# 2006 University of South Africa All rights reserved Printed and published by the University of South Africa Muckleneuk, Pretoria EDAHOD-5/1/2007-2009 97989266 A4 Icon Style
INTRODUCTION The role of assessment Changes in assessment Expected outcomes: what to expect from the course Reading the course material A two-way conversation Application Ð a practical approach Planning your study 1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO ASSESSMENT Introduction 1.1 Historical issues and assessment 1.1.1 The Chinese literati 1.1.2 The feudal system in Europe 1.1.3 Colonialism in Africa RE-EVALUATION OF ASSESSMENT IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT 2.1 The exam crisis in South African schools 2.1.1 How valid or reliable is the Matric exam as an assessment method? 2.1.2 Are tests and exams still useful forms of assessment? 2.2 The influence of context on the educational situation 2.2.1 The key economic forces that drive our new education system 2.3 Changes in the South African context: social and political context 2.3.1 Changes in South Africa's social context 2.3.2 Changes in South Africa's political context 2.4 The influence of educational system, infrastructure and policies on assessment 2.4.1 The National Curriculum Statement 2.4.2 Change as a process 2.5 Outcomes-based education and assessment 2.5.1 The term ``outcomes-based'' 2.6 Reflection on the case study WHY ASSESS? Introduction 3.1 Choosing a purpose for assessment 3.1.1 Assessment in order to grade or sort 3.1.2 Assessment in order to promote or select 3.1.3 Assessment in order to evaluate 3.1.4 Assessment in order to predict
(v) (v) (v) (vi) (vi) (vi) (vii) (viii) 1 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 8 13 15 15 16 16 16 19 19 21 23 25 29 31 31 31 31 31 32 32
3.1.5 3.1.6 3.1.7 3.1.8 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.2.3 3.3 3.3.1 3.3.2 4 Assessment in order to control Assessment in order to diagnose Assessment in order to guide and motivate Assessment in order to learn Key concepts in assessment Approaches to assessment Assessment involves comparison Fairness in assessment The teacher and assessment Planning an assessment cycle The focus and purpose of assessment
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EFFECTIVE ASSESSMENT 4.1 Assessing with outcomes and integration in mind 4.1.1 Planning to integrate teaching and assessment 4.1.2 Planning the assessment strategy 4.2 The assessment of higher-order thinking skills 4.2.1 Bloom's taxonomy of thinking 4.2.2 Questions and answers 4.2.3 Instructions and action words 4.2.4 Activities 4.3 Fairness 4.3.1 Curriculum fidelity and diversity 4.3.2 Eliminate gender and cultural bias 4.4 Assessment and moderation 4.5 Useful feedback REPORTING AND RECORDING Introduction 5.1 Reporting according to outcomes 5.2 Criterion-referenced reporting for grades 5.3 Criterion-referenced reporting per outcome 5.4 Reflection on effective recording ADDENDUM A BIBLIOGRAPHY
THE ROLE OF ASSESSMENT
The way teachers think about assessment and assessment practices reveals much about their thinking about the teaching-learning situation per se. Why would we say that? Just think about the following: . What teachers assess indicates what they see as important and applicable. . Who assesses whom tells us much about power relationships as well as about how learning occurs. . How and when the assessment takes place says much about the reasons for assessment. . The ways in which teachers mark, record and give feedback reveal a lot about their thinking with regard to learning as such. It is clear, then, that the way in which a teacher assesses is related to that teacher's beliefs about content, the teacher's role, learners and the purpose of teaching and learning. For this reason it is also clear that there is an interrelationship between teaching, learning, curriculum and management, and that ideas about teaching cannot change without influencing the thinking about assessment.
CHANGES IN ASSESSMENT
To see whether our past and, in many cases, current methods of assessment (that is, tests and exams) are appropriate to the purpose of assessment, we have to think about the choice of modes (forms), media and frames of reference. The British writer Elizabeth Bray, in Lubisi (1999:20), calls this phenomenon ``fitness for purpose''. According to her, your assessment methods should ``fit the purpose'' of your assessment. This means your method should be right for the purpose or the reason you are assessing. Fitness for purpose is a key concept in assessment. Very early in the planning of an assessment strategy you are faced with certain key questions: . Why are you assessing? . What are you assessing? . How will you assess? Bray says the why and the what will determine how you assess. Remember that, so far, we have only been referring to tests and exams Ð the Matric exams in particular. Think about why we assessed in this way in the past. What did we assess? Was the method (the how) appropriate or not?
EXPECTED OUTCOMES: WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE COURSE
The chief aim of this module is to increase your understanding of outcomes-based assessment so that you can evaluate its worth and possibly start changing the way you think about assessment and the way you apply assessment in the teaching-learning situation. The module aims to give information about the following: . . . . Historical background of assessment practices from the past Reasons for assessment The influence of change on assessment Effective assessment
LEARNING OUTCOMES By the end of this study unit you should be able to . demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of traditional assessment practices . determine whether these methods of assessment were appropriate to the context we lived in . interpret the value of these methods from a historical perspective . make a value judgement about whether these methods of assessment meet the demands of current educational trends and a rapidly changing world . demonstrate an understanding of the significance of new developments in assessment
Reading the course material
This study guide operates much as a teacher does. It will structure your learning, explain concepts and direct you to other parts of the module at appropriate times. It will facilitate your learning. We suggest you purchase a hardcover A4 book or a file in which to do the activities, write notes and generally record your ideas as you work through the module.
A two-way conversation
The study guide is not like an old-fashioned textbook, to be read and learnt by heart. We have written it in the form of a conversation on OBA. Like all good conversations, the study guide works best if you participate. To encourage your participation, we have included many activities and requests to ``think!''. In fact, it is probably true to say that your work is the most important part of the guide. If you do not do the activities, you will be ignoring the major part of the learning experience, which is your own understanding of particular concepts. Another very important aspect of this ``conversation'' with the content of this study guide is to rethink and reflect on what you have read so as
This is only possible. A vital learning skill is the ability to plot your own progress. When we are first introduced to an idea. is an effective way of studying this module. Comments and guidelines will accompany this icon. Only when we think.
