For those of you that are parents, have you ever given your child a multiple choice test over life lessons? Have you ever given them a true/false quiz on how to treat other people? Ever give them a constructed response question on how to do the laundry? Of course not, but how could you possibly know if they are learning without a stream of data to analyze.
You talk to them.
The first thing you have to do is flip the teacher, not flip your class. As teachers, it was common to take home papers and grade them, doing the assessment outside of class. That has to be flipped. Justin and I do the majority of our assessing in class. And outside of class, we are searching for new project ideas and setups for future activities. Almost every assessment we do has a conversation piece where we talk back and forth with the student about what they learned and the outcomes of the project.
I was working in the garden with my 6 year old, Sydney, and she popped open a pea and started eating the peas out of the pod. I asked her what she was doing and she said the dark green peas need to be popped out and the lighter ones are better left in the pod. I asked her how she figured this out and she said the dark peas weren't sweet enough and she wondered why. I learned more from her and about her knowledge of peas in that two minute conversation than I ever could have from the way we currently assess our students in school.
In our fast changing classrooms where there are huge pushes for 1:1 with technology, project based learning, web tools, 21st century skills, and all of the other new ideas- the one that will make the biggest change in your classroom culture and your kids is to assess through conversations. Flip the teacher and assess your students the way parents raise their kids and take Dr. Doolittle's advice and "talk to the animals."