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Assessment without levels - Feedback Group


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Presentation from feedback group on assessment without levels

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Assessment without levels - Feedback Group

  1. 1. Assessment and Feedback Group 8th December 2014 Assessment without Levels
  2. 2. Tim Oates Chair of Expert Panel on Assessment • Why have a new national curriculum? • I have listened to it so you don’t have to!
  3. 3. Criteria Relating to Assessment of new National Curriculum Principles are: • Reliable (consistent over time and when done by different people) • Valid (measures what it claims to measure) • Sound construct base (measures something consistent with curriculum aims) • Consequential validity (The uses to which the assessment is put are technically and ethically sound) • Beneficial impact • Utility (easy to deliver, not too costly)
  4. 4. Problems in UK Assessment pre 2014: • underdeveloped formative assessment • assessment dominates curriculum (not key constructs) Assessment without levels takes us back to fundamental purposes of education.
  5. 5. Concept of “construct” is vital Examples: • The learner multiplies two three digit numbers together. • The learner understands and is inventive with metaphor. • The learner uses the concept of inequality to analyse social relations. • The learner understands conservation of mass. Asking a series of questions enables us to assess whether someone has understood these constructs. Constructs should be the focus of our learning objectives and our assessment.
  6. 6. Levels – the problems. They were being applied according to 3 contrasting, co-existing models: • the score on a compensation based test (Level comes from a total number of marks which could come from higher or lower Level content) • best fit (assessing pupil progress against Level descriptors – could be gaps in knowledge) • threshold (pupils only fall just within that boundary giving false impression they are ready to move on) Levels mean something different according to which model is used. Contradictions between schools and state and between Secondary and Primary schools. Meaningless to parents.
  7. 7. And there’s more.. • Levels encouraged undue pace. • Ofsted expectations contributed to relentless progress up the Levels. • Levels led to labelling “I’m a Level 3” - not original purpose which was to enable progress to be recorded. • Most improved education systems (Singapore, Finland) don’t use Levels.
  8. 8. Devising a system without Levels • The issue of progress. Research shows learning is not linear or evenly paced. A spiral curriculum is helpful. • Expansion can be as important as progression. • True differentiation difficult to achieve. Those who make quick progress should not move on to next step but work on same construct in more demanding settings or materials. • Those who understand readily can support those having problems. Social learning.
  9. 9. Devising a system without Levels • The issue of ability. • Researchers found Asian teachers explained their learners’ lack of understanding by saying the learning hadn’t been presented in the right way for the learners yet whereas American teachers responded with a statement about learners’ ability. Could the same be said about English teachers? • Model of innate ability versus all learners having access to whole curriculum depending on how it’s presented.
  10. 10. The New National Curriculum encourages the idea of Production: • If a learner produces something (drawing, writing, statement etc) it becomes an object to them. It’s an insight into their mental life. • They can look at it and think about what and how they are learning. • Thinking is externalised and teachers can optimise curriculum.
  11. 11. The New National Curriculum encourages the idea of Practice: • Higher performing education systems give learners more opportunity to practise. • Not just dull repetition – should be varied, systematic and increasingly demanding.
  12. 12. Living without Levels • focus on deep learning of key constructs • rethink ideas of ability and progression What about data? • tests devised by teachers – strong links to key constructs • familiar contexts plus new contexts to check learners can generalise • data takes form of marks • teacher can judge which ideas/concepts need more work
  13. 13. From 2014.. • year by year statement of content for Primary Schools • every school to publish its curriculum and assessment scheme • levels no longer used • benchmarking tests at KS1 in Maths and English • phonic screening check • statutory test at KS2 – reported against prior attainment • non modular GCSEs • non modular A levels and vocational qualifications • formal (and formative) assessment needs to focus on key constructs
  14. 14. Tim Oates’ personal ideal(?!) • potent and valid formative assessment • good diagnostic assessment • higher density assessment • assessments put together by teachers which match key constructs they have been working on • high autonomy in selection and use of assessment • independent measurement of national standards • high equity, high attainment, high enjoyment curricula
  15. 15. In conclusion: • all teachers to become expert assessors • to be able to select/devise assessments linked to key constructs • get together in groups to discuss assessment schemes • local collaboration in development of high quality assessment
  16. 16. Questions for Assessment and Feedback group: • what are the key constructs for my subject? • are they already identified? • does our curriculum focus on the key constructs? • is it spiral shaped, allowing constructs to be revisited? • are we labelling our learners with a particular ability level? • do our learners produce enough? • do they have enough opportunity to practise? • can those who understand quickly go into greater depth on same construct? • do our formative assessments tell us how well our learners have grasped the key constructs? • how can we gather data from our assessments? • do we assess our learners frequently enough? • who would be the best people to collaborate with?