RETHINK AND REFLECT Reflect on the previous discussion and find your own meaning and understanding. debates and mind maps to structure the teaching. It will allow you to ground in your own context many of the theoretical ideas that are presented. read and write about things on a regular basis does their full importance become clear to us. The comments and explanations throughout will highlight the important principles. however. Note the meaning of the following icons ACTIVITY This icon indicates a formal activity which you should do in your workbook. It is presented inductively. we believe you should also set aside time to talk with other students. especially if you have debates and arguments. case studies.
Application of theory to practice
Although the study guide already constitutes a conversation. Talking about assessment issues. It is important to know that understanding (as opposed to rote learning) develops in layers. if you keep a record of your understanding throughout the course.
COMMENT Pay special attention to this icon: it points to important information about the particular topic under discussion. This makes your workbook a very important part of your learning strategy. It will become the record of your thinking Ð and of the changes in your thinking Ð about OBA. You can then return to the earlier work and see how your understanding has changed. talk. Think about how we get to know things in the world.(vii)
to understand it. scenarios. which means you will be arriving at the principles yourself. it seems strange and confusing. The study guide makes use of a variety of techniques that include dialogues.
we expect that you would spend the 120 hours as follows: . reading time: 60 hours (this includes reading the study guide. not all students work at the same pace. time spent in writing assignments: 20 hours (the time it should take to write the assignments you will submit to your tutors) Good luck and enjoy the learning experience!
. But. so you may well find you need more (or slightly less) time.(viii)
Planning your study
We believe this module requires about six hours of work a week for a period of about 20 weeks. do activities and write these down in your workbook) . Generally speaking. of course. as well as other learning material that you receive with the study guide) . In other words. you should set aside about 120 hours of study time. activity time: 40 hours (this includes the time it takes you to think about your readings.
it is still worthwhile or appropriate to assess in this way or not. in our current educational system. Schools are a part of society. It means ascribing a value to something. In this study unit we intend doing just that and it will be up to you to decide whether. but the starting point is evaluation. Why did we assess in the past? Did we assess worthwhile things? What did we assess? Did we employ an adequate method? To answer these questions. Evaluation enables an educator to answer the questions: ``How good?'' or ``How well?'' Let us take a closer look at the structure of the word ``evaluate'': e-value-ate. performance and behaviour. How often have you seen schools come under fire for allegedly ``lowering standards''? ``Lowering standards'' can mean something like reducing the role of the final examination as the dominant form of assessment. Schools have particular social roles which have an impact on what you can or cannot do in your school or classroom. Evaluation requires you to make a judgement about learners' knowledge. deciding on the worth of something. An important reason for these disagreements has been a recognition of the crucial role that assessment plays in society. Isn't this one of the ongoing arguments we have about our current assessment practices?
.1 HISTORICAL ISSUES AND ASSESSMENT
Assessment has always been characterised by disagreements about the purposes it should serve.1
STUDY UNIT 1
Historical background to assessment
According to Freiburg and Driscoll in Van der Horst and McDonald (2001:180) many terms in the language of assessment are interrelated.
1. we have to explore some of the traditional assessment practices and decide on their worth.
If you happened to be born into the upper class or aristocracy. The feudal era was characterised by the rule of kings and feudal lords over servants. they had to write examinations on classical texts. Even after the British had left.1 The Chinese literati
Since about 200 BC China has used assessment.
1. namely examinations or tests. through examinations. In Southern Africa. is not a recent phenomenon. Let us look at this issue from a historical perspective. By ``cultured'' they meant that the person had to be well read in classical literary texts.2 The feudal system in Europe
Europe went through a prolonged period of feudalism. This ``cultured'' elite group became known as the literati. Botswana. Botswana. In order to lay claim to membership. as a way of selecting people for its public service. they maintained control by way of examinations over what was taught in the schools. Schools in countries like Lesotho.1. You might ask: ``What type of exams were these?'' The Chinese established the principle that only people who were ``cultured'' should form part of the public service. in the form of examinations. a strong base of skilled middle-class professionals was needed. Remember. This is a good example! The Chinese literati used assessment (in the form of literature exams) to select their members. Swaziland and Zimbabwe
. qualified for various professions.1. It has a long history. you were allowed to occupy a high social position.1.
1.3 Colonialism in Africa
Many African countries were once colonies of European powers. For this reason more people were educated and. These were the criteria they used for selection.
1. If your father was a king. Zimbabwe. Zambia. you would probably become a feudal lord as a matter of course. The rise of capitalism did away with feudalism. Lesotho and Swaziland.2 In fact. In order to grow economically. we said that assessment can represent certain social interests and that such assessment usually takes a specific form. the dominance of this one form of assessment. Britain colonised South Africa.
required their students to write the so-called O-level and A-level examinations Ð set in Cambridge or Oxford Ð to obtain school-leaving certificates. if your exam is set by people in Cambridge. you need to make sure that you are taught what the Cambridge examiners consider to be worthwhile knowledge! It is clear that social interests (colonial interests in this case) are served by some forms of assessment (in this case O-level and A-level exams).
This is not surprising. Schooling has also been viewed as imposing a particular ideology on the nation's children. The ``old'' South African education departments assumed that good learning and teaching depended on listening. Those who met the requirements obtained certificates and thus a passport to all sorts of options in society that were denied to others. schooling for the different cultural groups was provided unequally in segregated schools. The ``philosophy'' that underpinned the actions of these departments was that schools had to develop citizens who were respectful to God and to authority. It seems that Matric examinations not only served the purposes of selection and grading in the apartheid era. Most South African schools still understand assessment to be written tests and high-stake examinations.1 THE EXAM CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLS
During the apartheid era. The state. the examination system became problematic. according to King and Van den Berg in Lubisi (1999:96). remembering and obeying\ the ideas of people in authority. By implication this would create citizens who obeyed the governing authority of the day. but also of monitoring and controlling what was regarded as valuable educational knowledge. Exams became a mechanism for disciplining learners. was obviously in a position to control what constituted valuable educational knowledge. Read both essays and give them each a mark according to the assessment grid. In a situation where the school system was regarded as discriminatory and the curriculum as suspect. which controlled both the curriculum and the certification procedures. On the next two pages you will find two examples of Grade 12 essays written under exam conditions.
