TCHERS' VOICE / Tch Talks

Tch Talks 28: Playful Assessment

How might student learning improve if assessments were innovative, authentic, and playful?

Learning can — and should — be fun, but when it comes to assessment, teachers can be very serious. However, there’s no need for the fun to stop when the assessments come out.

On this episode of Tch Talks, Dr. Yoon Jeon Kim, a research scientist at MIT Teaching Systems Lab, and Louisa Rosenheck, a designer and researcher of educational technologies in the MIT Education Arcade, come together to discuss how thoughtful design of authentic, creative, and playful assessments can engage students, help them to learn and grow, and allow them an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities in a more personalized and meaningful way. YJ & Louisa — both self-proclaimed "assessment nerds" — discuss types of playful assessment, assessment tools, connections between assessment and social and emotional learning, and their shared goal of empowering teachers with assessment literacy. Perhaps, moving away from traditional assessments and embracing a little whimsy in the classroom just might be a key leverage point to impacting the way students learn in schools. Listen in to find out more.

Podcast

YJ Kim standing outdoors.

Dr. Yoon Jeon Kim is a research scientist at MIT Teaching Systems Lab. Her work has centered on the topic of innovative assessment and how technological advancement influences what we are measuring about student learning and how we are measuring it. Before joining MIT, she was involved in many game-based and simulation-based assessment development and evaluation projects using evidence-centered design in combination with educational data mining techniques. Her primary role at MIT has been leading the partnership with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to create a new teacher preparation program. She also leads the Playful Assessment Working Group, where she and her colleagues explore playful, authentic, yet rigorous assessment approaches in both digital and non-digital learning environments. The core of her work is close collaboration with practitioners — empowering teachers to innovate around classroom assessment and use playful and authentic assessment tools that can truly impact student learning.

Louisa looking over her shoulder at shapes.

Louisa Rosenheck is a designer and researcher of educational technologies in the MIT Education Arcade. She manages the design, content, and development of educational games and simulations, and oversees the research on how games can be effectively used in both formal and informal educational settings. She also brings the playfulness of games into her assessment design work, creating digital and non-digital tools to help both students and teachers assess creative work and soft skills. In addition to these areas, she supports other designers and organizations in creating innovative ed tech and curriculum. Through capacity building partnerships on local and international ed tech programs, she aims to increase the deep learning in games and tools being produced for education.

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