- Start with curriculum guide
- then operationalize by writing up series of objectives
- can do a quick review of writing Behavioral Objectives, if you would like.
- A table that shows what will be tested (and taught)
- Theoretically, a completely detailed table of specifications would have every learning objective listed for every lesson for the whole year
- things haven't gone quite that far here in Alberta
- not sure there is really a point to having a document that lists every single fact students are to know
- not only is this too inflexible -- because it wouldn't allow for any room for teacher to respond to student needs,
it is also reductionism
- try to reduce learning to individual skills, misses that education is more than the sum of its parts
- part of difference between training and education I talk about in Social Context
- currently this totally detailed approach is dominant one in England
- some movement toward that end of the continuum here: "competency based" education is an attempt to move towards defining education in terms of a finite number of specific competencies
- so we do not need that level of detail --> main topics for year, main concepts for a unit plan good enough
|Knowledge & Comprehension||Application||Analysis, Synthesis &Evaluation||TOTALS|
- usually a two sided chart used in construction of tests
- content down one side, cognitive levels across the top
- common format in Alberta, but no rule: could have content across the top, Bloom'down the side
- usually group Bloom'categories: in this example, knowledge, understanding, and higher mental activity
- I prefer grouping knowledge/understanding (because straight recall usually too simple to count as real learning) and than application, then analysis, synthesis and evaluation as higher level
- for more on Bloom'Taxonomy, please see Glossary
- Content usually much more detailed than this, but will use two categories here to keep illustration simple
- totals tell you at a glance what percenteage of course emphasis given to each topic and what percentage lower and higher level mental processes
Here is an example of more detail
|CONTENT||Economic Growth: USA||Economic Growth: USSR||CANADA: Respondind to Change||TOTAL|
|PROCESSES||Industrialization||Market Economy||Quality of Life||Geography||Industrialization||Centrally Planned Economy||Quality of Life||Technology||Mixed Economy||Quality of Life|
Understand Concepts and Generalizations
|PROCESS SKILLS A|
|PROCESS SKILLS B|
- Example of running content across the top, Bloom'down the side
- notice that some curriculum'translate Bloom into subject specific taxonomy, but principle is the same
- weight is usually based on how much time devoted to teaching concept
- but also how important it is that students remember, transfer to other contexts, courses --> some important ideas may be easy to teach but still important to include
- also determined by type of material --> don't put a lot of weight on higher mental activity category for unit on memorizing state capitals --> don't put a lot into recall for drama class on risk taking and creative dance
- weight -- start simple --> four topics, divide into 4, then maybe add bit more to topic you are particularly interested in, or figure students will be interested in, etc.
- weight usually given in %, but you can use marks (e.g., 50) if you like
- usually out of 100%, but might make two separate blueprints, one for 70 multiple choice, and second 30% for written response
- Acts as a:
- blueprint for teaching --> don't just start teaching page one on day one, or suddenly discover that its Easter and you're still on first unit --> need to figure out how much time you're going to allocate per unit, per concept within units
- blueprint for the test
- So that we get:
- representative sample of course content -->not all random sample
- this is important so that you don't just choose questions from last two weeks before exam
- representative sample of skills, cognitive levels across content
- not just rote memorization; or just high level stuff
- often sabotage great course by teaching high level skills (sculpting, acting, playing solo) then giving rote memorization test (date that Mozart composed 43rd symphony) that does not reflect actual time spent
kids learn quickly what actually "counts"is stuff on test, so if you have rote memorization test, don'try to get class discussion going!
- analyze results by level and content area
- if students getting all lower level questions but missing higher level, then you're not doing your job; if all have got answers to one unit but not another, may have to reteach that unit, etc.
- No, but most of them have not had the benefit of your training.
- Part of my job when I worked for Student Evaluation branch was to do inservice workshops at PD days and teacher conventions and on item writing committees; teachers were always surprised and pleased by this obvious concept.
- So more teachers are doing this each year.
- Now, most principals will want to see your year plans, and expect some evaluation planning as part of it.
- It is becoming a standard part of unit planning
- Specifications refer to a plan of what is to be taught/tested by weighting
- A blueprint is the plan of the specific test, i.e., which questions test which concept
- So same specifications could give rise to several different blueprints