. Assess each essay according to form and content. This encouraged a view of assessment that focused on the ability of learners to recall the inputs made by authorities (such as teachers and textbooks).4
STUDY UNIT 2
Re-evaluation of assessment in the South African context
When I arrived in the examination rooms all students were seated waiting for the question papers to start writing. My brother was then discharged from the hospital. When I got home I found out that my little brother was in the hospital. The driver stopped and I went back home took the money and I went to catch another taxi.5
Topic: Write a narrative essay on ``The day everything went wrong''. At about 8H00 I took my belongings and went to catch a taxi I realised that I leave the money at home. Write an essay on your experiences and how you finally brought an end to the bullying. Once she has singled you out as her enemy you dread every morning on which you have to go to school. I was relieved because I was not that late. And I passed my Physical Science with a ``E''. I was running out of time. he told me that he will first deliver the other passengers then he will find another taxi for me. I went to see him and found that he was seriously injured. I was going to write my final Geography paper. The previous night I slept very late because I study. it was getting late. I woke early that day. I was so confused and I was not taking notice of what was happening. I was very confused. Bullies are as common a phenomena in school as brilliant children. I still ask myself that did I know that I was going to write geography or Physical Science. I was one of the unfortunate ones for the whole of last year
. Luckily I found another taxi and I was off to the correct place. I showed. The people gave us question papers to my surprise it was no a geography paper but a Physical science paper. he was involved in a serious car accident. dress and eat my breakfast as usual. I was very prepared for the paper. TB is very meaning of terror itself. I tried to tell the driver that I was in a wrong taxi he was very angry. I was very worried because that day was not meant for me. I found out that I was in a wrong taxi. But at the end everything went wrong for me. Truly het delivered the passenger and found me another taxi. And what if I didn't realise that I had money or not what would have happened. I was going to write the paper at 9H00. Even today I don't know what happened in my mind and life that day. It was fine day no clouds and no wind birds were singing joyfully.
Topic: For a whole year you suffered at the hands of a school bully. But thank God because everything afterwards became right. promising to be a fine day for me too. Our school has many bullies but none of them is as terrifying as TB.
I strangled her. rying (and failing) to cover my face was all I could do. I bit her. I collected my books and went home.6 because TB singled me out as an object of her hatred. Afterall what gave me. So whenever TB saw me she would humiliate. She pounced on me like a lion. I simply nodded my head. My only crime was that my teachers were fond of me (and to tell the truth I don't know why). like a sheep to the slaughter. But TB had not been satisfied. all those who were not new in the school. I ran after her crying like a maniac. One day one of the teacher had sent me to fetch her some water in a bowl. my uniform was dirtied and torn and everybody was having a jolly good time Ð laughing at me. On my way to the staff room there appeared TB. And so began months of paying two rands every day. She headed straight for me and before I could stop her she had tipped the bowl. I hit her again and again. but all this was to stop TB's bullying.
. My books flew into the air. I would even steal the money if I hadn't been given enough at home. TB did not like this in the least. Is that clear''. That was the last day she bullied me. I decided enough was enough. She held out her hand and I gave her all the money I had (which was more than R2 by the way). ``That's what becomes of school-girls who fall in love with teachers. One day on my way from school I was walking with some friends. As she said this. She said: ``From today onwards you have to pay a protection fee of R2 a day or you'll curse the day you came to this school. come here right this minute!'' I went meekly to her. She let a few days pass and then she saw me in the school tuck-shop she shouted ``Hey Favourite. She tried to free herself but I strangled her until she fainted and I released her. There appeared TB with her group and I froze because I knew how she liked to show off. a newcomer the right to be more popular than them i. Fists and slaps rained down on me in rapid succession. I started to collect my books and for one moment I stood still. Anyway she headed for me and started accusing me of having an affair with one of the teachers. All the time I was crying. I just cried and asked for permission to go home.e. Before I could deny it she was already on me with her fists. frighten. thus spilling the water all over my uniform Ð and then she smiled that horrible smile of hers and I was too shocked to speak and too terrified to tell the teacher. I was so angry! I pounched on her before I knew what was happening. threaten or bully me in any way she saw it. But anyway if anything had to be done I was always one to do it. she held me by the ears and pinched them so hard they became red and my eyes filled with tears. When she got tired she let go of me and said.'' I felt so humiliated especially because she was lying.
Fluent. well chosen language & correct spelling and punctuation C2 Ð clear link to the topic Ð present applicable ideas and elaborate with creative background on the problem Ð refers to only 1 or 2 ideas re topic Ð exemplars not really applicable to core of topic Ð shows good evidence of understanding the meaning and associations with the topic C3 Ð gives a detailed discussion of all aspects of the question Ð has insight into linking creative ideas to core of the topic Ð can apply ideas to evaluate and describe Ð use language to paint a picture Ð good background reading visible C4 in addition to all in C3: Ð convincing information and evidence from a range of readings Ð provides thoughtful and appropriate ideas Ð is able to analyse and evaluate Ð topic is a wellthought through and verified writing
(1) Assess the two essays by using the assessment grid. (2) Which of the two essays do you think is the better one? Give reasons for your answer. sentence structure and spelling average F3 Coherent structure. conclusion. Ideas elaborated. Some attempt to use examples.7
Essay assessment grid
CONTENT C1 Ð cannot clearly formulate ideas linked to the topic Ð cannot present background on the problem Ð refers to only 1 or 2 ideas re topic Ð exemplars not really applicable to core of topic Ð shows little evidence of understanding the meaning and associations with the topic Form F1writing consists of isolated ideas. creative ideas. F2 Reasonable structuring of essay in form of paragraphs and flow of ideas. paragraphs. intro. correct.
. poor spelling rhetoric/. good spelling and punctuation F4 Clear. well integrated with topic. and/or incoherent overall structure.
This is because these concepts are often discussed in the literature in technical or theoretical terms. Yet the two are often the most poorly understood concepts in assessment. displays a richer vocabulary and meets the criteria for a good story or narrative essay. We will try to illustrate them in a different way. educational or otherwise. which makes them very difficult to understand. we
. The most obvious reasons would be that the second essay is more grammatically correct. According to him.
2. The first essay. is another story (pun intended!). all the matrics in the country who wrote English. that is. It is also rather captivating and invites one to read on (although it ends rather violently!).1. however. (4) Your answers possibly ranged between 50 and 60 percent. In fact. this learner's performance was measured against the average level of performance of others in the `'normative'' group.
2. validity and reliability are two of the most important aspects of any assessment. the external examiner failed this candidate on firstlanguage level.1 Validity
When we say in our daily conversation that something is ``valid''. (3) Although students may phrase their opinions differently and probably elaborate a bit. the standard was too low and there were too many grammatical mistakes.1 How valid or reliable is the matric exam as an assessment method?
