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Assessment and learning - getting quality in both
 

Assessment and learning - getting quality in both

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Professor Gordon Stobart University of London University of Bristo

Professor Gordon Stobart University of London University of Bristo

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    Assessment and learning - getting quality in both Assessment and learning - getting quality in both Presentation Transcript

    • Assessment and learning – getting quality in both Professor Gordon Stobart University of London University of Bristol
    • My limited understanding of Norway’s reforms
      • PISA shock – need for reform and accountability
      • Discussion of national criteria/standards in some (or all?) subjects
      • Assessment (evaluation) a political issue
      • Accompanying assessment will be mainly formative:
      • - Year 5 & 8 tests largely formative
      • - Self-assessment & feedback central
      • - Assessment for Learning has key role
    • The English reforms
      • National Curriculum introduced in 1988 – highly detailed and assessment unworkable
      • NC and national strategies progressively revised to make less detailed and prescriptive - for example ‘big ideas’ for 11-14 year olds.
      • Lesson to be learned:
      • Do not make the curriculum over-detailed and over-prescriptive. Keep it manageable.
    • National curriculum testing
      • Accompanying national tests for 7, 11 and 14 years olds also progressively simplified (criterion-referenced replaced by mark based)
      • National testing abolished in Wales in 2004
      • In England teacher assessment replaced tests for 7 year olds in 2005; for 14 year olds in 2008. Science tests for 11 year olds dropped in 2009.
      • Main use has been for school accountability (‘league tables’) & this has had negative consequences.
      • Lesson to be learned:
      • Question the purpose of the assessment. Is it for managerial rather than professional purposes? Does it help learning? What are the side-effects?
      • The Goldilocks’ Principle
      • The specification of national criteria and assessment standards has to be:
        • Not too vague – ‘empty’ generalities
        • Not too detailed – behaviourist micro-teaching:
        • “ assessment as learning, where assessment procedures may come completely to dominate the learning experience and ‘criteria compliance’ come to replace ‘learning’” Torrance (2007)
        • But just right – clarity of purpose, flexible, negotiated, allows some choice and personal autonomy
    • Level descriptions from the National Curriculum - Reading
      • Level 4 In responding to a range of texts, pupils show understanding of significant ideas, themes, events and characters, beginning to use inference and deduction. They understand that texts reflect the time and culture in which they were written. They refer to the text when explaining their views and are able to locate and use ideas and information.
      • Level 5 Pupils show understanding of a range of texts, selecting essential points and using inference and deduction where appropriate. In their responses, they identify key features, themes and characters and select sentences, phrases and relevant information to support their views. They understand that texts fit into historical and literary traditions. They retrieve and collate information from a range of sources.
      • Lesson to be learned:
      • This does not make sense without exemplars and teachers working together to assess.
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    • Assessment for Learning Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning , where they need to go and how best to get there . Assessment Reform Group (2002)
    • Knowing where learners need to go : The role of learning criteria and standards
      • Clear learning intentions
      • - the teacher is clear about what is being learned (progression in learning)
      • - what we will be learning rather than what we will be doing
      • - ‘tuning in’ – setting the scene (why we are learning this), explaining the situation, linking to what is known, unfamiliar words & phrases explained
      • - cognitive challenge: a problem to be solved
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    • Tuning in
      • ‘ We ask kindergartners, “What is the sound of the letter at the end of the word?,” forgetting that many of them are unclear about the concepts letter, word, sound (as it applies to speech), and end (which requires knowing that letters are ordered left to right), and do not know that letters bear a complex relationship to speech sounds’. (P. Johnston)
    • Knowing where learners need to go : The role of learning criteria and standards (2)
      • Success criteria – understanding what is needed
      • Royce Sadler’s paradox
      • negotiation
      • exemplars
      • modelling
      • The role of self and peer assessment:
      • develop understanding of good performance
      • develop concepts and vocabulary (assessment literacy)
      • ... and how best to get there.
      • Feedback
      • ‘ Provides information which allows the learner to close the gap between current and desired performance’
      • It is most effective when :
        • It is effectively timed;
        • It is clearly linked to the learning intention;
        • The learner understands the success criteria/standard;
        • It focuses on the TASK rather than the learner (self/ego);
        • It gives cues at appropriate levels on how to bridge the gap: the task/process/self-regulation loop;
        • It offers strategies rather than solutions;
        • It challenges, requires action, and is achievable.
      • Feedback often does not improve learning because :
      • It does not close the gap:
          • grades/marks;
          • praise/rewards;
          • unclear;
          • too general (‘more detail’).
      • It is directed at self/ego level rather than the task.
      • The learner can choose to:
        • modify the standard;
        • abandon the standard (‘retire hurt’);
        • reject the feedback/messenger.
    • The problem with praise
      • Praise is the most common form of feedback – yet has little impact on learning. Why?
      • Because it is directed at the person not the task;
      • Because it can ‘create a growing dependence on securing someone else’s approval’ (Kohn).
      • Controlling rather than informative?
      • Praise for simple tasks suggests low ability?
      • Creates unwanted expectations?
      • Expert teachers praise less than novice teachers
      • ‘ Praise should be genuine, specific, and used somewhat sparingly’ ( Henderlong & Lepper )
    • AfL in practice: teaching Sudoku