This will be my first September using the “skill-based” assessment and grading system.  So although I’ve used it for two semesters, I’ve never done the “sales pitch” to an incoming class.  For the last two weeks I’ve been in a fog, trying to figure out how to introduce so many (probably foreign) ideas at once, to a bunch of people I didn’t know and who have no particular reason to trust me (yet).  It seemed like every idea depended on every other idea, so nothing could go first.

Dan Goldner proposed an elegant solution: have them assess me.  It gives me a chance to show (not tell) what assessment and grading will look like.  At the same time, it exposes my philosophy about teaching and learning, introduces some of the concepts that will run through our semester (i.e. “make mistakes understandable”), and opens a conversation about what good teaching is.  I plan to scaffold it with a survey about their learning experiences and goals.

But for now, I’ve got a very rough draft of what a skill sheet would look like if it was for assessing me, not a student.  Think I’m way off base?  Wrong emphasis, missed something important, need to find more student-friendly language?  I hope you’ll let me know.