According to Lubisi (1999:91). In other words. Do you agree? (5) It is clear that different people can come up with different marks that would ultimately determine the future success of this learner. we believe most of their reasons would boil down to the same thing.1. ranking and comparing.1. This means that there may be a discrepancy of up to 5 percent between our mark and that of the examiner.8 (3) Do you think the opinions of fellow students/colleagues will differ from yours? (4) What percentage would you give the second essay? (5) Do you think other students will differ from you? Here are our thoughts on these questions: (2) We thought the second essay was definitely of a higher standard than the first. This is clearly a norm-referenced assessment for purposes of grading.
Do you agree with this claim?) (4) To what extent will the learner's performance on this assessment correlate with his performance on another assessment that evaluates the same thing? (Concurrent validity refers to the correlation between a learner's performances in two or more assessments. when we consider the same variable or when the same thing is being assessed. There is no major difference between the use of the term ``valid'' in daily conversation and the way it is used when talking about assessment in education. however. to help you. It simply means that their excuse or argument is sound or justifiable. These questions serve as criteria against which you can measure the examiner's assessment of the first essay. or ``Izak's argument about the problems around examinations is valid''.9
often mean that it is sound or justifiable. Learners may be assessed on one chapter when they have in fact gone through ten chapters!) (3) How well does this assessment predict a learner's future performance? (This is referred to as predictive validity. What we need to recognise with regard to educational assessment. We want you to look at it from various angles and. For ease of reference we will make use of a table:
(1) On the face of things. It was claimed for the traditional Matric exam that it could actually predict a learner's future academic performance. This means that an assessment can be more valid in one aspect and less valid in another. and illustrate the meaning of some difficult concepts regarding validity at the same time. we are going to ask you some questions. is that ``soundness'' or ``validity'' has various dimensions. does the mark that the examiner gave look valid? (2) To what extent does the assessment cover the content of the course? Does it cover the content adequately? (This is called content validity. In this way we hope to stimulate critical thinking.) (5) What consequences could the assessment have for the learner? (Consequential validity is concerned with equity or fairness in assessment. do you think the mark that the examiner gave the learner is valid or not? Give reasons for your answer.)
Considering the abovementioned questions with regard to validity. Let us look at the first essay again. people say: ``Maggie gave a valid excuse for not learning for her test''. For instance.
it is always possible to improve one's language skills. therefore. On first impressions he believed his assessment was sound.10
This is not an easy question to answer. The assessment has little relevance to the actual skills and knowledge needed subsequently and yet has a direct impact on the choices available to the student. Here is what we thought. not specific content which. yet fails his final Matric exams! If this in fact happened. It is essentially concerned with issues of fairness or equity in assessment and raises the question whether failing English at Matric level should determine whether a student can pursue a course in dancing or the trade of carpentry thereafter. suppose the learner just had a cold on the day of the exam and so did not perform well. Failing English at Matric level may suggest that the learner will have difficulty studying through the medium of English at a higher level. Even if the exam were a true indicator.
. A lot of different factors may have influenced the learner's performance at that particular time. Suppose the learner simply had no interest in the topics that were set. However. and could have written informatively and accurately on many other topics. What do you think? (2) Content validity is not a criterion this assessment can be measured against. because writing a narrative essay assesses language skills and a bit of creativity. although the examiner thought differently. undermining the predictive validity of this form of assessment. depth and insight displayed by the student in her handling of the topic. Suppose an essay topic required students in deep inland rural areas to write about their experiences when visiting the seaside! (3) We are not sure whether the assessment has predictive validity. and most rubrics will award some marks to the relevance. (4) Concurrent validity is definitely an aspect one should take into account. cannot be brought into the equation. Imagine if this learner had passed English in the record exams and usually gets approximately 50 percent for his essays in class exercises. the student must write on a specific topic. what do you think could have gone wrong? (5) Consequential validity is a type of validity that has only been identified fairly recently. on that particular day. although you may disagree with us: (1) On first impressions (face validity) we would possibly have passed this learner. On the other hand.
Think about the difference between an essay you had to write for an ordinary homework assignment and one you had to write in a formal exam situation. we often choose specific tasks. To what extent would different assessors award the same value to a learner's performance in an assessment activity? Look and compare how we differed from the examiner who assessed the first essay!
Which of these criteria can you apply to the examiner's assessment of the first essay?
. To what extent would a different sample of similar assessment tasks deliver the same level of performance? When we assess learners. Of course one is more anxious in a formal exam setting than when doing an ordinary assignment for homework. However. skills and attitudes in a variety of contexts and with minimal variation between the judgements made by a variety of assessors.1.11
2. . Is the learner's performance likely to remain the same if the assessment is done at different times? There are obviously temperamental and other issues that would cause a learner's performance in the same assessment activity to be different at different times. For example: . there are a few criteria that one can apply to assess whether an assessment is reliable or not. When people say something is reliable. When is an assessment reliable? We think it is safe to say that an assessment is reliable if it can be trusted to help us make generalisations about a learner's knowledge. In education.2 Reliability
In our everyday conversations the word ``reliability'' has something to do with trustworthiness. From the learners' performance in these tasks. we assume that they would perform the same if we set similar tasks. Surely there is something wrong if two assessors use the same assessment instrument and criteria and award completely different marks for the same work by the same learner? Can one measure reliability? An interesting question. the principle of reliability means much the same as in everyday usage. they usually mean that it can be trusted.1. .
. (2) We believe that most learners score a better mark for an essay under relaxed conditions. the reliability of the assessment would also be affected. . in terms of the second criterion. Our mark differed from the examiner's mark. Those who met the requirements obtained certificates and thus a passport to all sorts of options in society. without a doubt.
