Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Portfolios, Digital Media, and Student Assessment with @Seesaw and @AdobeExpress #AdobeEduCreative

One of the things that is always tough, is getting a clear picture of what a student has actually learned. The days of just throwing a multiple choice test to gauge learning are past. While some students are able to use those forms of assessments to showcase their learning, others do not perform well with those mediums and others know enough to game the system. At the end of the day, those assessments do not show enough of what a student knows. I've really leaned into portfolios as a way for students to showcase their work and truly demonstrate what they have learned. By adding the use of Adobe Express to the use of Seesaw, I have created a workflow that has students completing projects and then creating media to showcase their projects and then posting it all on Seesaw for me to assess and for their parents to see as well. Here is an example of the workflow I mentioned. 

Step 1: Seesaw

We use Seesaw as our LMS in the Middle and Elementary School. Every students has their Seesaw account and teachers create their class for students to join. From there, a teacher posts an Activity that outlines what the assignment is going to be. You can set a due date, add images, videos, templates, etc. to help break down the Activity is a way that helps students understand the assignment and how to complete it. Here is an example, 

I break down the different parts of the assignment and then I make sure to be very clear on what that project needs to have at the end. This really helps all students, but particularly neurodivergent students who can get lost in the text at times. 

Once the students have completed the assignment, they post it to Seesaw and it will appear like the image below. 

I can like the post to let the student know I have seen it and I can leave a comment. I leave a short comment here and then we would have a 1:1 conversation to reflect on their work. It does take time, but that feedback on their work is so helpful when they tackle the next project. With the correct settings in place, parents could like and comment on the video as well. With even more settings turned on, students from the class can see other student work as well. Since I use this as a 1:1 student/teacher portfolio, I leave this off so I can freely comment on student work without other students seeing what I have written about the project. 

Here is the video if you are itching to watch it,

The reason I am excited to showcase this on my website is the addition of Adobe Express and all of the upgrades that have taken place over the past few months. Generative AI features and Animate from Audio are just a couple of the reasons that Adobe Express has increased the level and quality of student work this year. I have students that are normally shy using the Animate from Audio feature to give a voice to their work through silly animated creatures. Parents have told me how much the of Express has given a creative outlet for their children in a way that used to be stifled because they did not feel they were "good enough" at art or design. Adobe Express is giving these students a chance to showcase what they have learned if fun and creative ways that make a different to how they feel about what they have created. With that, student engagement is higher and I am able to better assess what students do and do not understand. 

I understand that many schools use different LMS platforms for their classes and maybe they use other design software as well. The principles are still the same. By giving students a better way to make meaning and demonstrate understanding along with a system to aggregate their learning, educators can get a better sense of what learning looks like for that student. Over time, an entire portfolio of projects, writing, presentations, etc, can be collected and showcase the type of growth that can be hard to see month to month, but jumps out at everyone when we pull back and see that growth over a greater period of time.

Seesaw and Adobe Express works for me and many other teachers in my school and across the country. At a minimum, I hope you will consider how a portfolio approach to student assessment that includes media creation could support all of the diverse learners in your classroom and school. 

Hugs and High Fives, 


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