Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rigorous and hard are not synonymous...

There is a significant difference between something 
being hard and something being rigorous...

For example, assume a student has been learning about the 50 states in the United States of America. The last two weeks of class have been focused on learning not just the 50 states, but also learning the history of America and the significant events that have occurred leading up to the current 50 state structure.

Assessment 1: Collaboratively design and create a presentation focusing on one of the major events in America's history that have affected and/or played a significant role in our current 50 state structure. Be prepared to present this to your classmates and be able to justify/explain why this particular event was so significant in America's history

Assessment 2: Using a blank map of the United States, write down and correctly spell all 50 states.

Assessment 1 is rigorous because it is complex and has depth. There are several steps to this assessment, and most importantly, the assessment is not specific to just the content, but also to skills that are transferable to other content areas and beyond. This assessment requires students to work collaboratively while providing them flexibility and creativity to present in a manner they so choose. This assessment can have multiple correct answers.

Assessment 2 is hard because it is asking each student to have memorized the location of each state, as well as have memorized how to spell each state correctly. This assessment is also hard because it disconnects much of the information presented over the last two weeks in regard to the history of the 50 states. Students will think the important focus is on just knowing the 50 states and how to spell them, rather than the history and background behind our current 50 state structure. This assessment can only have one correct answer.


Watch this 4 minute video discussing a rigor matrix comparing DOK levels and Bloom's Taxonomy.

Check out Karin Hess' Rigor Matrix mentioned in the video here: Rigor Matrix