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Published byJoselyn Hesley Modified over 2 years ago

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One Question Assessment What is it ? This is what happens when a completely non-structured question is asked in order to determine if the criteria for a particular achievement standard have been reached.

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An example of this for 91256 A plastics manufacturing company is launching a new logo. The company will print versions of this logo on a wide range of product shapes and sizes, for example, a 1 m radius curved tube or an A3 size sheet. They would like to make sure that the elements of a given logo do not overlap the company name.

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The new logo is a circumscribed triangle (a triangle inside a circle that passes through all three vertices). The name of the company is written on the diameter of the circle which is parallel to the longest side of the triangle, with letters one fifth of the radius of the circle high. For example, if the radius of the circle is 20 cm, the letters should be 4 cm high. The company's printer knows that the size of the circle will be determined by the locations of the triangle vertices, and the centre of the circle will always be at the intersection of perpendicular bisectors of the sides of the triangle, as shown.

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For interest I gave this problem to my scholarship class, five of whose members already have scholarships, three of them Outstanding. The result was that most simply couldn’t get their heads around it. I would have completely had to change the way I taught for them to extract any benefit at all. This is direct contrast to what occurs when you give a class like this a problem from the Eton or Australian Maths Contests when they immediately get stuck into

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the problem and the really good ones come up with highly imaginative and creative solutions.

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What happened when this was promoted Many mathematics teachers felt really despondent. Their feelings of frustration really peaked when the powers that be floated the idea of one question assessment for the greatly diminished number of external standards. The criticisms of this method of assessment

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What’s wrong with one question ? (i)Unstructured questions have always proved the most difficult for even the ablest students. Most students simply have no idea about how to tackle problems like these; (ii)The level of English required is way beyond that of many students in our schools; (iii)The marking of such assessments is very, very tedious and error prone.

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What happened The arguments against this mad initiative became so strong that NZQA released on Dec 2 the following statement which was part of A2011/019 - 02 Dec 2011 There are many ways in which evidence of achievement can be collected and the approach in the MOE’s assessment materials is not the only approach that can be used. Any assessment material(s) that gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability against the achievement criteria of the standard is acceptable for moderation purposes.

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Bearing this in mind I present assessment activities which in my opinion are perfectly OK for 91256, 91257 and 91258. If they’re not all right then no doubt NZQA will let us know but if you use them you won’t have to spend a vast amount of time marking them nor will you have to change what you have successfully taught in the past in order to meet the wishes of some theoretician trying to change the world.

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Final note before I run through the assessment activities Last year created a web site www.nceax.co.nz to allow students to practise for the externals. I based the material in the site on the exemplars produced for the externals. I got 10000 visitors to the site in the month before the exam with over a gigabyte of traffic in that period. I have nearly completed material for all level 1 exams based on those of last year and will shortly have material based on the exemplars for level 2.www.nceax.co.nz

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Please visit the site, currently it is unchanged from last year, in about a month when the site will be greatly increased from last year. If you want electronic copies of today’s material I will place it on this site in a day or two. If you wish to correspond with me via email my email address is nceax@hotmail.co.nz. I really do look forward to corresponding with you.nceax@hotmail.co.nz

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