Let's summarise what has been noted regarding the Matric exam in the past: . This form of assessment is highly competitive. . but also of monitoring and controlling what was regarded as valuable educational knowledge. . The examinations not only served the purposes of selection and grading in the apartheid era. Assessment took the form of an external examination and was therefore set and marked by external agents (examination boards). Any final. .12
(1) We assume that the considerations mentioned in the first criterion would definitely have had an impact on the reliability of the assessment. Tests and exams were mainly formal. and this was demonstrated with regard to the first essay. (3) We often hear of two teachers giving completely different marks for the same essay. which means that the teacher was primarily responsible for imparting the knowledge. high-stake examination plays havoc with the nerves and has a negative effect on most learners. Fundamental to the Matric examination is the concept of
. which means that a final ``summing up'' of the marks is done and the results are often used for grading. Final assessment occurred at the end of a course or schooling and was based on the curriculum that was taught. The curriculum was mainly knowledge-driven and therefore input-based. . . the most formal assessment mode being the final Matric examination. Therefore. All these factors raise the question of the validity and reliability of this form of assessment. . Tests and exams are summative. this variability would affect the reliability of the assessment. So. especially with regard to those learners who were disadvantaged in the past. because learners are selected for further career choices and the job market by means of grading and ranking. ranking and selection purposes.
Performance is measured against a norm for example. is opposed to testing and so tends to focus on the detrimental effects of testing on education. teachers will skip those sections that are not for ``exam purposes'' even though they might be very important educationally. we have decided to highlight some of the views held by two writers. quality education. Madaus further argues that because exams impose such high stakes. According to him. teachers narrow down their methods of teaching and assessing. He argues that people have so much faith in tests and exams that marks are considered to indicate educational quality. Some schools will get learners to ``spot'' and rote-learn for exams Ð which gives them a reputation for high marks but offers little by way of a broad. . For instance. Compare their reasons with the reasons you gave and see if they are similar or whether they touch on issues you have not thought about in that particular way.1 Madaus's arguments against testing
Madaus. In other words. They prepare learners for exams by setting the types of question they are likely to get in their Matric exams.13
`'norms''. Another point Madaus makes is that the high stakes in exams tend to distort the way in which learners are taught. The choice of media was mainly written forms (such as pencil and paper). the performance of all the higher-grade English candidates in the country. people believe that a school which produces good Matric results must be a school which offers educational quality. In other words.1.1. teachers tend to change the syllabus. this simply is not true. Madaus and Ebel. Parker and Wedekund (1998:24). We are sure that you as students also hold a variety of views on this issue.
2. it is important to consider how they support their arguments. Norm-referenced assessment therefore compares learners' performance with the performance of other higher-grade English learners. To stress the ongoing debate about tests and exams.
. in Lubisi.2.2 Are tests and exams still useful forms of assessment?
This must be the next obvious question. Why are we still using tests and exams as a form of assessment if their reliability and validity are being questioned? The value of exams is an ongoing debate in education. As you read what they each have to say.
2. instead of using a variety of forms of assessment.
Finally. learners are often selected to enrol for certain subjects or courses such as Mathematics and Science. You should remember that selection not only happens in an employment situation. learners write entrance examinations before they are admitted to university.2.
2. Ebel further asserts that the content tested in high-stakes exams is identified by experts as being important for learners to learn. she can enrol for certain programmes at university. a learner's marks say a lot about the quality of education.2 Ebel in defence of tests and exams
Ebel in Lubisi et al (1998:26).1. Assessment for selection also takes place if a learner chooses to go to university. media and frame of reference serves the purpose in the case of tests and exams.14
.3 Fitness for a purpose
From the discussions up till now it is clear that examinations serve to select and monitor. In other words. selection and certification. In countries like the United States of America. He argues that it would be unfair to expect learners to be assessed on work they had never been taught to perform. This selection is based on the learners' performance in various assessment tasks.
What type of assessment practice will be appropriate or worthwhile in our current educational approach? Will tests and exams still have a place? What does continuous assessment really mean? These questions will be addressed in the following study unit. where we shall be taking you further on the journey of assessment in education. technicon and college courses on the basis of their Matric results.1. then our past assessment practice may be regarded as fit for purpose. particularly in terms of an outcomes-based approach. So it is in the interest of the latter that teachers should teach the things that will be covered in the exams. We will be exploring what outcomes-based assessment entails and why it is more valuable and worthwhile in preparing learners for a fast-changing world and the challenges of life. and are also powerful means for the inspection and control of the educational process and the school bureaucracy. According to him. So the choice of mode (form). students are selected for university. on the other hand. That is why this method of assessment fits the purpose. In a school.2. if you only want to test a learner's recall of knowledge for the purposes of grading. argues that writers like Madaus are wrong in assuming that the quality of what learners learn is unrelated to the marks they achieve. If the learner obtains a Matric exemption and gains a specific number of marks. In South Africa. Ebel sees no problem with teachers preparing learners to answer questions similar to those covered by tests and exams.
2. It is also said that South Africa as a country has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. isn't it? We need to develop and assess entrepreneurial abilities to enable them to start their own businesses. political and social changes in recent years which are driving the new educational policies in our country.
Why is this so? How should the education system respond? Does this mean knowledge is not important any more? Think of reasons for your opinion. money and physical resources as well as ``human'' capital.
. But has this happened? It is said that South Africa is currently rated 93rd out of 178 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. The economy of the country therefore has to grow at a rate comparable to the growth rates of countries in the rest of the world.
2. the context we live in has undergone significant economical. These changes are not necessarily of South Africa's making but economic imperatives driven by global factors. we have to explore a variety of forms of assessment to ``fit the purpose'' today.2 THE INFLUENCE OF CONTEXT ON THE EDUCATIONAL SITUATION
According to McGregor in Ndhlovu. Since South Africa's democratic elections in 1994 we have re-entered the world economy.1 The key economic forces that drive our new education system
One of the forces that drive our new education system is called globalisation. In this way. Bertham. we were assessed? Did the education system focus on providing the learner with the right skills and attitudes to enter the job market? We need to develop economic capital. A shocking statistic. and on what. Why is this so? Has it got something to do with how we were educated and how. Because the context we live in has changed radically. It was estimated that for every ten matriculants in 1996. and the type of learner we produced in the past no longer meets the requirements of our rapidly changing world. skills and attitudes (Ndhlovu et al 1999:54). provide employment for themselves and others (Ndhlovu et al 1999:54).2. people with knowledge. only one was employed. This suggests that our country is not producing people capable of competing with their counterparts in other parts of the world in terms of producing highquality goods cost-effectively. Mthiyane and Avery (1999:23).
This probably explains the increased emphasis on life skills. (2) Indicate why you think the changes in the South African context will influence the way we teach and assess.
