Saturday, March 1, 2014

Transference of Knowledge in action in High School Band Midterm

I have had the great benefit of being on the team of educators and administrators that is helping lead the rest of the district through the lengthy, challenging and exhaustive (and/or exhausting) process of getting our curriculum up into the Rubicon Atlas format and servers. I have learned so much about content, delivery, knowledge and assessment through the conversations we've shared through this journey.

It is so exciting when we dig into concepts and I can see how I am already doing many of the recommended strategies. Recently we have been tackling the concept of Depth of Knowledge (DOK), in an effort to truly capture student engagement in all areas. Being able to recite facts does not always demonstrate true understanding.  See this chart that explains the different levels of DOK.

Chart by Dr. Norman Webb

DOK is different than Bloom's Taxonomy in that the verb is not the end result, as it is in Bloom's. In DOK it is how the verb interacts with the content, and the complexity of the thinking that is involved that determines the DOK.

An excellent resource that I found makes the observation that students involved in Career and Technical Education statistically perform better on state standardized test benchmarks, like the NECAP, or the MEA's of old. I can easily see this correlation because students in the technical learning classes, and those in the arts classes, are always transferring their learning into doing. It is never the simple recall of facts. It is learning facts, and then applying them. Every single day, over and over again. 

When planning for the mid-year exam for my high school band students, I was very interested in trying to capture the transferred learning that happens all the time in the ensemble. Therefore I gave students time to select one etudes in the warm-up book -- a sadly neglected section, which therefore ensured that all students would be sight-reading and preparing a completely unknown piece of music for the the mid-term. I gave them several class periods to practice in class before the winter break, as well as the rubric that I would be scoring them against, and reminded them to be practicing on their own when we returned to school after the new year. 

On the day of the mid-term, the students were given time to prepare, and then when they felt ready, they recorded themselves on their iPads, using the Moxtra App.  This app is my absolute favorite for use in music classes. The students imported the digital copies of the music into their Moxtra Portfolio, and then while reading the music from the iPad, they are also able to record their audio on the incredible microphones the iPads are equipped with.  The students then shared the link of their file with the sound file attached to me via email.

It was very exciting to see the level of detail the students used in preparing their selections. Dynamics, articulations and phrasing were all evident -- without any formal coaching from me on these pieces. They transferred their accumulated knowledge of musical concepts to this assignment! <insert fist bumps and high fives all around>

Here is a video that explains DOK a little more.

Depth of Knowledge from NYC DOE Promising Pract on Vimeo.

I really enjoy looking at DOK and trying to incorporate all four levels into my teaching at different times -- depending on which grade level I am working with. It is common sense, in many ways, but a very thoughtful and accessible resource that helps educators to use the common language, and speak to goals with precision and specificity. I am excited to continue exploring other ways of demonstrating what students actually know!

No comments:

Post a Comment