**Assessment**

The Defacto Curriculum?

Definition: "that exists or is such in fact".

Assessment describes the measures used to evaluate student achievement of

stated learning outcomes

Assessment takes two forms- summative and formative.

Summative assessment

Formative assessment

Is descriptive, qualititative and forms part of an on-going dialogue between the student and the teacher. It enables students to judge their own performance against stated learning outcomes.

Conclusion

Grades student performance against specific stated criteria, not against other students.

**Assessment has the potential have**

the

most influence on the way a student approaches learning

the

most influence on the way a student approaches learning

**We want students to actively engage and understand; not just reproduce material**

**How might this work?**

**Room Changes - Mathematics**

Nature of the assessment task

After listening to an older speaker talk of memories of the roles of men and women within the family, students categorise and analyse the information into either a Venn diagram or a Y-chart. Students transform this information into an annotated or labelled collage of drawings, pictures and photos, depicting the changing roles of men and women within families over time. Students explain and justify the inclusion of material in their collage.

The task could be part of existing units of work. They could include, 'Why do people tell stories?', 'Looking back', 'Tools we use at home' and 'Families'.

The success criteria for the completed assessment task are:

an ability to organise material for presentation

an ability to categorise information

an ability to select content relevant to the task

an ability to communicate effectively in speech.

The student rubric can be used:

(a) to make certain that students are aware of the success criteria against which they will be assessed by the teacher. Teachers should make certain that students fully understand all terminology.

(b) to assist students in the process of self-assessment.

Prior teaching and learning

For this task, students should have an understanding of:

changes to families over time, including changing gender roles

the way in which changes can be caused by changing needs

the role of technology in promoting change.

Students should have experience in:

extracting information from spoken or written texts

recording needed information in pictures or writing

categorising information

using either a Venn diagram or a Y-chart

discussing the reasons why information was included under different headings

listening to original stories of families and or communities.

Use removable adhesive note pads (70 x 75 mm) for students to draw information on and to include in their collage, or provide students with suitable magazines or photographs from which they can select appropriate images for their collage.

Preparing students for the task

Explain to students that they will be seeing or listening to some materials that describe what an older person remembers of their life as a child and that the older person will be focusing on the jobs they remember their mother and father doing within the family. Further explain that they will discuss it as a class and you will be asking them to do some further work about what they hear, and that they will be told what they need to do as each task arises.

Inform students they will be using their Venn diagrams or Y-charts to think about the jobs men and women had when their grandparents were children and to help them to draw pictures for a collage that will show this.

Explain that you will be asking them why they included various pictures and comments and that you will be marking them on how much information they give you.

Show the class a copy of the Student rubric for olden days task (doc,44kb) and explain how the faces reflect the assessment you will give them. Discuss the amount of work required for each of the faces.

An optional introduction could be included by reading Piggybook to the class and discussing the changing work roles of the family depicted in the book. (Piggybook, A Browne, Mandarin Paperbacks, Octopus Publishing Group, London, 1989.)

A resource that deals with wartime lifestyle is the book What Was the War Like, Grandma?, R Tonkin, Hodder Children's Books, 1995. In particular, refer to the depiction on page 24 of a wartime kitchen to facilitate a discussion on kitchen appliances used in earlier times. (See also pp 13 and 19.)

Students might also benefit from an excursion to an historic home, an historic farm or a museum.

As a whole class, listen to or look at the resource material, allowing time for students to discuss the information presented. Emphasise that some of the work that men and women do in the family has changed over the years and that students will be recording in pictures the work men and women did when their grandparents were children.

Students might need to be reminded that in some cultures there has been no change in the traditional roles adopted by men and women.

After the whole class has listened to or shared the resource material, discuss the information as a class, focusing on the jobs that were exclusively male or female, and those that were shared. Model the drawing of a piece of information on the removable adhesive pad.

Show the Venn diagram or Y-chart and demonstrate the placement of the picture on the chart and how it can be manipulated due to a change of opinion.

For those students whom you identify as having difficulty in coping with the concepts of changing jobs and the changing roles of men and women, it might be necessary to provide a sequence and a structure.

Use the optional collage scaffold and the following process:

The student concentrates on only the olden days and draws pictures on squares of paper of the person doing the tasks as outlined in the source material.

Fold the provided collage blank to show only the olden days. The student then places the drawn pictures in either the men's or women's sections.

For each picture in this section, the student now draws on a square of paper another picture to represent who does the job nowadays and how it is done.

The student places the picture in the appropriate section of 'Nowadays'.

During the justification, the student points with each hand to the matching pictures to discuss the differences.

Ask: How has the job changed?

Is a different person doing the job nowadays? Why?

Before students begin the collage, discuss the similarities and differences between jobs in the olden days and those that the men and women of their own families do now.