(1 Write down what social. and ``formative. there have also been enormous political changes that are specific to this country. analyse information and use technology (Ndhlovu et al 1999:55). The social aim is to shift people's attitudes from the prejudice and stereotyping of the apartheid era. Democracy has also found its way into the school structures. It also reflects a global move towards a world in which the spiritual aspects of our existence are valued. select. continuous assessment''. (3) How will you assess learners' skills and attitudes? (4) Will tests and exams be sufficient? Even if we retain tests and exams. that the new policies make frequent reference to ideas like ``thinking skills''. business education and skills such as innovation. particularly segregation and inequality. therefore. understand and organise information and to use it in solving problems.2 Changes in South Africa's political context
Since South Africa's first democratic elections.3. think critically. be creative. This might explain the new policies' emphasis on holism and on educating the whole person. Do you agree? Education should help learners to find. It becomes vital for learners to demonstrate that they are able to solve problems. and
.3. should the focus remain on testing memory of content or should we ``examine'' different things?
2.3 CHANGES IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTEXT: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONTEXT 2. It is logical. economical and political changes you can identify that took place after 1994. ``independent study''.1 Changes in South Africa's social context
The new education system encourages learners to develop attitudes of tolerance and understanding towards people who are different from themselves. The emphasis has been on getting rid of the legacies of the past apartheid regime.
2. risk taking and problem solving in the new curriculum. rather than simply our rational thinking abilities.
ACTIVITY (Suggested time: 15 min) To help you reflect.
. why. by promoting tolerance of differences. Schools are central to building a new culture of tolerance in South Africa. democratic and participatory system. Simply picture yourself back at school and try to remember yourself as the learner. eliminating racist and sexist attitudes and other prejudices and (promoting) respect for the shared environment (Ndhlovu et al 1999:56). what and how they taught. and even the classroom organisation and learning environment. on what and how you were assessed. Visualise the teachers. not only of our assessment practices but also of changes in the system. what and how you learned. the curriculum. is by building more democratic and participatory structures: Another way will be through teaching learners the skills and attitudes that will enable them to participate critically in our new democracy. You do not have to look very far to see the effects. One way in which this can be achieved. tightly controlled bureaucratic system of the past to a more open. according to Ndhlovu et al. This signals a move away from the highly centralised. you can choose some of the headings and write down some facts under each heading on the board to summarise your experiences at school. educators and learners.17
school governance is now in the hands of the school community: the parents.
. In fact. Today we realise that this form of assessment is of very little value in a fast-changing world. democratic South Africa? This does not mean that we should do away completely with tests and exams as means of assessment in the new curriculum. selection and certification and that tests and exams provided the means of measuring whether the learner either made the grade or standard. Learners motivated by constant feedback and affirmation of their worth. Assessment is worthwhile only if it enhances the learning process! We have seen that our past assessment practices were aimed at grading. they may still be useful methods of assessment. our current education system has a different focus. While we are not completely rejecting traditional modes of assessment. Thus we will be taking the first steps towards a paradigm shift. and could be selected for a particular course of further studies. new emphases are appearing and we will have to open our minds and the discussion in order to explore new territories. Assessment that is aimed only at passing or failing the learner is of very little value. curriculum-as-blueprint.18 A few ideas: The teacher takes responsibility for the learners. which influences the way we assess. Certification simply meant that learners passed the required standard. Yet they are uneasily aware that many of their learners are not best served by the assessment practices they are using. How motivation takes place depends on the personality of the teacher. rigid and non-negotiable. Many teachers (like yourself. Although we recognise that tests and exams were ``fit for purpose'' in the past. or not. including its particular assessment practices. content placed in rigid time frame. and that some curricular objectives cannot be assessed adequately by traditional methods. needed to change? Would the type of learner that this system produced have been able to keep up with such a fast-changing world and meet the economic and other needs of the `'new''. perhaps) may not be fully acquainted with the range of assessment possibilities our current education system offers. Can you understand why the past education system. the assessment was aimed at passing or failing the learner. Syllabus is content based and broken down into subjects.
2. Curriculum 2005 was designed to change the face of education in South Africa. Specific outcomes describe the competence that learners should be able to demonstrate in specific contexts and particular areas of learning at certain levels.1 The National Curriculum Statement 2. but also it was unique in many ways.4 THE INFLUENCE OF EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. Part of these strategies was the development of the critical outcomes. they designed a framework called Curriculum 2005. It was similar to models of outcomes-based education found in other countries. We know that the implementation of Curriculum 2005 was complemented by appropriate OBE teaching. Education and the curriculum have an important part to play in realising and developing the full potential of each learner as a citizen of a democratic South Africa. learning and assessment strategies.1 From Curriculum 2005 to the National Curriculum Statement
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (Act 188 of 1996) provides the basis for curriculum change and development in South Africa.1. Re s u n ity a ce . C o m m T i m e . Te c hn o log o texts ic a l r y. INFRASTRUCTURE AND POLICIES ON ASSESSMENT
o u rc es . P S o ci i sto
m . When our educational planners initially went to the drawing board to draw up a plan to implement an outcomes-based approach to education.4. These critical outcomes laid the foundation for developing more specific outcomes (and all other outcomes). on o mi c Sp li tic a l. E cetal cona l. which flowed from a vision of a truly democratic South Africa.4.
.Infrastructure and P s y st e o l ic n ie s a ti o t r uc t u r e a n d Ðs uc cultu o nt e xt s al c re o Ed tion f
Think about your initial experience of OBE. evidence of achievement was based on performance indicators. together. The word ``outcomes'' in OBA refers to the things we want our learners to know and be able to do by the end of a learning programme. These include knowledge. Therefore Curriculum
. . The Constitution provides the basis for curriculum change and development in South Africa. . Furthermore. You must have felt exactly the same way at some stage. assisted the assessor and learner in understanding what needed to be achieved. it can include summative assessment Ð but only to the extent that it enables you to sum up the extent of the learners' progress. the specific outcomes were the focus. it will also inform you about your teaching and your learners' learning.20
For the purpose of assessment in the classroom. Although OBA is of a more formative nature. OBA uses a set of criteria (as opposed to a norm. We refer to this type of assessment as formative assessment. How did you react to all the changes in teaching and assessment? And what about all the new terminology you were confronted with? Did you think the change was worth the effort?
