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Consistency of assessment Technology subjects (7-12)

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1 Consistency of assessment Technology subjects (7-12)

2 What is assessment? Assessment is the process of identifying, gathering and interpreting information about students' learning. The central purpose of assessment is to provide information on student achievement and progress and set the direction for ongoing teaching and learning.

3 DET assessment requirements Schools are to undertake assessment to collect information about students’ learning. This will occur through both formal and informal activities. Assessment of student learning will be undertaken for all learners, including students with disabilities:  enrolled in regular classes;  enrolled in special classes or in special schools;  accessing life skills outcomes and content in Years  7-10 or following life skills patterns of study in Years11-12.’ Policy Standards for Curriculum Planning and Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parents K-12

4 Assessment for learning: acknowledges that assessment of student learning and feedback to students should occur as a regular part of teaching and learning and can be used to shape the teaching and learning process. is critical to teaching and to improving learning by giving students opportunities to produce the work that leads to development of their knowledge, skills and understanding. involves teachers in deciding how and when to review and provide feedback to students about their achievement, as they plan the everyday classroom activities students will do uses a range of appropriate assessment strategies including practical demonstrations of knowledge and skills, self-assessment and peer assessment Teachers of K-10 students will provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning in the context of everyday classroom activities, as well as scheduled assessment events.

5 Assessment of learning: Enables teachers to report on the status of student learning at significant points in the teaching and learning program. Involves teachers making professional judgements of student achievement, based on evidence collected from both formal and informal measures of each student’s performance, over time on a number of assessment for learning activities.

6 Developing a shared understanding of syllabus outcomes Become familiar with the course performance descriptors (CPDs). It is important that you understand the CPDs before you use them. Try the following:  Read the Areas for Assessment at the top of the CPD table. There are typically 4–6 areas identified for each Stage 5 course. The areas for assessment are derived from the course objectives, and are linked to the course outcomes. Look at the objectives and outcomes page of the syllabus and identify how the Areas for Assessment have been derived.  Read the General Performance Descriptors on page 3 of the CPD document. Identify the typical features of student performance at Grade A level. How is it different to Grade B, C, D, E?  Analyse closely the descriptions in the CPD table for each level. How do the descriptors relate to the Areas for Assessment? How do the descriptors vary for each grade level?

7 Collaborative planning and quality assessment processes Work with teachers of the same subject in your school to collaboratively discuss, share ideas and opinions and reach consensus on assessment judgements. Assessment judgements across two classes of students in the school studying the same subject must be comparable and equitable. Look at the Board’s Assessment Resource Centre that includes student work samples for each subject with related commentary. These assessment activities typically illustrate day-to-day teaching and learning rather than significant formal assessment events.

8 Assessment practices Review your assessment program in relation to the CPDs.  Once you are familiar with the CPDs take another look at your assessment program. Think about the following questions in relation to the School Certificate assessment policies and programs you have for technology subjects:  Does your assessment program offer a range of assessment activities that allow the areas for assessment and the objectives and outcomes of the syllabus to be effectively addressed?  Are your assessment activities sufficiently well designed to enable student performance at the full range of abilities? Are capable students able to demonstrate performance at a grade A level? Phrases such as demonstrates extensive knowledge, high level of competence and independently uses are commonplace at grade A. Have you allowed students to show you this level of performance?

9 Assessment practices Use processes that lead to consistent teacher judgement The allocation of grades across the state should be consistent. That means that a decision about the allocation of a specific grade to a student should be the same across the state and year after year no matter which teacher makes the judgement. Such consistency only comes about through substantial professional dialogue and collaboration.

10 The Assessment Resource Centre supports assessing and reporting student achievement relative to standards

11 Using work samples Work samples aligned to grades assist teachers to have a clear understanding of the standards at each grade level. For each subject area in each stage, the samples of student work, together, show the standard of work typically produced by students performing at that grade level. Teachers can use this information to assist them to consistently apply the Common Grade Scale to award grades to students.

12 Using work samples Aligning a work sample to a particular grade indicates that the work sample is of a standard that would typically be produced by a student whose overall performance, on balance, best matches that grade description. The samples of work for a subject area for a particular grade, when taken collectively, enable teachers to clearly see the quality of work typically produced by students who will be awarded each grade at the end of the stage.

13 Awarding grades and understanding standards Board of Studies advice

14 Getting to know the standards (1) You become familiar with the standards by reading: the descriptions for each grade the tasks and activities the work samples, and the grade commentaries.

15 Getting to know the standards (2) While reading, think of your experiences with students you have taught who have produced work of a similar standard. This will give you a mental picture of the knowledge, skills and understanding represented by that grade. Discussions with your colleagues may also be helpful.

16 Getting to know the standards (3) Discussions with your colleagues may also be helpful particularly for  new teachers  where a teacher is not experienced with that stage

17 Choosing the right grade (1) Reporting with grades requires teachers to use their on-balance judgement in relation to standards. This is a key professional skill.

18 Choosing the right grade (2) An on-balance judgment does not just focus on a single piece of work. Teachers weigh up the assessment information collected for a student up to that point in time. This information will come from both formal assessment activities and informal observations and will be built up over time and in different situations.

