Assessment of the Classroom Activity

You can do a formative assessment of the students' learning in the classroom activity by seeing whether or not students are able to tell they are getting closer to the wall by using their voices. If they can do that, they have understood the simple mechanism of echolocation and reached the minimum instructional goal. Be careful to not fall into the trap of assessing students on activities that are construct irrelevant. Meaning, do not assess whether or not students are able to tie a blindfold or work nicely with their partner - these skills are not part of your instructional goals. Instead, concentrate on whether or not they are making the connection between producing sounds and locating where they are in their environment.

Assessment of the Individual Activity

Use the following rubric to assess the students' understanding as represented in their individual expression assignments:

0 points
(significant problems)

1 Point
(minor problems)

2 Points
(proficient)

3 Points
(excellent)

Description does not reference sound or location, and instead focuses on surface structures or examples (rubber balls, blindfolds, etc.)
Description references sound and location, but does not connect the two in a causal relationship.
Description made an explicit connection between producing sound and locating oneself in the environment.
Description represents the use of sound for echolocation in multiple contexts or via multiple agents.

Important Reminder about UDL in Assessment
In order to assess students across a spectrum of individual differences, again pay close attention to construct relevance. Students have the option to choose the mode of expression they want, but this may not always be the best expression of their understanding. If students get no points on their individual assignment, it is highly recommended that you give them the option to try again, in another mode of expression (if they wrote a description the first time, have them draw a picture, for example). Doing so will enable you to assess their understanding of echolocation, rather than their ability to write, draw, speak, or act.

NEXT: View the Rationale behind this lesson on echolocation and learn how Universal Design for Learning principles were incorporated throughout.