- Slides: 15
Assessment Who Should Assess?
Who Should Assess? Depending on the circumstances and the purpose, assessment of a student's work can be carried out by a range of people or agencies: Ø Ø Ø the teacher involved in the teaching/learning process another teacher in the same school an external agency (e. g. examination board) the student him/ herself the student's peers
Internal and External Assessment We’re familiar with assessments carried out within school (internal) and those carried out by another agency (external) In practice, there are different aspects of assessment: design, implementation, setting the grading criteria, grading, moderation, interpretation and use of outcomes. Each may be an internal or external responsibility Ø e. g. a school may use externally-set diagnostic tests for internal purposes, such as individual student target-setting or allocation of a student to a particular 'set' Ø or, a school may use its own internally set and marked assessments to prepare a report for use by an external user, such as a new school or employer (or even, with Grade Point Averages in the US, as part of a college’s selection process)
Internal or external? Think of the assessments you or your school commonly use: Ø Can you identify those that are entirely 'internal', those that are entirely 'external‘, and those that have both internal and external components? Ø For those that are a mixture of the two – internal and external – can you identify the rationale for each of the components being internal or external?
External assessment Ø What are the claims made for external assessment that generate greater confidence? How do external assessment modes attempt to meet these claims? Ø To what extent do they succeed? Ø What assessment functions are less well met by external assessment? Ø Are these perceived weaknesses inevitable, or can external assessment be altered to serve these functions, without jeopardising its claimed strengths?
Internal assessment Ø Why is internal assessment commonly treated with suspicion with regards to high-stakes assessment? Ø Does internal assessment have advantages? If so, what are they? Ø Can its perceived weaknesses be overcome sufficiently for it to be accepted for high-stakes purposes, without losing its advantages? If so, how?
Criteria for assessment Ø Whether for internal or external assessment, some sort of criteria will be used in making judgements Ø With formal (internal or external) assessment, criteria may well be explicit (e. g. marking schemes) Ø With informal (more likely to be internal) assessment, criteria may be implicit (e. g. teacher walking around the class talking to children about what they’re doing, and judging their levels of understanding) Ø The more formal the assessment, the more necessary it is for criteria to be made explicit
Groupwork The two short essays you will be given were written by students on an introductory course in technology and its social implications, based on theme ‘Assess the noise pollution problems caused around airports by Concorde’ 1. Mark each essay, noting its strengths and weaknesses, and give each a mark out of 20 2. Mark each essay again – after you have been given a mark scheme to apply by the ‘Chief Examiner’ Are your results the same each time?
Moderation Ø Even when criteria have been made explicit, if more than one assessor is involved it cannot be assumed that all assessors will interpret the criteria in exactly the same way Ø Is this likely to be more of an issue in some contexts than others? Ø Different subject areas? Ø Different student age ranges? (cont)
Moderation (cont) Moderation may differ in levels of formality, depending on context, including e. g. Ø two teachers discussing their perceptions of achievement of a particular student Ø several teachers reading samples of each others’ marking and discussing it before agreeing outcome Ø Chief Examiner (in, e. g. IBDP) reading samples of internal examiners’ marking and deciding if adjustment is needed before finalising marks
Activity Ø Is moderation always necessary/ beneficial when more than one assessor is involved? Ø Are there any disadvantages associated with moderation? Ø Is pre-assessment standardisation preferable to postassessment moderation?
Involving learners in assessment One key (and relatively early) advocator this is David Boud. Though much of his work was about self-assessment in higher education, he has had considerable influence on subsequent more general discussions: Ø Boud, D. , 1995. Enhancing Learning through Self Assessment. London: Kogan Page. Ø Mc. Donald, B. and Boud, D. , 2003. The impact of selfassessment on achievement: the effects of self-assessment training on performance in external examinations. Assessment in Education, 10(2), pp. 209– 220.
Boud’s suggested hierarchy … … of approaches to learner involvement: 1. Assessment of the final product using given criteria Minimal involvement. Many advocates of self assessment consider this self-assessment in name but not in spirit. An alternative to providing criteria is to use exemplars of good and bad work drawn from previous years. 2. Negotiation of the criteria Prior to assessing outcomes, learners discuss with teachers the criteria to be used in assessment. Impact on the teaching/learning process will be mediated by how early in the programme discussion takes place. Assessment of process skills may require very early negotiation. (cont)
Boud’s suggested hierarchy (cont) 3. The selection of evidence Learners are involved in deciding on the form and quantity of evidence to be used in assessment. They select from their own work when some sort of portfolio is required. 4. The negotiation of learning goals This means involving learners from the earliest stages so that the purposes and directions of the programme are set to meet the learners' self-perceived needs. These may vary from individual to individual, and may be under continuous revision.
Other readings The case for teacher assessment: Ø Ø Black (1998) Chapter 7 Harlen (2007) Chapters 5, 6 & 7 For high-stakes assessment, greater confidence tends to be placed in externally set and managed assessment. The first part of Chapter 9 in Black (1998) discusses examples of diverse practice in a selection of countries.