A word about the Assessment Strategies of the Judges Academy
(“Assessments of Assessments”)
There are a wide variety of activities employed for the assessment of the various Units of each Academy Course Module. Some of these activities are designed and implemented based on the research of the Stanford University Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity. https://scale.stanford.edu/student “SCALE” is at the forefront of global educational assessment development, and one of the guiding principles of their work is that curriculum-embedded performance-based assessments should extend the learning process, rather than focus solely on past learning. As they say: “ You don’t drive a car by staring exclusively in the rear-view mirror – it helps to know where you are heading.” Therefore, it is possible that you could be asked to assimilate and synthesize concepts beyond the literal factual presentation of material in a Unit. This complex thought process is one very basic to effective performance adjudication. It is an artistic concept utilized in the designs of contemporary pageantry products, as well.
Higher Order and Critical Thinking
For several years, the education community has focused on what author Alfie Kohn (No Contest, Punished by Rewards) calls “the bunch ‘o facts method” of learning. Largely, this focus was due to an emphasis on public accountability and the difficulty of objectively measuring complex learning tasks. Finding the resultant learning highly superficial, we are now seeing a partial return to more competency-based instruction, emphasizing conceptual knowledge and problem-solving skills. Higher order thinking (Bloom’s Taxonomy) is being returned to curricula, and assessments must reflect an emphasis on reasoning ability and creativity – the exact skills needed for effective adjudication. The current educational “buzzword” for this higher-concept learning and measurement? Critical thinking.
Judges Academy Goal
It is our goal that the format of both the instructional media and assessment activities will reflect the concepts studied in the course. In this manner the desired competencies and processes will be reinforced well beyond a steady diet of “multiple-guess” and “true-false” superficialities.
Special thanks to Dr. Dorie Combs, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Eastern Kentucky University, and Dr. Terry Holliday, Commissioner of Public Education for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for their guidance in the construction of our program of studies.