. . The specific outcomes were accompanied by assessment criteria and range statements and these. which evolves informally and in a noncompetitive way. Performance indicators could be seen as the building blocks that gradually constructed the assessment criteria for a particular specific outcome. which were elements of the assessment criteria. This type of assessment is broadly known as criterionreferenced assessment. as well as inform you about your teaching practice. That is why assessment can be described as a process. Assessment must be built into a regular pattern of classroom activities as a cycle of plan-do-assess-review. such as the performance of other learners) as the basis of assessment. skills and attitudes. . When summative assessment is well-developed and matched to individual learners. This is the whole point of continuous assessment. In this way you can monitor your learners' progress as well as adapt your teaching approach on an ongoing basis. OBA yields information that can help you monitor a learner's progress. . .
Give reasons for your answer. These outcomes laid the foundation for developing more specific outcomes. the activities should be realistic and authentic and match the desired learning outcomes. if applied appropriately. assessment criteria. The education planners have taken into account our confusion and frustrations with all the
. easier to work with and easier to assess.
2. can still be a worthwhile method of assessment. (3) Explain why summative assessment. (4) Write down a valued judgement on whether OBA practices meet the demands of current education trends and a rapidly changing world. Any assessment should have a clear focus and purpose. This is why the implementation of the new curriculum is a dynamic process. There are a few basic principles of assessment that we should uphold when planning an assessment. range statements and performance indicators and replaced them with learning outcomes and assessment standards. learning and assessment strategies. and it should be learner paced and learner centred.
ACTIVITY (1) Explain what you understand as the main purpose of OBA.21
2005 was implemented and complemented by appropriate OBE teaching. it does not have to be cast in stone. .2 Change as a process
When one plans and implements something as important as a new curriculum for the first time. assessment criteria. modify and adapt continuously in order to improve things when necessary. (2) Compare the characteristics of OBA to the characteristics of traditional assessment practices and write some notes on your comparison. Part of these strategies was the development of the critical outcomes which flowed from a vision of a truly democratic South Africa. range statements and performance indicators. The Revised National Curriculum Statement has done away with the specific outcomes. assessment should concentrate on selected learning outcomes and be built into the process of teaching and learning from the start. because these outcomes are fewer.4. as this will determine the best method of assessment. We have to reflect. . The Revised National Curriculum Statement (NCS) for Curriculum 2005 (C2005 is still the overall name of the curriculum) has been put in place to improve on the original Curriculum 2005. .
2. The difficult and sometimes tongue-twisting names for the eight learning areas have also been simplified. Each learning outcome will have assessment standards. assessment structure or methods but no change on the part of the participants or institutional settings. organisational structure and even the beliefs of the participants. The reason may be knowledge. .1 Reaction to change
Teachers may react in different ways to ``change''. . It's therefore clear that implementation of change does not merely involve the direct and straightforward application of an educational plan. support to implement. have its own learning outcomes. Within each area there are subareas. This means that some strategies would only be modified to conform in a pro forma ``face-value'' fashion to the traditional practice.22 specific outcomes. flexibility and openness (or not) to application. . contexts. . . These outcomes should be easier to work with and easier to assess. Languages Mathematics Natural Sciences Social Sciences Arts and Culture Life Orientation Economic and Management Sciences Technology
Each learning area will. . commitment. methods. which will guide the assessment process and indicate which of the content can be used as a basis for developing the outcome. performance indicators and so on. The revised NCS also stipulates the core content that must be covered in each phase. a Co-optation as reaction to change Co-optation signifies adaptation of the teaching strategies. adaptability. Learning outcomes are usually more general and there are fewer of them. This may happen because of resistance to change or inadequate help for the implementer. The main reason is maybe that implementation per se is a dynamic organisational process that would be influenced by goals. and they are now called . . and replaced them with more understandable learning outcomes and assessment standards. in future.2.4. The content is outlined in the document and is divided into various areas of knowledge.
. The core content and concepts that have to be covered in each phase are listed within these subareas.
5 OUTCOMES-BASED EDUCATION AND ASSESSMENT INTRODUCTION
If you were interested in knowing whether someone could drive. I would ask such a person to actually drive the car and measure her competence against indicators like ``he is able to pull away on a hill'' and ``he is able to change from first to second gear''. This is what we will attempt to do in this study unit Ð help you explore OBA in an adventurous spirit. strategies. Doing this can be exciting. especially if we tackle the challenges of understanding new policies and confusing terminology in an adventurous spirit. We will provide you with some stimulating and thought-provoking analogies. layer by layer. cases studies and examples. encompassing knowledge. It should capture whole and integrated performances. This is what OBA is all about. are designed to engage your participation and structure the learning process in a meaningful way. We would like our assessment to focus on empowering the learner.
2. we would like to assess a learner's competence in an integrated way. skills and attitudes. scenarios. c Mutual adaptation as reaction to change Mutual adaptation occurs where the implementation was successful and there is visible and significant change in the participant's attitudes. methods. For this reason we require a kind of assessment that assesses more than just content. as well as the activities you will be required to do. skills and behaviour. would you assess that person by giving her a written test on road signs? I wouldn't. settings. This means that the implementation is characterised by a process of mutual adaptation in which the structures.
. Our aim is to build your knowledge. and so forth are modified to suit the needs and interests of participants and in which participants change to meet the requirements. The easy way out would be to carry on with the familiar traditional practice and structure. In this study unit we explore the types of assessment practice that are adequate to the challenges of a fast-changing world.23 b Non-implementation as reaction to change
Teachers may be so scared of the change or the results of change that they decide not to apply it at all. The questions we shall pose. In other words.
and by the same token we must learn to celebrate the achievement of additional and unforeseen outcomes. As they say when you embark on a journey: bon voyage! We would like to start the journey by way of an analogy. We must accept that we will not always achieve our planned outcomes. how they're getting along and how far they've got. You start by deciding exactly where you want to go and then plan a route to get there.24 We hope that your journey into OBA will unfold like a story. We can deduce a lot about OBA from the analogy. it is seeing things in context that makes learning more meaningful. and that which you already know and can do will make more sense to you and ultimately form a meaningful whole. However. The whole process of finding out where the learners are. When both you and the learners think they have attained the desired standard of performance with regard to the outcome. Each step involves a learning activity that the learners have to do for themselves. You start by deciding on the outcomes you want your learners to reach. you check again for landmarks or signs that will confirm where you are. You may already know the answers to many of these questions. However. is called continuous assessment (See Study Unit 4 for more on continuous assessment.)
