So I was talking this out with my colleague, Stacey Haas, and I was telling her my vision. I suggested that instead of taking each test as a snapshot of what students know at a particular time, why don't we create "evidence folders" for each learning target? Students could put whatever they see fit into the folder as long it's truly their own work, including warm-ups, skills sheets, tests, whatever. At the end of the unit we as teachers can grade the folder holistically to determine the extent to which the student has learned the content.
And then Stacey said, "You mean, like a PORTFOLIO?!"
And yeah, I guess this evidence folder would basically be a portfolio. I've never been a portfolio kind of guy, but I am intrigued by this idea. We'd give feedback along the way and multiple opportunities to put in or take out whatever pieces of evidence the student chooses. We could use those problems from our current assessments to provide opportunities for evidence. Or maybe we could give the tests as we do now and they would be part of the evidence folder.
It would help to alleviate the problems caused by my district's asinine rule regarding the scores we must use for retakes. It changes the cheating dynamic. It seems easier to add a communication & problem solving piece. All work we do in or out of class may impact their grade. It gives me more control over their grade and I won't be bound to a single score or just a couple of scores.
I'm going to bounce this idea off of the walls of my brain for a summer and see where my colleagues Stacey & Matthew Sauter come down on it. I think it could work.
Do you have anything you might suggest to make this idea better? Don't let me down, Internet.