Discuss and model a range of ways to represent the work. These could include:

timelines with pictures

paired drawings with transition arrows

groups of pictures under headings.

Emphasise that the collage should depict the changing nature of particular jobs over time, eg Dad mowing the lawn manually in the 'olden days', and Mum or Dad mowing the lawn with a motorised mower nowadays.

This also gives the opportunity to discuss the idea that the increased use of machines means that not as much strength is needed to do certain jobs, so people find it easier and quicker.

Allow students time to share their work and their ideas with the class.

Teachers will have opportunities during these activities to assess for learning in an informal way and to provide students with oral feedback before they begin the actual task.

Top

Using assessment to improve student learning

The information gained about student skills, knowledge and understanding can be used by teachers to shape future learning and teaching. Teachers could use the diagnostic grid could be used by teachers to record students' performance on each of the expected qualities to obtain a snapshot of those areas in which students will need further instruction.

Teaching and learning activities

Categorisation of information

1. If students performed at a low level on this aspect of the task provide them with opportunities for further practice by:

playing 'Guess My Group'. Use all the yellow shapes from an attribute block kit. Begin with one easily identifiable attribute such as size. Without comment, assign the shapes to piles. Ask students to guess what the name of the group is. Change the attribute and ask students to guess again. Students take turns to use the blocks to play the game. Introduce a second attribute (for example size and shape) and replay the game. Give students lots of experiences to become proficient while gradually introducing other attributes such as width and colour

modelling classification of pictures of items. The teacher orally demonstrates the thinking involved in examining items to determine characteristics and their similarities and differences for placement on a Venn diagram or Y-chart

students classifying pictures of items for placement on a whole-class Venn diagram or Y-chart, according to class determination of the groupings and placement, as well as discussion about why individuals placed pictures under particular headings.

It is important to ensure that students understand that criteria can change according to the purposes of the classifier and to give them an opportunity to self-determine the groupings and explain why they chose the one they did.

2. If students performed at a high level on this aspect of the task, provide them with opportunities to use the Consensus 1, 3, 6 strategy (or modify this to 1, 2, 4, which often works better with younger students). Students individually think of two tasks which men or women do in the family and draw them on separate pieces of paper. The student combines with two others (or one other in the modification 1, 2, 4). The group examines all pictures, with each student justifying why their picture should be included, and discards those that depict the same thing or those it decides are irrelevant. These groups then combine with another to make a group of six students (or four) and repeat the process. The class decides on the categories to be used and students take turns in placing the pictures appropriately, explaining why they put them in the different categories.

Nature of the assessment task

Students plan and cost the renovation of a lounge room. Students are required to design and produce a scale diagram of the renovation and to make choices about furniture and other items. The costed renovation is evaluated in terms of available budget.

The task as outlined concerns the renovation of a lounge room of specified dimensions. Teachers might choose to vary this. For example, students could be given the opportunity to focus on a room of their own choice, a selected room or rooms from a given house plan.

The success criteria for the completed assessment task are:

an ability to produce a geometric representation of the room and its contents

an ability to organise and present measurement problems

an ability to select and compare financial options

an ability to communicate and evaluate results.

Prior teaching and learning

For this task, students need to have an understanding of:

the use of ratio and proportion in scale diagrams

basic measurement units for length and area

the use of Pythagoras' Theorem

calculation of basic composite areas

finance calculations involving simple and/or compound interest.

In addition, students should be able to:

accurately draw diagrams to determined sizes (either with a pencil and paper or a computer package)

apply reasonable decision-making and planning processes to an investigation

effectively justify decisions within the constraints of the investigation.

Prepare revision worksheets on ratios, scales, financial choices. For example:

Activity sheet

Student Rubric

Teacher Rubric

Students will also need access to catalogues advertising household furniture and electrical goods. Teachers can choose to either provide appropriate catalogues and brochures to students, or require students to find the information themselves.

Using assessment to improve student learning

Ability to produce a geometric representation of the room and its contents

For students who performed at a low level on this aspect of the task, teachers need to determine if the problem is conceptual or computational. It is unlikely that students with a good understanding of scales and ratios will have significant difficulties in the actual preparation of the drawings.

Students who have difficulty with the concept of ratio as a comparison of quantities can be given experience in making and calculating ratios using real materials. At the simplest level, students can be asked to divide shapes or different coloured objects into given ratios. As understanding develops, students can be asked to determine the ratios between different objects.

When an understanding of ratio involving quantity is established, the use of ratios in scales can be introduced. Understanding of the scale ratio as a measure of expansion (or reduction) from a map (or model) to real life can be developed by asking students to measure and then create scale drawings of their immediate environment – eg the classroom, the school building and the local neighbourhood. The concept of equivalent units in both parts of a scale needs to be clearly presented. Further practice can come from use of local maps and directories to estimate real-life distances.

