IWL Faculty Retreat: Assessment Design for Performance, 5/5/15

Event Date: 
05/05/2015 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
Hearth & Arbor in Old Mill Room, Boar's Head Inn


Dr. Jennifer Eddy
World Languages for Performance, LLC

Directions to Boar's Head Inn

Map of Boar's Head Inn Grounds


8:30-9:00AM: Breakfast and registration
9:00-9:05AM: Opening remarks by Francesca Fiorani, the Associate Dean of the Humanities & Arts
9:05-9:10AM: Opening remarks by Miao-fen Tseng, Director of the Institute of World Languages
9:10AM-12PM: Morning workshop
12:00-1:00PM: Lunch
1:00-4:00PM: Afternoon workshop
Afternoon refreshments will be provided.

How do I design performance assessments that enable seamless articulation for my program? How can I use these assessments to plan a cohesive major? This retreat guides faculty through a model protocol to develop performance assessment tasks and “Can Do” statements that frame a course curriculum. This assessment system shapes entire majors and language programs, from literature to language, focusing on recurring ideas and themes you want students to revisit and remember over time. Faculty will design tasks in the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational and learn to turnaround tasks for transfer. Participants will learn how to use culturally authentic materials for designing these assessments and bring deeper understanding of “must have” concepts and perspectives that recur and reprise across your curriculum. Participants are encouraged to bring both informational and literary texts made by and for the people that speak the languages in their programs and their laptops for task design. Faculty will leave with tools to continue design work for their program or major. This retreat is hands-on and interactive with presentation, examples, feedback and discussion.

Some points to consider for Curriculum Design success

Curriculum design on how we regard assessment, (un)coverage of content, curricular priorities, what true performance looks like and how to get students there, requires a huge paradigm shift on the part of all key stakeholders. Very often there is a change of thinking from a teacher centered to student centered approach, from fill in tests to performance assessment and from moving from grammar focused coverage to a thematic and inquiry based curriculum where structures may be the medium but not the end product. For that reason, it takes a great deal of time and intention to make it work, to encourage buy-in, and to ensure commitment to continue work between, during, and after sessions. It is essential that faculty know this is a real shift in what performance assessment and curriculum will look like to form a cohesive, vertically articulated major or program. It is also important that they have the time to design, develop, implement, and discuss their work often, particularly if they are not in the habit of working together. This is a powerful experience particularly for faculty who work alone, are separated by levels or a departmental divide between language and literature. It is important to have dedicated time for research and development of multimedia and print culturally authentic materials. Textbook materials are only one resource and may be pedagogically prepared. Authentic materials provide a cultural and linguistic context for meaningful use of the language. Authentic texts in their raw form provide opportunities for the learner to sift through and focus on a particular need, an interpretive skill we use in our first or second language. In this case, less isn’t more, more is more. The more contexts provided, the more tools the learner has for a task. The rigor comes from the task, not the text. Learners demonstrate better comprehension with authentic materials than with pedagogically prepared or simplified texts. This curriculum and assessment design protocol Encourages articulation and allows recursive themes and big ideas to appear and reprise over the course of a language, culture, and literature curriculum from beginning to end. Students will revisit these and see continuity throughout until they finish your program and then take these ideas away with them to continue as self-directed, autonomous learners in whichever field or profession they choose.


Dr. Jennifer Eddy is a tenured Assistant Professor of World Language Education in the department of Secondary Education and Youth Services (SEYS) at Queens College of the City University of New York. Dr. Eddy teaches undergraduate and graduate courses for initial and professional certification as well as writes curriculum, designs performance assessments, and directs workshops, webinars and seminars for in-service teachers and university faculty. Dr. Eddy has worked in various capacities with World Language Education for 27 years. She taught Spanish Linguistics and Mexican culture and civilization at the undergraduate and graduate level for many years and began teaching methods and curriculum design in 1990. After years of seeing the profession excluded from UbD initiatives at various professional development venues, she designed the UCADAPT protocol aligning Understanding by Design/Backward Design with the National Standards 5Cs (now World Readiness Standards) in 2003, using cultural perspectives as a thematic curricular framer for Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions and the communication standard as stage two of UbD. Dr. Eddy has implemented this protocol in schools, districts and universities across the country. She presents her work at conferences, in webinars and in published articles. The World Language Education program at Queens College is itself designed through UbD. The World Language Education program uses UCADAPT for unit, assessment, and lesson design. NY State school districts and nationwide request this professional development and have implemented this protocol for curriculum design. Dr. Eddy recorded five television broadcasts on performance assessment and thematic unit design and wrote accompanying publications for the educational television network of the Department of Education of South Carolina specifically for their world language curriculum reform initiative. For three years, she was a consultant for Grant Wiggins’ Authentic Education and an author for their publication, Big Ideas. Dr. Eddy created the online assessment design guide From Text to Transfer, for NYU language programs to develop performance tasks in all languages. She developed the Online Curriculum Guide as well as the multimedia/webinar workshop Planning for Performance with Backward Design for STARTALK, an NSLI funded project providing student and teacher programs across the country in critical languages. She has presented for the South Asia Institute at Columbia University, the Maine Chinese Language Conference, Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA) and the L2Trec Immersion conference on performance assessment and transfer. She directs the Indiana University Leadership Institute for the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC) on thematic curriculum design and performance assessment. She is currently finishing Planning for Performance: Designing your Program in African Languages (PAL), a publication for the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) and the National African Language Resource Center (NALRC). Dr. Eddy is author of Sonidos, Sabores, YPalabras (2006, Heinle/Cengage), the first book using songs and lyrics as authentic material for performance assessment within a backward design framework, articles on the arts and language learning, standards -based curriculum and performance assessment, and a book chapter for the People's University Press of Beijing. She is co-author of the Pearson Education publication, Starting with the End in Mind, on designing articulated language programs with Backward Design and performance assessments. Dr. Eddy’s work is featured prominently throughout the NCLRC publication, Teaching World Languages: A practical Guide (2014). She recently published two webinars and materials entitled Uncover Content, Design for Performance: Curriculum Planning and Assessment for Transfer for Better Chinese. Dr. Eddy collaborates with the Foreign Language Association of Chairs and Supervisors (FLACS) on various issues related to NYS World Language curriculum and assessment issues. She is frequent presenter at local, state, regional and national language conferences on backward design/UbD and performance assessment and is on the taskforce and Editorial Board of STARTALK at the National Foreign Language Center.