MCLA’s Four Elements of Proficiency-based Education
- A learner-centered culture that enables and supports clear student learning targets, evidence collection, and intentional instruction.
- Transparent learning targets with an appropriate level of rigor.
- Evidence of rigorous learning collected and fairly evaluated.
- Instruction intentionally designed to support learners to reach targets.
What we’re learning . . .
With clear targets/goals and agreed upon and articulated rigor levels, you can collect evidence of learning that is aligned without having to administer common assessments. Shifting your mindset from thinking about assessment to collecting evidence opens doors for multiple pathways to proficiency. It allows students to show proficiency in multiple ways and honors evidence generated in any learning environment (in and out of the classroom).
It’s helpful to think of two types of information about student learning — summative evidence and formative feedback.
Summative evidence comes from anything we ask students to do at the rigor level of the target. Many activities or tasks could provide this evidence when teachers and students are clear about what must be shown. [See element 2.]
Formative feedback doesn’t take place at the rigor level of the target, but along the learning progression to proficiency. We like Jan Chappuis’ Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning (2009), which combines descriptive feedback to students with next steps for teachers. Student self-assessment and reflection are an integral part of the feedback loop. [See element 1.] There are many opportunities for formative feedback during the learning process that don’t necessarily require a formal assessment.
The unit or lesson sequence teachers create to enable students to demonstrate the level of rigor required by the target includes identifying effective times for formative feedback and student self-assessment and clear descriptions of the summative evidence students must provide. [See element 4.]
Learn more . . .