Assessment Identity Statement

My Assessment Goals are:

To assess my students fairly and ethically
To use assessment to shape the teaching and learning that takes place

in my classroom (AITSL, 2014, Standard 5.4)
To provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge in


a variety of ways
To encourage life-long learners
To ensure every student experiences success

My personal beliefs and values that will shape the way I teach and assess my
students make up my personal identity as a teacher, and my professional
assessment identity. The ACT Department of Education and Training’s [ACT
DET] (2011) guidelines for assessment outline a number of principles that
underpin effective assessment practice, as well as examples of what best
practice in assessment looks like. Many of these principles and best practice
inclusions link closely to my personal philosophy of teaching and in particular
to my assessment identity, and these links are demonstrated in the pages that
follow.
“Assessment should be part of effective planning of teaching and learning.”
(ACT DET, 2011, p. 8)
“Best practice includes the use of diagnostic tools to determine what the
students already know, understand and can do.” (ACT DET, 2011, p. 9)
I believe formative assessment, or assessment for learning, is very important
in the classroom, and teachers can no longer rely solely on summative, or
final, assessment pieces. The use of formative and ongoing assessment
practices

means

teachers

can

continually

evaluate

their

students’

understandings and modify teaching as needed (AITSL, 2014, Standard 5.4)
to ensure students are gaining the most out of each learning experience. It
also means that teachers can ensure they are teaching what their students
are ready to learn (Readman & Allen, 2013). If students are being taught
concepts that are either too advanced for them or that they have previously
covered, they are not being set up for success and this can be detrimental to
their learning. The use of continual formative assessment strategies can allow

teachers to effectively gauge where their students’ current abilities lie and
therefore plan their lessons accordingly. This idea ties in with Lev Vygotsky’s
Zone of Proximal Development, where optimal learning occurs between what
students can competently do on their own, and what they cannot yet do
without assistance (Readman & Allen, 2013, p. 8; Woolfolk & Margetts, 2013,
p. 98), as well as an idea called the challenge model of assessment. This
model calls for assessment to challenge students, while not being so
challenging that it is not attainable (Readman & Allen, 2013, p. 29). I believe
this is important because if tasks are too easy, students may participate in an
‘auto-pilot’ mode, which does not foster any meaningful learning. Similarly, if
challenges are too great for students’ to overcome, they may give up and
become disengaged, which is equally harmful to their opportunities for
meaningful learning to take place.
“Assessment should focus on how students learn; assessment should
recognise the full range of achievement of all learners.” (ACT DET, 2011, p. 8)
“Best Practice includes students being actively involved in, and having some
control over their learning; and assessment tasks that are differentiated
through offering quality choices of ways for students to demonstrate
knowledge, understanding and skills.” (ACT DET, 2011, p. 9)
Another approach to assessment that I believe is very important is to offer a
variety of ways for students to demonstrate their knowledge and
understandings. This is because children, just like adults, learn in different
ways, have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as varying interests
and personalities. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (as cited in
Woolfolk & Margetts, 2013, pp. 173-174) describes at least 8 types of human
abilities, or intelligences, and indicates that individuals may show remarkable
talent in one or more areas but may struggle in others. For this reason, I
believe it is imperative for teachers to be in touch with their students’
strengths and weaknesses and create opportunities for students to express
themselves through a variety of modes. In my future classroom, this will take
place in two ways. The first way will be that I will plan assessment and
classroom tasks that will draw on students’ knowledge and skills from as
many of Gardner’s intelligences as possible, to ensure not only my teaching

but also assessment can effectively reach each individual student.
The second way that I will allow students to demonstrate their learning in a
way that is most suited to their style of learning, strengths and interests, is to
allow students some choice in the assessment tasks they complete, as
advocated for by Readman and Allen (2013). There will be times when all
students will need to complete the same assessment tasks, but there will be
other times when students’ knowledge and skills could be evaluated through a
number of modes. At these times I would like to create an assessment grid of
a range of tasks and allow students to select one or more options that they
believe will best showcase their learning. If assessment tasks are grouped by
similarity, students may be asked to select one task from each row, for
example. Offering students choice in their learning can foster motivation and
is a means of differentiating tasks according to students’ interests and
learning styles (Youd, 2013, p. 14).
“Assessment should promote commitment to learning goals and a shared
understanding of the criteria by which they are assessed; provide constructive
guidance about how to improve; and take account of the importance of
learner motivation.” (ACT DET, 2011, p. 8)
“Best practice includes learning goals that are explicit in that students know
what they are learning, why the learning is important, what products are
expected, and how they will be assessed; and the giving of specific and timely
feedback.” (ACT DET, 2011, p. 9)
I would like to base much of the assessment that occurs in my classroom
around criterion-referenced and self-referenced systems of assessment, as
opposed to norm-referenced styles. When using norm-referenced styles of
assessment, there will be some students who, regardless of how hard they
may try, will always be below average (Readman & Allen, 2013, p. 37;
Woolfolk & Margetts, 2013, p. 526) and are therefore not being given
opportunities to experience success. If criterion-referenced and selfreferenced styles were used instead, all students may be recognised for the
effort they put into a piece of work (Readman & Allen, 2013, p. 36), even if
their knowledge is not as high as that of other students. As well as this, self-

referenced styles of assessment, in particular, can embody ‘assessment as
learning’ (Woolfok & Margetts, 2013, p. 503) and allow students to see their
own improvements, which should certainly be celebrated because, for some
students, this growth and progress may be the greatest success they will
experience in a certain aspect of their learning. It is seen that feedback
emphasising progress, as well as not comparing students to others, fosters
motivation (ACT DET, 2011, p. 3) and a healthy attitude towards assessment
and learning (Readman & Allen, 2013), which can lead to students becoming
life-long learners. I would like to incorporate self-referenced systems of
assessment into my classroom by having students mark their own work where
appropriate, and by providing students with comprehensive, descriptive
feedback (New Zealand Ministry of Education, 2009), aligning with Standard
5.2 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2014). As
for the use of criterion-referenced assessment systems in my classroom,
some pieces of work may call for a marking rubric to be provided to students
outlining the expectations, while other tasks may be more suited to either a
whole-class or individualised check-list mode of assessment. These particular
modes of assessment can increase reliability, meaning that judgements are
as consistent as possible across students and among teachers (Readman &
Allen, 2013, p. 149; AITSL, 2014, Standard 5.3), which fosters a more ethical
classroom.
“Best practice includes assessment tasks that are fair and enable all students
to demonstrate their learning achievements” (ACT DET, 2011, p. 9)
I intend to conduct my classroom and all assessment in a way that is ethically
sound and fair to all students (AITSL, 2014, Standard 7.1). To me this means,
among other things, ensuring that all class work and assessment pieces are
free from bias or prejudice against any students who may be from a culturally
or socially diverse background, and respecting all students equally. It also
means providing all students with opportunities to engage with meaningful
learning experiences and assessment tasks, through the use of appropriate
modifications or reasonable adjustments (ACARA, 2015d; Readman & Allen,
2013, p. 133) for any student with a disability or learning impairment, based
on my knowledge of that student and their needs, as well as school, state and

national guidelines (Readman & Allen, 2013, p. 159).
There is a lot to consider in terms of planning and providing assessment
opportunities in the classroom. I believe my values and beliefs will allow me to
be effective in this area, and to ensure I am gaining a clear insight into my
students’ knowledge and understandings through a range of assessment
styles, approaches and strategies. I look forward to entering the classroom
and developing my personal assessment identity further.