Professional Standard Five – assess and report constructively on student learning
Standard Five requires teachers to use both formative and summative assessment strategies to gather evidence and make judgements about student performance. Teachers should establish and communicate clear learning goals that meet curriculum and stakeholder requirements. Teachers use the assessment process to provide constructive, ongoing and timely feedback to students and stakeholders and to design interventions and additional support for students where required. Teachers use data collected through assessment procedures to conduct moderation activities with colleagues and communicate student learning outcomes to students, parents and other stakeholders.
Formative assessment strategy: 10 point quiz
This sequence of quizzes clearly reflects the practice, knowledge and values of standard five. These quizzes were written for year 9 geography students studying the physical and human geography of the Asia-Pacific region as part of a formative assessment strategy. They were designed to be regular (at least once a week), easy to administer (questions and answers are on a PPT; students write answers and corrections in the back of their workbook) and valuable (students can immediately see what areas they need to work in during revision). The quizzes were designed to provide the students with ongoing feedback about their progress towards learning objectives and the teacher with feedback about where interventions were required to improve student learning.
Summative assessment strategy: authentic assessment for year 8 history (Museum Exhibition)
I designed this authentic assessment task for year 8 history students in collaboration with my Head of Key Learning Area and other department staff in order to meet the learning objectives of the Australian Curriculum for History Depth Study 1: Medieval Europe.
The task required students to create museum exhibition about the lives of medieval women (according to a theme of the student’s choosing, for example, peasant women, influential women or women of the church). Students were required to justify their selection of source material according to set criteria regarding the reliability and relevance of sources. They were further required to write introductory notes that synthesised the key information to be imparted to attendees of the museum exhibition. While completing this task, students engaged in rigorous discussions with their peers and me regarding their selection and evaluation of the source material, indicating that they were thinking deeply about the task.
This task draws on the theory of authentic assessment as assessment that engages students in real world tasks that allow them to demonstrate their learning in ways that are practical and relevant (Goh, 2004, cited in Mergler, 2008). In line with suggested guidelines (Killen, 2005, cited in Mergler), the task allowed students to investigate a significant issue, use strategies that professionals in this field would use and enhanced students’ ability to persist and regulate their own learning.
[Please contact the author for further details of this summatvive task.]
Reference: Mergler, A. “Chapter 3: Diverse Assessment Practices”. In Tangen, D., Bland, D., Spooner-Lane, R., Sedgley, T., Mergler, A., Mercher, L. & Curtis, E. 2008. Engaging Diverse Learners. Pearson-SprintPrint, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 39-57.