In CEP813 Module 3, students were asked to evaluate their FAD 1.0 and make necessary updates based on new readings and a better understanding of the course material. I have also used my ADC 2.0 to help critically evaluate and update this assessment. As previously mentioned, I currently am a varsity lacrosse coach and have been exploring ways I could assess some of my players. It is worth reiterating that in my experience both as a player and a coach, there is rarely any kind of formal assessment so this could be a game changer for myself as a coach, but also for the sport. See below for an updated version of my creation of the Lacrosse Peer-Assessment and more detailed explanations into the assessment:
As mentioned in many readings, but specifically by Shepard, it is important to have clear goals and criteria for the assessment so that students understand how they will be assessed. (2000, p.11) This also falls in line with stage one of Understanding by Design principles of coming up with desired results first. (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p.18) With that in mind, the first thing I would need to do is remind my student-athletes that the purpose of this assessment has three main goals– to assess on-field lacrosse skill, to evaluate coaching skills, and to gauge teamwork skills. These skills have explicit criteria as outlined by the rubric which all athletes will receive prior to their assessment. Furthermore, one benefit of peer evaluation is that since each person is using the same criteria to evaluate others that they are being evaluated by, it should be clear to them what will be expected when they are being assessed, too.
Another thing that is important to explain to the student-athletes is why these skills are important for their development, after all, why bother assessing these qualities if they don’t translate to future success– The on-field skills are probably the easiest to understand: the better you are at things such as catching, passing, shooting, etc. the more likely you are to be a better lacrosse player. The evaluation of coaching helps players identify what might be important to learn and thus teach, but also forces them to break down skills to ensure that they have the fundamental understanding to teach other players. Finally, being in a group setting encourages a natural team dynamic which could highlight those who have skills to become natural team leaders on a larger stage (ie when the entire team is together).
As a teacher, these things are important because they help gauge understanding and provide a social setting similar to that of the real world. Wiggins and McTighe note that evidence of understanding can be demonstrated by a student being able “to-do” the subject, in this case, lacrosse. (2005, p.48) This assessment looks to have students demonstrate understanding by their very ability to teach (or do) the skills that they should know. As knowing is not merely enough, teaching should provide adequate evidence that the student truly can transfer that knowledge and has the understanding of the skills. Also as mentioned by Shepard, connecting the outside world can be more motivating to students and help them transfer their knowledge into an applicable setting. (2000, p.7)
Prior to this assessment being given, it is important that the coach has instructed the team on multiple occasions. Doing so allows the players to understand what a practice should look and feel like, as well as what each skill looks like when performed correctly. Leading up to the assessment, it is also crucial that the coach is vocal about how they prepare for and execute a practice. It would also be valuable for the coach to provide written evidence (ie a practice plan) to all players. This part of the pre-assessment gives players a framework of how to construct their practices (and thus not go in blind). Players are then aware that the goal behind the assessment is not to trick players into a “failed” practice, but rather provide them with all of the tools necessary to coach a successful practice so that they can demonstrate their skills.
The Lacrosse Peer-Assessment will have three steps:
- Divide into groups: Groups should be at most 5-6 players and should include a variety of skill levels.
- Create a schedule for each group to present their practice plan, and for each group to have a chance to observe and participate, similar to below:
- Monday: Group A coaches, Groups B and C participate, Group D observes
- Tuesday: Group B coaches, Groups C and D participate, Group A observes
- Wednesday: Group C coaches, Groups D and A participate, Group B observes
- Thursday: Group D coaches, Groups A and B participate, Group C observes
- Friday: Discussions between group members and the entire team of thoughts on the assessment
- Complete evaluations throughout the week and discuss players thoughts of the process of assessing as well as their assessment from their peer.
As the coach, my role during the actual assessment will strictly be to supervise and provide guidance when needed. Coaches should use a video tool, such as Coaches Eye or Coach Paint, as well, to document the experience from an outside non-assessing figure. Coaches are also free to, and encouraged, to help players when they are stuck so as to facilitate instruction and learning. Leading up to the assessment, I believe it will be necessary to review how I come up with my practice plans, demonstrate each skill I wish them to evaluate and make sure all players have an adequate understanding of coaching. Post-assessment, I believe I should take on the role of moderator during group discussions and evaluate what skills the coaches should focus on incorporating more into practice. It will also be important to use the results, both from the assessment and from the video tools, to inform players.
Ideally, this assessment answers the feedback questions proposed by Hattie and Temperley: Where am I going? (What are the goals?), How am I going? (What progress is being made toward the goal?), and Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress). (2007, p.86) As previously discussed, the goals are explicitly outlined by the coach and also the rubric provided to all athlete. Next, “How am I going?” is addressed specifically with the results of the rubric and the video evidence provided by the coach. That is, students will have feedback of their areas of strength and need for improvement, both from a vocal (group discussions) and written (rubric) format but also with the help of video (coaching tool used). You will notice that I have changed the rating system to reflect skill and not that of the group, so as to avoid comparisons to other students. (Black & William, 1998, p.143) Finally, the last question of “Where to next?” will be addressed by both the coach and the student. With the results, the coach will have a better idea of where to lead practices while students will have a better idea of where they need to dedicate more time to improve their overall lacrosse abilities.
It is worth noting that informing the teacher of where to improve teaching (or this case, the coach and practices), is just as an important outcome as informing the student-athlete, a point made by Shepard. (2000, p.12) With the results from the rubric, discussions, and video taken, the coach should have an excellent idea of what to emphasize in future practices. This could be a certain skill they need to revisit (cradling or shooting, etc) or perhaps he or she might realize that student-athletes need to be more comfortable applying their knowledge and thus add additional “student-coach” opportunities. Furthermore, the results should provide insight as to whether the coach and team alike need to create new, more advanced goals or perhaps simplify current ambitions.
Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (1998a). Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. The Phi Delta Kappan, 80(2), 139-144, 146-148.
Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81–112.
Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in a learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29(7), 4-14.
Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Assoc. for Supervision and Curriculum Development.