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Actionable Innovations Conversations with Dr. William Rankin

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Meet Actionable Innovator Bill Rankin on September 24th and learn more about his ideas on rethinking academic assessment!

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Actionable Innovations is an exciting new professional learning community and consultancy collective focused on inspiring education leaders. We invite you to virtually meet Dr. William Rankin, an independent researcher and designer focused on emerging trends in learning and education. Dr. Rankin will lead the following Actionable Conversation focused on the assessment of teaching and learning.

Reassessing Assessment

For more than 30 years, research has shown that the majority of academic assessment is fundamentally flawed. For example, studies have repeatedly shown that the greatest predictor of success on standardized tests involves learners’ socioeconomic status — their wealth and membership in the dominant culture. Worse, existing assessment structures are the most frequently cited rationale for not pursuing new teaching and learning approaches: “I’d love to try project-based/challenge-based/technology-supported/personalized/maker/etc. learning, but my students have to pass those tests at the end of the year” or “that’s not how I’ll be evaluated.”

So what should we do? If we were going to create a new model for assessment, what would it assess? What evidence would it consider and what would its results look like? What would it leave out? Who would participate? How would it tie in with existing systems and structures and how could it encourage more innovative, productive, and equitable teaching and learning practices?

To start this conversation, we’ll take a brief look at some of the recent research and thinking around assessment and then spend most of this session in a structured discussion — not as a theoretical abstraction, but as a crucial step to designing something new.

Dr. William Rankin is a learning-experience and learning-frameworks designer and educational theorist who served as worldwide Director of Learning at Apple from 2013 through 2016. An academic with more than 25 years of classroom experience, Rankin helped design the world’s first iOS-based one-to-one learning program for higher education, for which he was named Campus Technology magazine’s Innovator of the Year for mobile learning in 2008. In 2009, he was named an Apple Distinguished Educator, and in 2010, he began a three-year tenure on the US Board of Apple’s Distinguished Educators program. Interviews with Rankin have appeared in Wired, The Guardian, The Times of London, Businessweek, The New York Times, and The Chronicle for Higher Education and at online sites including InsideHigherEd, Ars Technica, and Open Culture. He has worked with schools, governments, and learning organizations in more than 30 countries to design, develop, and implement innovative learning and is an expert in mobile- and technology-enhanced learning and constructionism.

All times posted are CDT or UTC/GMT-5. This session will be recorded.

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Our working group is hosting a series of interactive converations for education leaders. We invite participants to reflect on teaching and learning during COVID-19 and dream about the future of learning environments and educational technology. Come teach, share, and learn with us

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