19 Consistent teacher judgements The consistency of judgements about grades within and between schools comes from: following teaching programs based on common syllabuses using the common grade scale considering shared samples of student work discussions with colleagues.

20 Common grade scale GradeGrade Descriptions A The student has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the content and can readily apply this knowledge. In addition, the student has achieved a very high level of competence in the processes and skills and can apply these skills to new situations. B The student has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the content and a high level of competence in the processes and skills. In addition, the student is able to apply this knowledge and these skills to most situations. C The student has a sound knowledge and understanding of the main areas of content and has achieved an adequate level of competence in the processes and skills. D The student has a basic knowledge and understanding of the content and has achieved a limited level of competence in the processes and skills. E The student has an elementary knowledge and understanding in few areas of the content and has achieved very limited competence in some of the processes and skills.

21 A-E grades At the beginning of a reporting period, teachers will consider what students are expected to learn. That is, the knowledge, skills and understanding that is typically spelt out in the syllabuses and the teaching/learning programs developed by schools. At the end of the reporting period, teachers will consider how well students have achieved. This is addressed by using the common A-E grade scale which summarises the degree to which students have demonstrated their achievement of the knowledge, skills and understanding they have had the opportunity to learn. How well takes into account the breadth and depth of their learning.

22 Course performance descriptors (CPDs) Course performance descriptors (CPDs) have been developed for each course. They describe the main features of a typical student's performance at each grade measured against the syllabus objectives and outcomes for the course. You will make the final judgement of the most appropriate grade on the basis of available assessment information and with reference to the course performance descriptors. The grades awarded should reflect the relative emphasis placed on the assessable objectives of school programs and the syllabus. For example, where a school has placed considerable emphasis on the development of research skills, that emphasis should be reflected in the assessment program.

23 Using A-E Grades and CPDs Year 7 Semester 1 A-E reporting scale used to make judgements on student achievement related to the syllabus outcomes and content taught during that semester only. Semester 2 Year 8 Semester 1 Semester 2 Year 9 Semester 1 Semester 2 Year 10 Semester 1BOS CPDs used to make judgement Semester 2

24 Using CPDs to plan and review  The Course Performance Descriptors should inform planning and reviewing of the assessment activities that will be used to make the grade judgement for the School Certificate:  Does each assessment task give your students the opportunity to demonstrate performance at the range of grades A to E?  Does the set of tasks for the School Certificate address the breadth of the Areas for Assessment?

25 Making judgements Assessment ‘for’learning  Judges student achievement against your expectation for that point-in-time.  Not a judgement about progress against the Board’s end-of-stage standard (CPDs).  Schools will continue to provide reports to parents about what students know and can do in relation to syllabus standards and that:  use a numerical score (1-100) or an A-E (or equivalent) achievement scale  compare student achievement with peer group through course group rankings or grade distributions.

26 Allocating grades: Assessment ‘of’ learning  Participate in discussions about whole-school approaches.  Discuss processes that teachers will use to achieve consistency, especially across teachers of the same course in:  planning assessment  making A-E judgements  Identify subject-specific statements for each reporting period:  Board’s Areas for assessment (CPDs) or  School developed areas of learning reporting statements for each subject.  Develop a documented plan for each reporting period, for each subject.

27 ESL students  Schools will use ESL grades, ESL 1-6 for ESL students to report achievement in English, judged in relation to the ESL scales.  For new arrival ESL students in primary, central or high schools, if appropriate, other KLAs may be reported against A-E scale or just a comment.  For new arrival ESL students in IEC or IEHS student’s achievements in other KLAs are to be described against the Department’s Intensive English Program Curriculum Framework.  For other ESL students (more than 4 terms) achievement in KLAs reported against A-E scale.

28 Learning accommodations or adjustments  Reports will provide information about learning in the KLAs or the life skills program undertaken.  The A-E achievement grades will be used for students with learning accommodations.  Students with learning adjustments (typically moderate or severe levels of intellectual disability):  personalised reports with comments for KLAs  may also include use of a P1-P4 scale  will not receive comparative information to the student’s peer group.

29 Reports for small schools  For schools where the peer group is less than 5 students, schools will negotiate with the community in relation to providing data for comparison  The potential for public release of information about individual students is to be avoided

30 Helping New Scheme teachers Graduate teachers need to be able to: demonstrate knowledge and use of a range of strategies to assess student achievement of learning outcomes (3.1.5) demonstrate knowledge of the link between outcomes and assessment strategies (3.1.6) give helpful and timely oral and written feedback to students (3.1.7) demonstrate knowledge and a rationale for keeping accurate and reliable records to monitor students’ progress (3.1.8) demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practices of reporting to students, parents and caregivers (3.1.9) (Source: Professional Teaching Standards, pp. 6-7) Head teachers and experienced teachers will need to offer professional learning opportunities to ensure new scheme teachers are able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and practices regarding quality assessment and reporting practices.

31 Online resources For course assessment plans and advice go to the Technology web pages of the Curriculum Support website and search for a particular: Years 7-10 technology subject: For general assessment information go to: For advice about moderation and consistency of judgements go to:

32 Contacts Lyndall Foster (02) 9886 7623 Bill Blake (02) 9886 7542

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