Understanding more from and making fuller use of written materials, including using a wider range of evidence to support an analysis
Making more connections about how complex ideas interact and develop within a book, essay, or article
Evaluating arguments and specific claims; assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is sufficient; and as appropriate, detecting inconsistencies and ambiguities
Analyzing the meaning of foundational U.S. documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights)
Making an argument that is logical, well-reasoned, and supported by evidence
Writing a literary analysis, report, or summary that develops a central idea and a coherent focus and is well supported with relevant examples, facts, and details
Conducting several research projects that address different aspects of the same topic, using more complex books, articles, and other sources
Responding thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesizing comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; and resolving contradictions when possible
Sharing research, findings, and evidence clearly and concisely
Making strategic use of digital media (e.g., animations, video, websites, podcasts) to enhance understanding of findings and to add interest
Determining or clarifying the meaning of words and phrases, choosing flexibly from multiple strategies, such as using context, Greek and Latin roots (e.g., bene as in benefactor or benevolent), patterns of words (conceive, conception, conceivable), and consulting specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses)
Interpreting figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyzing their role in the written materials
Selection and Purpose of 12th grade Common Formative Assessments
The CFAs in 12th grade are intended to build sequentially towards the skills needed in the Senior Capstone Project. For each unit, complete mastery of any specific standard is not expected. Instead, each unit’s CFA is designed to provide students with an opportunity to practice skills and receive teacher feedback on progress towards mastery of those skills. CFAs are essential “check points” which help ready students for the final task of producing a multi genre research project, called the Senior Capstone Project.
Sequential Skill Building for the Senior Capstone Project
Skill building check point: Synthesizing multiple sources; identifying rhetorical strategies and their effectiveness
CFA Writing Focus- Narrative Writing: College Application Letter or Cover Letter for employment
Skill building check point: Present information/findings in a multimedia format
CFA Writing Focus- Informational/Explanatory Writing: Literary Analysis
Skill building check point: Begin research process for CAPSTONE topic; generate research questions and analyze reliability of sources;
CFA Writing Focus- Informational/Explanatory Writing: Rhetorical Analysis based on a single text.
CFA Writing Focus- Argument Writing: Full synthesis essay from multiples sources
Capstone Project drafting, revision, and finalizing of all components (summative product)
Capstone Project presentation and assessment
CFA Writing Focus- Narrative Writing: Letter of Advice to Incoming Freshmen
WHAT IS THE SENIOR CAPSTONE PROJECT?
Overview: The Senior Capstone Project is a personalized and culminating project focused on a relevant and significant social/societal issue. As a citizen of this world, we inherit a variety of social issues and debates. Your ability to evaluate and understand relevant social issues and to engage purposefully in debate and discussion is necessary for your success as a 21st century learner.
The Senior Capstone Project is a compilation of student work that includes a variety of fiction and nonfiction student writing as well as multi media products. Research and reflection notes will be mandated as students move from choosing a relevant topic that explores a significant social issue to compiling and organizing research information and finally to presenting research findings via a minimum of six different genres, such as poetry, editorial writing, interviews, web sites, photographic essays, music, timelines, letters, posters/flyers, newscasts, etc. as well as in a formal written argumentative research paper.
Unit 1 CFA 12th Grade
CFA Task 1: Capstone Skill Building Check Point- synthesize multiple sources; identify rhetorical strategies and their effectiveness
Part 1- Read the articles and comics provided. (Teacher chooses from Option #1 or Option #2).
Within each option, there are two articles and two cartoons on a rhetorical topic.
On the graphic organizer provided, students will summarize the central arguments and identify the rhetorical devices.
Part 2- Identify the source with the most effective rhetorical device(s) and write a paragraph explaining why this author’s rhetoric is the most effective. Cite evidence from the source to support your claim.
Essay: Has Technology Gone Too Far? by Jessica W., Teen Ink.
Essay: Online Classes See Cheating Go High-Tech by William Lounsbury, The Chronicle
Newspaper comics: by Dana Summers, The Orlando Sentinel
Article: Cost of Top Colleges Has Outpaced the Value by Andrew Hacker, usnews.com
Article: College Costs are Dollars Well Spent by Ronald Daniels, usnews.com
*OBJECTIVES: Progress toward mastery of the following Focus Standards
W.11-12.7,8: Synthesize information from multiple sources; assess the strengths and limitations of each source.
W.11-12.2 (b): Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.
W.11-12.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
RI.11-12.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. (Progress towards mastery for this unit will focus on
RI.11-12.6: Determine author’s point of view of purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
Unit 1, CFA Task 1: Synthesize multiple sources; identify rhetorical strategies and their effectiveness Part 1- Graphic Organizer
The purpose of this assessment is for students to demonstrate the ability to analyze multiple texts on the same topic, and synthesize the central arguments into
(suggested rhetorical devices students should know and be able to identify/analyze: identify devices:
audience and purpose
Read the articles and comics provided. Then, for each source, summarize the central arguments and list the rhetorical devices on the graphic organizer below.
