Collaborative Assessment Conference (CAC) Protocol

Modified from the CAC Developed by Steve Seidel and Harvard Project Zero colleagues.

I. Getting started (10 minutes)

1) The presenting teacher puts the selected work in a place where everyone can see it or provides copies. S/he says nothing about the work, the context in which it was created, or the students until Step V. In our class, this means that each group displays the poster that they have created.

2) The participants observe the work in silence, making notes about aspects of it that they particularly notice.

II. Describing the work (5 minutes)

1) The facilitator asks the group, "What did you see?" The answers should be actual items that can be pointed out and made know to everyone.

2) Group members provide answers without making judgments about the quality of the work or their personal preferences. If a judgment emerges, the facilitator asks for the evidence on which the judgment is based.

llb. Looking for evidence (5 minutes)

1) The facilitator asks the group, "What evidence do you see of inquiry?" "What activities do you see being engaged in?" These should again be things that can be pointed out from the posters that we are looking at.

2) The facilitator asks the group, "What evidence do you see of student thinking?" "What kind of thinking do you see being engaged in?" "What do you see as questions by those creating the poster from looking at what is on the posters?"

III. Asking questions about the work (5 minutes)

1) The facilitator asks the group, "What questions does this work raise for you?"

2) Group members state any question they have about the work, the assignment, the circumstances under which the work was carried out, and so on. The presenting teacher (a person who did the work in this case) may choose to make notes about these questions, but s/he is does not respond to them now--nor is s/he obligated to respond to them in Step 5 during the time when the presenting teacher speaks.

IV. Speculating about what the student is working on (5 minutes)

1) The facilitator asks the group, "What do you think the individuals were working on?" "From the experimenter's perspective, what are they working on?"

2) Participants, based on their viewing of the work, speculate about the problems or issues that the student might have been focused on in carrying out the assignment.

V. Hearing from the presenting teacher (10 minutes)

1) The facilitator invites the presenting teacher to speak. In our case someone might respond to a question about their poster, the data that was gathered, etc.

2) The presenting teacher provides his or her perspective on the student's work, describing what s/he sees in it, responding (if s/he chooses) to one or more of the questions raised, and adding any other information that s/he feels is important to share with the group. The presenting teacher also comments on anything surprising or unexpected that s/he heard during the describing, questioning and speculating phases. In our class we will all be "presenting" and anyone can respond, but no one is obligated to respond to questons about their work.

VI. Discussing implications for teaching and learning (10 minutes)

1) The facilitator invites everyone to share how to extend the inquiry they see happening (activities, questioning, materials, groups, etc.)

2) The facilitator invites everyone (the participants and the presenting teacher) to share any thoughts they have about teaching, learning, or ways to modify or extend the learning experience.

VII. Thank the presenting teacher

Modified by Dr. Fiona McDonnell and Dr. David Burgess