Computational difficulties arise with students who understand the concept of ratios, but have problems with finding equivalent ratios or determining quantities using given ratios or proportions.

Again, at the simplest level, students with these problems should be given practice and experience with real materials. For example, students can be asked to divide 30 items in a ratio of 1:5. An increasing level of understanding can be achieved by moving on to tasks such as:

If the ratio of boys to girls in a class is 2:3, how many students are in a class with 12 boys?

If the ratio of boys to girls in a school is 3:5, how many boys and girls are in a school of 200 pupils?

Students can use concrete materials until they can confidently complete the calculations mathematically.

Computational problems with scales can be addressed by similar procedures to those for ratios of quantities. From simple tasks, students move through a series with increasing difficulty such as:

Determine the scaled length of 1 m by the scales 1:2, 1:5, 1:10, 1:100 etc.

Measure your own height and draw various scaled representations.

Calculate the real-life distances using local maps and directories.

Formal mathematical procedures for calculations involving ratios and scales can be introduced after students have had sufficient experience with practical situations.

A revisit to the Working with ratios worksheet or similar activities can assist in consolidation of basic understandings. Practical examples of scaling and marking out building projects, including the use of diagonal measurements for squaring, can be found in Maths in building design (Thomason and Forster, Emerald City Books, ISBN 1876133112).

Students who perform at a high level on this aspect of the task can be challenged and extended by any of the following:

Determine and use a scale that most effectively fills an A4 page.

Use the dimensions of an actual room (eg from the family home) that will almost certainly have less computationally friendly dimensions.

Design a new room within given parameters that could include limits to length, width, floor and window areas etc. Use of design features such as cathedral ceilings can add challenging aspects to the task.

The most capable students could be challenged to determine, after individual research, the intrusion of sunlight into the room at different times of the year.

The task gives students the opportunity to use CAD, drawing or dynamic geometry software for the production of the scale drawing. This can be extended to any of the additional activities.

Use a combination of AFL and criterion- based assessment tasks to guide student learning and your teaching..

Use some of your criterion-based assessment tasks to produce summative assessments by assigning grades or scores to the criteria.

Assessment is an intrinsic part of the curriculum.

Students want to know, "How am I going to be assessed?" This will determine what approaches to their study will work best.

For teachers it is often the final consideration: "What is my content? How can I asssess it?

Is quantitative (norm-referenced). Measures achievement against learning outcomes. Often comes at the end of a topic or course of study, e.g. formal invigilated exams, criteria-assessed activity tasks. Can be used throughout a topic in the form of tests, graded homework tasks, worksheets, etc. The grading criteria must be established and transparent to the students.

Criterion-referencing

Criterion-referenced tasks should provide most of our continuous assessment grading.

Students must be given the assessment rubric for these tasks. These must be related to the learning objectives.

Continuous Assessment

Continuous summative assessment should be

criterion -referenced. These rubrics should be given to the students. They will allow you to measure learning outcomes according to set performance criteria and will give students the opportunity for both self-assessment and the feedback necessary for them to improve achievement.

Formative Assessment

Should guide our teaching and the students' learning

Assessment for Learning

Benefits:

is part of effective learning

focuses on how pupils learn

is central to classroom practice

develops the capacity for self and group assessment

recognises all educational achievement

is a key professional skill

helps learners know how to improve

promotes understanding of goals and criteria

Is sensitive, constructive and fosters motivation

AFL should be happening

all

of the time, throughout every lesson. It doesn't give the pupil or the teacher a grade, but it tells us what learning has been achieved and what has not!

**AFL PowerPoint**

What is it?

“Assessment for learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for learners and their teachers to decide where the learners on their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.”

Assessment Reform Group, 2002

Teaching and learning activities - for example

Can be used as part of a student's summative assessment (each criteria is awarded a set of grades to indicate level of achievement), or used as formative assessment

student rubric

teacher rubric

optional scaffolds

Teaching and Learning activities- example.

Continuous assessment is the term used to describe assessment that is on-going throughout the term. It should be both formative and summative. The summatively-assessed tasks are used to provide a quantitative score at the end of a term. Both these and the formative assessments should support learning and teaching.

**PS.**

**Assessment tasks should aim to be AUTHENTIC.**

"Authentic assessment is assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills." - Jon Mueller

- creative and effective use of knowledge

- application of knowledge

- demonstration of skills and not just regurgitiation of content

Activity

Groups of 4/5

Create two assessment rubrics for your given task- one for students, one for the teacher to which he/she can assign values and arrive at a qualitative score for the task.

If the task involves more than one student remember to include a descriptor for this- contribution, participation, etc.