In the final module of CEP813, students were asked to evaluate their FAD 1.0 and 2.0 and make any necessary updates based on what we have learned throughout the course. I also made use of my ADC 3.0 (final version) 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:
There are three parts to this assessment:
The entire assessment is now conveniently available using Schoology, a CMS that my school uses and students are familiar with. Students will also use apps like Notability and Coach’s Eye to evaluate their peers on the same device in which they take the assessment. See below for a quick video rundown of what the assessment looks like for the athlete, or click on the assessments above to view the questions in PDF form!
On-Field Skills Teammate 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 help the athlete understand where they are (both how they view it and how teammates/coaches view it) and how they can progress to where they want to be by the end of the season. These skills have explicit criteria as outlined by the rubric which all athletes will receive prior to their assessment and during the self-evaluation phase of the assessment. It is my hope that by using AAL on themselves first, players will have a better understanding of what to look for in their teammates as they assess them. 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.
One BIG change that you will notice from in this version, is that it capitalizes on the school’s CMS- Schoology and other technologies. Athletes will be able to take notes using the app Notability, record video using the app Coach’s Eye and fill out the assessment all online through the use of school-issued iPads on a platform that is already familiar with them. I believe this will be a HUGE advantage. Why?
- Notability is a unique note-taking app that lets the user dictate how they write their notes. It’s not just lined paper, but players can draw out the drills that they participated in, make mental notes come alive of what a player is saying/doing and in general do a lot of things that simply typing cannot. It is their canvas which will be able to capture their experience and observations.
- The Coach’s Eye app is important for two reasons. First, it obviously records the skill that is to be evaluated. This isn’t just a recording though, it comes with cool tools that students can use to highlight something that they think is important their teammate see. Another benefit is that it allows the student to capture the entire event and review later on. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to miss little details, but with film, students can go back and perhaps capitalize on skills that they weren’t even looking for or notice something new!
- Schoology is a great technology to use because it is not only familiar to the students, but it also eliminates paper and keeps the all of the data from notes, videos and assessments, stored for retrieval later in the year (or years) to see the progress that has been made! This assessment is great to give at the beginning of a season, during longer breaks of play (for instance during spring break) and other moments where coaches just want to mix up who the athletes are hearing from.
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. In other words, the procedural rhetoric should match the semiotic domain and reinforce internal and external grammars. The on-field skills (internal grammar) 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 (external grammar).
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 four 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 the assessment (three mini-assessments) on Schoology starting with the self-evaluation first. Throughout the week, players should be taking field notes using the app Notability and creating video evidence using Coach’s eye. They will upload these notes and videos to Schoology before completing the coaching and on-field skills assessment of their teammate.
- Upon conclusion of the week of coaching, the coach will provide feedback to each player via their self-evaluations, peer assessments (including video and notes) and anything that the coach may have noticed. The groups will then also meet separately to discuss what they felt went well and what didn’t. Finally, the team will then meet as a whole to discuss common areas of strengths and weaknesses.
As the coach, my role during the actual assessment will strictly be to supervise and provide guidance when needed. Coaches are also free to, and encouraged, to help players when they are stuck so as to facilitate instruction and learning.
In conclusion, 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. Players must first complete the self-evaluation portion of the assessment on Schoology before planning, coaching and evaluating their peers to better understand the assessment itself, but also to have an understanding of where they see themselves and how to evaluate others, too. Post-assessment, I believe it is my responsibility to organize the results of the assessment. I should take on the role of moderator during group discussions and evaluate what skills the coaches should focus on incorporating more into practice.
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 assessment (both self and by a teammate) and video/note evidence that was provided. That is, students will have feedback of their areas of strength and need for improvement in a vocal (group discussions), written (assessment results/notability notes), experiential (by participating in the assessment) as well as video format (coach’s eye video). 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 Schoology assessment, notability notes, 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 and group discussions 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.