Assessing the Classroom Culture of Learning

Technology, though playing a critical role in the life of the Academy of Discovery Model (ADM), is not the goal in itself. Technology, as ADM uses it, is the one resource that makes meaning easier to access and gives students the right incentive to strive. We believe that by constantly and consistently assessing the role of technology in and out of the Academy, technology becomes the necessary and critical foundation for successful and authentic learning. Dr. Christopher Moersch (see information below ) established a Level of Technology Implementation (LoTi) scale that has become a mainstay for this ongoing and necessary assessment aspect.

Technology Use and Manipulation Assessment Tools

LoTi (Full Presentation)
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Loti Level

Illustration of Loti Level

Level 0: Non-use
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Level 1: Awareness
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Level 2: Exploration
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Level 3: Infusion
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Level 4a: Integration (mechanical)
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Level 4b: Integration (routine)
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Level 5: Expansion
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Level 6: Refinement
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In 1994, Dr. Christopher Moersch developed the Levels of Technology Implementation (LoTi) scale in an effort to accurately measure authentic classroom technology use. This scale focuses on the use of technology as an interactive learning medium because this particular component has the greatest and lasting impact on classroom pedagogy and is the most difficult to implement and assess. The challenge is not merely to use technology to achieve isolated tasks (e.g., word processing a research paper, creating a multimedia slide show, browsing the Internet), but rather to integrate technology in an exemplary manner that supports purposeful problem-solving, performance-based assessment practices, and experiential learning--all vital characteristics of the Target Technology level established by the CEO Forum on Education and Technology.

Assessing The Learning

Authentic Assessment:

Jon Mueller defines Authentic Assessment as, "A form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills."

This definition demonstrates how our model will use assessment as a way of furthering the learning process, rather than detracting from it. The Academy of Discovery model utilizes a portfolio system in which both students and teachers will select the best work to be presented in the online arena. This type of assessment is based upon two values: change and mastery.

Valuing Change:

Because each student comes into the model at a different proficiency level, the expectations must therefore be different for each student. This model allows teachers the ability to tailor goals for individual students based upon their needs and then take the achievement of these goals into consideration in determining their grade.

Valuing Mastery:

Each core discipline will identify certain skills that can be mastered in middle school. Once each student has demonstrated mastery of the topic, concept, or skill, they will become certified to teach others. This model allows students to become experts and mentors for other students, thus fully rendering the classroom environment a place of apprenticeship learning.

Standardized Assessment:

The Academy of Discovery Model prescribes the same solution for standardized assessment that the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) does.
Assessments should be ones that:
  • Give a child the chance for success.
  • Students find engaging.
  • Respects classroom time.
  • Provides useful information.

With this in mind, the ADM will use the MAP test in order to standardize the results of our students learning. Using this assessment (and its corresponding online aggregating and disaggregating tools) will allow us to see just how much improvement our model provides over traditional classroom teaching. It will also allow our students to chart their progress in a more concrete way, thus giving them even further validation of their authentic learning.