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assessment glut

March 10, 2013

This week I feel saturated, glutted and over-done with assessment.

cake glut

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First, my Literature Review of Best Practice in Assessment and School Evaluation is due tomorrow. Second, I’ve spent the week monitoring students’ progress in class during preparation and delivery of role plays. Third, I undertook data analysis during a meeting on Friday, then revisited the online tools to build graphs for another few hours yesterday while producing individual education plans and learning adjustments for my year 10s. We are also in the midst of writing interim reports.

IO graph

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Assessment for learning and assessment of learning are inextricably intertwined in my current hyper-attuned state.

Year 12s focusing on representation have completed their oral role plays with a partner; here their focus was on feedback mechanisms. We shared critical thinking tools (a KWHLQ chart for documenting process) along with a peer evaluation framework during the presentations themselves. They generated checklists and applied indicators for ABC grades. Was it useful? I can’t judge until I hear their responses to my marks and written comments tomorrow.

Photo records convey an impression of effective engagement in role play. Images have been shared on Edmodo, but there are no comments as yet. Perhaps they’re shy, though (timely interruption) Ming just posted a query about whether he should be writing formal comments about the role plays in his journal.


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While research indicates, and experience confirms, that students overlook teachers’ written comments, heading straight for marks and a quick comparison with peers to establish the hierarchy, there was no doubting that students monitored my body language during the week whenever someone dropped a language-bomb or made a joke. How will she respond? Feedback is far greater than words on the page, or verbal exchanges.

So what have I learned?

  • Feedforward as a neologism defining the crucial nature of quality feedback which serves to modify learning for both students and teachers
  • Data is a lens through which we peer
  • Data interpretation is variable-dependent and complex
  • Reliability must be brought into question, especially at scale
  • Context and culture are powerful mediators
  • This could become an obsession

Passion-centred antidote:

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