Depth of Understanding
Over the course of a trimester, students will perform multiple tasks. Some will be quick and easy, and some will be multi-step, intense, and demanding. For each, the teachers will identify the level of difficulty, the depth of understanding/knowledge/skill that is required of the task. This is similar to the traditional labeling of student work as homework, quiz, or test, but at MCCPS some homework is as important as a quiz or test, so other descriptors are needed.
The teachers employ 3 categories (levels of understanding): initial, deepening, or comprehensive. This differentiation is intended to identify which tasks are the most valuable in demonstrating the students’ understanding. The simplest, most routine tasks will be categorized as ‘initial’. These are akin to traditional homework assignments or relatively basic in-class assignments. More difficult, often multi-step work will be labeled as ‘deepening’, because it requires that students demonstrate a deeper, more complex understanding of the content/skills. Examples of these may be a quiz or a short written piece. The most demanding work will be identified as a ‘comprehensive’ assessment, and examples of these may be Exhibition projects, lab reports, research papers, or tests.
3 Categories of Assessments
i - Shows an Initial Level of Understanding
- tasks that demonstrate an initial/basic/beginning understanding of a standard
d - Shows a Deepening Level of Understanding
- tasks that demonstrate a deepening understanding and requires a
higher degree of independence or complex thought
c - Shows a Comprehensive Level Understanding
- tasks that demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of a standard and that requires an even higher degree of independence or complex thought