"No Cheating!" Nontraditional Assessment With No Proctor Needed

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Listen and learn : Ed talk

Chloe Culver  
Rayna Srinivas  
Dr. Michelle Zimmerman  

There are multiple ways to discuss the ranges of data educators can gather and the stories that data can tell about learning, motivation and progress. Learn ways to help students demonstrate knowledge without the need of a proctor who ensures books are closed, whether students are remote or in person.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Professional developers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Internet connection
Topic: Curriculum planning & evaluation
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Data-Driven Decision-Maker
  • Support educators to interpret qualitative and quantitative data to inform their decisions and support individual student learning.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges and the impact of learning with technology with other education leaders who want to learn from this work.
For Educators:
  • Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.
Additional detail: Student presentation, ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

- Participants will identify and discuss the challenges they have met in the last two years regarding assessment, demonstrations of knowledge, qualitative and quantitative data

- I will take those experiences and provide examples of solutions based on content I have across subjects and grade ranges, and possibilities for converting qualitative data into quantitative data points where needed to fit into a traditional grading system

- Participants will be able to ask questions, discuss, and challenge ideas with current gaps and road blocks at their schools, to generate ideas to take back.

- Participants will be able to ask a student presenter about experience in the various approaches where it's easy to "cheat" and where design doesn't allow for simply looking up factual knowledge.

- Evidence of success will be presented in a Wakelet collection with student exemplars and student voice


The session will start with asking participants to express themes and variations on what the phrase "Don't Cheat!" means to them as they talk to someone near by. I will circulate and invite several to share out for the group, what that phrases means.

The student presenter will share what it means to people her age that she's talked with.

Then the discussion will continue with asking participants to describe roadblocks they have experienced in the space of education, assessment, and unavoidable changes in approaches to teaching and assessing.

From there, based on participant voiced interest (poll), I will pull from the collection of student examples and walk through what the artifacts are designed to demonstrate, how students are in charge of providing evidence of meeting ISTE standards for students, and more advanced students co-develop demonstrations of learning based on goals they set out to meet. This is much like a graduate school approach where learners define their goals and the framework and structure to demonstrate their learning.

From there, participants will be directed to the Wakelet, and with projection on screen, pointing out some highlights of student exemplars, how to access them, and give a few minutes to choose one they are interested in looking at more. During that time, ISTE Standards for students will be on the screen to refer to, with the goal of seeing how and which of those standards are visible to an outside observer who was never part of the class or instructional design. What could they see come through.

Student presenter will express what this approach to co-designing learning assessment after learning about ISTE Standards for Students teaches different skills than just completing an assignment where standards are designed into the assessment, but not disclosed to students.

Finally, there will be visual examples of how qualitative and quantitative data can be combined to demonstrate mastery, and an approach for those interested in maintaining quantitative, but valuing the qualitative aspects of data that cannot be fully captured though quantitative data alone.

Supporting research

PBS The Origin of Grades:

This post includes a range of perspectives on assessment.

RAND has been publishing on impact of disrupted learning, and included projections based on school closures during natural disasters:

More [+]


Chloe Culver, Renton Prep
Rayna Srinivas, Renton Prep
Dr. Michelle Zimmerman, Renton Prep

Michelle Zimmerman, author of Teaching AI: Exploring New Frontiers for Learning, published in 4 languages, was selected as 2021 ISTE Visionary Leadership, 2019 EdTech Leadership Awards Global Leader finalist and selected 6 consecutive years as Microsoft MVP. She teaches middle and high school while serving in administration at Renton Prep, a Microsoft Showcase School. Her PhD in Learning Sciences and Human Development is from University of Washington, and her research has been recognized with multiple awards. Since 2007, she has presented around the world. You can find her in Forbes, GeekWire, Venture Beat, Getting Smart, local and international news.

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