Assessment? Sure, no problem
and most common
“it needs more salt”.
When I first began instructing I knew I had to be able to assess and put a grade to the performance of my students. I had made some general assumptions about the apprentice’s prior knowledge of what taste, presentation and consistency would be. They are apprentices and in the industry where they are being taught these things on a daily basis, so I thought. I also assumed that I would have to assess and put a “mark” to everything they prepared in the lab which turned out the be a significant amount of work for me mostly due to the system I was using.
What I did was set up a tasting station for myself where I would have the apprentices present their items to me, I would take a few bites and provide immediate feedback to them on the item. The apprentices appreciated the immediate feedback they were getting and they had the opportunity to make corrections on the spot to their products. A downside to this was that the detailed feedback was only verbal and they would forget all that I had said to them by the time they saw their marks. The assessment tool I used to put marks to the products was a small table containing columns for name, taste, consistency, presentation and total.The implications of this system were that the apprentices would go away with some indication of where they were at in producing the items but they would forget once they had to move on to another thing to prepare. For me, something had to change. I needed a way that I could spend more time watching and working with the students to ensure they were successful while providing useful summative assessments faster. Since I had only taken the Teaching Essentials Program my knowledge on evaluation was quite limited. (this would change later after the testing and evaluation course). I researched rubrics and started to develop my own for my class.
My focus was to ensure that the students path to success would be in a format they could take with them and reflect upon. The students would have the rubrics before-hand so they could reference them when we discussed the theory behind the products and then make notes if required for specific preparations and techniques. The criteria was laid out in writing for them and they knew exactly what they had to do to be successful and receive an A. For me, I now had the ability to spend more time with the students during the preparation, coach them through the process while providing the verbal feedback they enjoyed at the same time making my job of assessing the final products more efficient. This process has significantly increased my abilities in my level II course and I have time now to add photos of their work so they can read and see their successes.
Enhanced Level II Class Assessment Tool