, "Why have the goals and evidence pages separate?"

It is our belief that collecting evidence should be a continuous process and though many pieces of evidence will be directly linked to specific goals, educators and students should cast a wide net when looking for examples of evidence that correlate with the desired outcomes of the personal learning plan.  At Main Street Middle School, students are encouraged to collect evidence related to their identity as a learner, academic and extracurricular goals, citizenship, community contributions, exploration, and principles and values.

Furthermore, educators should be cognizant of the multimodal potential related to student evidence. Here are a few examples:
  • Student mastery of a video game demonstrating grit and growth mindset;
  • Photo exhibitions demonstrating student understanding of light and shadow;
  • Science fair presentations documenting improved public speaking and understanding of subject matter....
As our thinking has evolved related to this matter, we now look at three distinct types of evidence that a student can place on their PLP as evidence of their growth as a student, citizen, and reflective decision-maker. Generally speaking, we look at three different types of student work.
  • Evidence that demonstrates the achievement or progress towards achievement of goals set by the student and documented on the PLP.
  • Evidence that demonstrates progress towards proficiency in the transferable skills.
  • Evidence the student provides related to extracurricular or outside of school activities.
All of this evidence can provide crucial information about the growth, interests, strengths and challenges of young students. By incorporating this into the PLP, students and teachers can begin developing a more holistic sense of the young person's range of ability and interest. Additionally, we are beginning to focus on the utility of the Transferable Skills. Here are some reasons why (see graphic below).

How will we assess student work?

Assessing the personal learning plan can be a tricky proposition. The act of creating the personal learning plan, and the degree to which it meets the criteria set forward by the teacher, team, and district, will be a primary indicator of student success and mastery of the transferable skills. 

Those students who struggle with the PLP will most likely have challenges in literacy, technology, self-direction, or engagement.

The object of the personal learning plan is to help students build on their strengths while addressing their educational challenges. So that the student, teacher, and family share common language and criteria, the Agency of Education's Transferable Skills become an important tool for the assessment of the personal learning plan. 

The Transferable Skills outline those skills that cross grade and curriculum boundaries.

Assessment of the Personal Learning Plan is an organizational decision that requires the organization to identify core values, goals, and objectives for the student community. As previously mentioned, the PLP can be an effective tool for analyzing student growth in the transferable skills. Additionally, the PLP can showcase student growth towards academic goals and standards-based learning objectives and proficiency. Finally, by incorporating evidence from extracurricular activities, students can assess their growth in a wide range of activities, skills, goal-based achievement, and interest.