Summary of central arguments
Rhetorical Devices with textual examples
(minimum 2-4 Rhetorical Devices for each text)
Part 2:Short Answer- Select one rhetorical device and explain Identify the source with the most effective rhetorical device(s) and construct a paragraph.
Teacher-supported Extension: explain why the author’s rhetoric is the most effective.
Unit 1, CFA Task 1- Option #1
Has Technology Gone Too Far?
By Jessica W., San Lorenzo, CA, student essay in Teen Ink
Too many times I recall witnessing all my younger cousins crammed in a dark room, all eight pairs of eyes focused on the computer or television screen, taking turns expertly fighting off imaginary monsters of some sort, trying to rescue the beautiful maiden to bring her back to her castle, the king waiting with a generous reward for the brave hero who will bring his precious daughter home. However, as their tiny fingers fly across a joystick, these kids do not realize that outside that room, beyond that fantasy they are so absorbed in, even more breathtaking wonders await them. As they wait eagerly, anticipating for their chance to play, things they could be learning and experiencing are passing them by.
Over the years, our society’s dependency on technology has unquestionably increased. Sure, it makes life a hell of a lot easier having connection to the internet and unlimited access to the world with just the click of a button. Before you start agreeing with me how brilliant technology is, look around for a minute. Everywhere you go, I’m sure you’ve observed teenagers chatting animatedly into their cell phones, lost tourists frantically referring to their GPS systems, hectic businessmen clutching their laptops in one hand, a coffee cup in another. Just the other day, I a overheard a woman irritably complaining loudly about how preposterous it was, this meal took a whole 4 minutes to heat up in the microwave! Her friends agreed with her dutifully. “Who has time for this? It’s absurd, why won’t they invent something that is ready in 1 minute or something?”
It’s not hard to envision the day where people grumble that one minute is too lengthy of a wait for a meal to be ready. Technology is so extremely fundamental and important for the majority of us, we’ll be adrift without it. However, do we really need a machine that toasts cute animals onto bread? Is a machine where people imitate jumping rope necessary when there is a perfectly fine jump rope put away in the garage? It’s understandable for parents to resort to hand held games to keep mischievous, energetic children entertained and busy. Nevertheless, it is a bit disheartening to imagine the future as technology enhances continuously, altering the way we live our daily lives. I might sound a bit hypocritical, I admit it, since I am typing this rant on my laptop while listening to my iPod. However, you get my point.
Unit 1, CFA Task 1- Source B
Online Classes See Cheating Go High-Tech
William Lounsbury for The Chronicle
"It's important that the research community improve perhaps as quickly as the cheating community is improving," says Neal Kingston, of the U. of Kansas, who organized a Conference on Statistical Detection of Potential Test Fraud.
By Jeffrey R. Young
Easy A's may be even easier to score these days, with the growing popularity of online courses. Tech-savvy students are finding ways to cheat that let them ace online courses with minimal effort, in ways that are difficult to detect.
Take Bob Smith, a student at a public university in the United States. This past semester, he spent just 25 to 30 minutes each week on an online science course, the time it took him to take the weekly test. He never read the online materials for the course and never cracked open a textbook. He learned almost nothing. He got an A.
His secret was to cheat, and he's proud of the method he came up with—though he asked that his real name and college not be used, because he doesn't want to get caught. It involved four friends and a shared Google Doc, an online word-processing file that all five of them could read and add to at the same time during the test.
More on his method in a minute. You've probably already heard of plenty of clever ways students cheat, and this might simply add one more to the list. But the issue of online cheating may rise in prominence, as more and more institutions embrace online courses, and as reformers try new systems of educational badges, certifying skills and abilities learned online. The promise of such systems is that education can be delivered cheaply and conveniently online. Yet as access improves, so will the number of people gaming the system, unless courses are designed carefully.
This prediction has not escaped many of those leading new online efforts, or researchers who specialize in testing. As students find new ways to cheat, course designers are anticipating them and devising new ways to catch folks like Mr. Smith.
In the case of that student, the professor in the course had tried to prevent cheating by using a testing system that pulled questions at random from a bank of possibilities. The online tests could be taken anywhere and were open-book, but students had only a short window each week in which to take them, which was not long enough for most people to look up the answers on the fly. As the students proceeded, they were told whether each answer was right or wrong.
Mr. Smith figured out that the actual number of possible questions in the test bank was pretty small. If he and his friends got together to take the test jointly, they could paste the questions they saw into the shared Google Doc, along with the right or wrong answers. The schemers would go through the test quickly, one at a time, logging their work as they went. The first student often did poorly, since he had never seen the material before, though he would search an online version of the textbook on Google Books for relevant keywords to make informed guesses. The next student did significantly better, thanks to the cheat sheet, and subsequent test-takers upped their scores even further. They took turns going first. Students in the course were allowed to take each test twice, with the two results averaged into a final score.
