Big Picture Learning Assessments

Big Picture Learning regards assessment as a learning tool that is woven throughout the teaching and learning process. The main goals of assessment are to help the student reflect on his or her work, create strategies to improve, and develop his or her own internal standards. Evaluation processes should be learning experiences within themselves, strengthening the quality of students’ work and their understanding of themselves as learners.

The use of multiple assessment tools is vital to determine a student’s progress and finding creative solutions to help students build on strengths and address gaps. The whole student must be addressed, looking at each project and activity in light of the student’s personal learning plan. Met students learn to reflect on their work with the question, “Is it good enough?” the work is measured against standards of the real world held by the mentor and the LTI worksite as well as the exhibition panel.

Everyone involved in the student’s life and learning – including their family, peers and mentors – is asked to participate in the evaluation process. The Met’s key elements for student assessment include: exhibitions; digital portfolios; narratives; and, transcripts.


Big Picture Learning schedules exhibitions of work at the end of each quarter. Each exhibition within a school year has requirements based on the student’s grade level and the status of the individual student’s project work. It is through this exhibition of work that the student demonstrates his or her accountability for all facets of the Learning Plan. Exhibitions are presented to a panel of parent(s), student(s), advisor(s), mentor(s) and others who provide specific feedback.

Here are some ideas to help you feel truly ready for your exhibition:

Practice, Practice, Practice

The week before your exhibition, give your presentation in front of other students to get their feedback. You can also practice at home in front of your family, or alone in front of the mirror. Practicing gives you a feel for the timing (you don’t want to be too long or too short). Practice also helps you feel more comfortable about what you are going to say, helps you organize the presentation, and lets you know if any part of the presentation needs more work.

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare!

It is impossible to cram for an exhibition. You are going to present a quarter’s worth of work, and you can’t make that up at the last minute. Create a work schedule for yourself and stick to it. Develop a checklist of all the things you will need at your exhibition and set a due date for completing all the materials.

Take time to read through the Exhibition Feedback Form your panelists will fill out

Know how they will be evaluating you so that you can prepare better. Know what is expected of you and how you can demonstrate your learning and progress to the panelists.

Make an outline of your presentation

This way you won’t leave anything out and it helps you organize your exhibition. You could also make a presentation using your online Portfolio to help organize your materials and give you a visual to use during the exhibition.

Create note cards for your presentation

This gives you speaking points, helps keep your exhibition organized, and gives you a little cheat sheet in case you forget what you were going to say!

Invite people to your exhibition who will give you useful feedback.

In addition to your Learning Plan Team, you could invite other adults from your LTI site, adults in your personal life, friends, older students, and other family members. You can design creative invitations or just contact the people personally.

Create all the visuals for your presentation well in advance

This way you can create drafts and show them to others for feedback. Then you will also have time to make changes and create beautiful finished products.

Gather all the materials you need for your presentation one to two weeks in advance

This will take a lot of time, so don’t wait until the last minute. Also, the earlier you develop the materials, the more feedback you can get from other people.

Make sure you make enough copies of your materials for all the panelists to have their own
Pick out something nice to wear that you will feel comfortable in.

An exhibition can be a really great experience if you are prepared. You get to show off all your hard work and be in the spotlight. It’s natural to feel a little nervous, but the more prepared you are, the less you will worry.