"So the grades are bouncing back and forth, but we're all guaranteed an A in the end," Mr. Smith told me. "We're playing the system, and we're playing the system pretty well."
He is a first-generation college student who says he works hard, and honestly, in the rest of his courses, which are held in-person rather than online. But he is juggling a job and classes, and he wanted to find a way to add an easy A to his transcript each semester.
Although the syllabus clearly forbids academic dishonesty, Mr. Smith argues that the university has put so little into the security of the course that it can't be very serious about whether the online students are learning anything. Hundreds of students took the course with him, and he never communicated with the professor directly. It all felt sterile, impersonal, he told me. "If they didn't think students would do this, then they didn't think it through."
A professor familiar with the course, who also asked not to be named, said that it is not unique in this regard, and that other students probably cheat in online introductory courses as well. To them, the courses are just hoops to jump through to get a credential, and the students are happy to pay the tuition, learn little, and add an A.
"This is the gamification of education, and students are winning," the professor told me.
Of course, plenty of students cheat in introductory courses taught the old-fashioned way as well. John Sener, a consultant who has long worked in online learning, says the incident involving Mr. Smith sounds similar to students' sharing of old tests or bringing in cheat sheets. "There is no shortage of weak assessments," he says.
He cautions against dismissing online courses based on inevitable examples of poor class design: "If there are weaknesses in the system, students will find them and try to game it."
In some cases, the answer is simply designing tests that aren't multiple-choice. But even when professors assign papers, students can use the Internet to order custom-written assignments. Take the example of the Shadow Scholar, who described in a Chronicle article how he made more than $60,000 a year writing term papers for students around the country.
Part of the answer may be fighting technology with more technology, designing new ways to catch cheaters.
Countering the Cheaters
When John Fontaine first heard about the Shadow Scholar, who was helping students cheat on assignments, he grew angry. Mr. Fontaine works for Blackboard, and his job is to think up new services and products for the education-software company. His official title is senior director of technology evangelism.
"I was offended," he says. "I thought, I'm going to get that guy." So he started a research project to do just that.
Blackboard's learning-management software features a service that checks papers for signs of plagiarism, and thousands of professors around the country use it to scan papers when they are turned in.
Mr. Fontaine began to wonder whether authors write in unique ways that amount to a kind of fingerprint. If so, he might be able to spot which papers were written by the Shadow Scholar or other writers-for-hire, even if they didn't plagiarize other work directly.
"People tend to use the same words over and over again, and people have the same vocabulary," he says. "I've been working on classifiers that take documents and score them and build what I call a document fingerprint." The system could establish a document fingerprint for each student when they turn in their first assignments, and notice if future papers differ in style in suspicious ways.
Mr. Fontaine's work is simply research at this point, he emphasizes, and he has not used any actual student papers submitted to the company's system. He would have to get permission from professors and students before doing that kind of live test.
In fact, he's not sure whether the idea will ever work well enough to add it as a Blackboard feature.
Mr. Fontaine is not the only one doing such research. Scholars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they are looking for new ways to verify the identity of students online as well.
Anant Agarwal is head of MIT's Open Learning Enterprise, which coordinates the university's MITx project to offer free courses online and give students a chance to earn certificates. It's a leading force in the movement to offer free courses online.
One challenge leaders face is verifying that online students are who they say they are.
A method under consideration at MIT would analyze each user's typing style to help verify identity, Mr. Agarwal told me in a recent interview. Such electronic fingerprinting could be combined with face-recognition software to ensure accuracy, he says. Since most laptops now have Webcams built in, future online students might have to smile for the camera to sign on.
Some colleges already require identity-verification techniques that seem out of a movie. They're using products such as the Securexam Remote Proctor, which scans fingerprints and captures a 360-degree view around students, and Kryterion's Webassessor, which lets human proctors watch students remotely on Web cameras and listen to their keystrokes.
Researchers who study testing are also working on the problem of cheating. Last month more than 100 such researchers met at the University of Kansas at the Conference on Statistical Detection of Potential Test Fraud.
One message from the event's organizers was that groups that offer standardized tests, companies developing anticheating software, and researchers need to join forces and share their work. "Historically this kind of research has been a bit of a black box," says Neal Kingston, an associate professor of education at the university and director of its Center for Educational Testing Evaluation. "It's important that the research community improve perhaps as quickly as the cheating community is improving."
There seems to be growing interest in such sharing, says James Wollack, an associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. "If you go on the Web and look, it's pretty clear that the people trying to game the system are learning from each other," he says. "Unless the testing industry also pools its resources, we're always going to be playing this game of catch-up."
A revolution in education thanks to online courses could be in store, as Thomas L. Friedman recently predicted. But significant challenges remain, not least among them preventing Mr. Smith from fraudulently claiming an education that he didn't get.
College 2.0 covers how new technologies are changing colleges.
Unit 1, CFA Task 1- Source c From The Chronicle of Higher Education