. and by finding out where your learners are in relation to those outcomes (1) Then you plan a learning programme that will steer them towards the outcomes one step at a time. provided we ask the right questions. When you think you have reached your destination. you do a final check with them to make sure. Now read the following analogy carefully: Imagine that you are setting out on a journey to a place you have not been to before. The same thing happens in OBA. Along the way you keep your route in mind. This means we want to compare the partial likeness between two things. The same is true of learning. you constantly check their progress and give them feedback to ensure that they know how they are getting on. While the learners are working on these activities. even with the best-planned journeys we sometimes lose our way and sometimes discover new and unexpected things. and every now and then you check for landmarks or ask directions to make sure that you are still on course.
with the focus on knowledge. and also to help you understand difficult terminology and concepts about assessment. These will give us an idea of whether the learner is achieving the outcomes. They are. That is why we say the assessment model has moved from input-based (knowledge-driven) to outcomes-based. you must provide opportunities for them to demonstrate that they are competent and have acquired the desired knowledge. skills and attitudes. to assess your learners' progress towards the desired outcome. OBA uses a set of criteria (as opposed to a norm. Do you recall that traditional assessment is norm-referenced. This is a very important concept and the first departure from traditional assessment practices.5. skills and attitudes. as we shall be giving you more information to think about. Do you remember that traditional assessment practices focus mainly on recalling input (knowledge)? OBA assesses knowledge.25
2. skills and attitudes. skills and attitudes with regard to a specific task. visible activities performed by learners to show what they have learned. in effect. This type of assessment is broadly known as criterion-referenced assessment. The word ``outcomes'' in ``outcomes-based assessment'' refers to the things we want our learners to know and be able to do by the end of a learning programme. demonstrations of learning Ð that is.1 The term ``outcomes-based''
Understanding the term ``outcomes-based'' will help you understand what to assess.
Here are our thoughts on this question. In other words. You will notice that we compare the characteristics of OBA with traditional assessment practices throughout our discussion. An outcome includes knowledge. Our answers may be a bit longer than yours. progressing well towards that achievement. When we are assessing a learner's demonstrations or performances. which means that the learners' performance is assessed against the class average?
. or having problems. we assess them against assessment criteria. such as the performance of other learners) as the basis of assessment. In this way we hope to review your knowledge of the previous study unit. ACTIVITY (Suggested time: 5 min) Write down what you understand by the term ``outcomes-based''.
because next week they will be writing a test on this section. You can hear a pin drop in the class. because his motto is: sit down. ACTIVITY Compare the following two classroom situations. towards one which is primarily designed to credit achievement at different levels. teaching Science .26 The shift to criterion referencing reflects a desire to move away from an assessment system which is primarily designed to select.. the textbook in his other hand.. be quiet and listen! B Image of how Mr Cele teaches and assesses
Now think of Mr Cele's class and the way he teaches and assesses. A Image of how Mr September teaches and assesses
Try to visualise him standing in front of the class. Keep the Natural Sciences lesson in mind and try to visualise Mr Cele as a facilitator of learning. Imagine him writing notes on the board with one hand. The learners know that they dare not ask Mr September any unnecessary questions.
. The learners are copying the notes from the board about a navigator's compass.
Changing the plan. The learners test to see which items stick to the magnet and then go on to test a variety of other objects. Mr Cele begins by referring to the learning outcomes for the Natural Sciences learning area in the NCS. The
. Mr Cele then tells the learners to write a report on what they have learnt about magnetism up to that point. the learners grow restless and unruly. Mr Cele feels confident that the learners have grasped the basic concepts of magnetism. He has decided to plan his lesson around five basic steps in the scientific process. He does not provide the answers. Mr Cele's lesson unfolds as follows: Planning the lesson. He is not sure if all the learners have understood the principles of magnetism. Mr Cele gives each group a small red-and-blue bar magnet and some items to test. using simple science to solve practical problems. Continuing the lesson. buttons and so on. but allows the learners to experiment and interact with one another in a meaningful way. so he moves on to the topic of navigational compasses. since these steps apply to all three learning outcomes. In this way he manages to build their knowledge layer by layer until they are able to classify things and find relationships and are willing to test their ideas through prediction and by applying them to other materials. Starting the lesson. The particular activity he has planned does not work too well. which work with the earth's magnetic field. because the learners do not have compasses of their own to refer to and have to rely on their memory of the compass on the table. Mr Cele begins by asking the learners questions about compasses. like watches. but they are not sure how these work. Doing diagnostic assessment.27
Visualise the learners making their own navigator's compass. He wants to find out more about the particular difficulties they have in order to adapt his lessons and address their needs. Analyse the information and come up with solutions. Mr Cele facilitates the learning process by means of thought-provoking questions. He thinks the learners will learn a lot about science if they actually go through the five steps themselves. After a number of false starts and setbacks. These steps are: Identify the problem. Try out the solutions Evaluate the solutions to find the best one. He then divides the class into groups of four and asks them to write down everything they know about magnets. Collect information about the problem.
while having fun at the same time! Obviously Mr Cele still has to do a summative assessment (see Study Unit 3) to complete the cycle. (4) What baseline assessments did he perform? (5) How did he benefit from doing a diagnostic assessment? (6) What formative assessment did Mr Cele do during the lesson? (7) Comment on Mr Cele's methods of assessment. how would you do summative assessment in order to assess the learners' performance up to that point?
. Instead. Do you think they were appropriate or not for the particular purpose and focus of each assessment? (8) If you were the teacher. this form of assessment is aimed at finding out how much the learners have progressed over a period of time. First the groups discuss at length the problem of how to use a strong permanent magnet to make a magnetic compass needle from a piece of metal. he plans a new activity and draws on what he knows the learners are capable of doing by themselves. the learners try to make a simple navigational compass themselves. . (3) Write down some ideas of how assessment was built into the process of teaching and learning from the start in Mr Cele's class. . During the next phase.28 lesson is beginning to disintegrate. . They are delighted and start experimenting with even more advanced principles of magnetism. Mr Cele brings along a shoebox full of scrap materials and after some discussion about the earth's magnetic field. Remember. or through doing a particular section of work. . Then they try out their ideas and so they continue until they discover that the end of the metal which last touches the S-pole of the permanent magnet becomes the N-pole of the newly magnetised needle. lesson preparation teacher activities learner activities classroom setting assessment
(2) Explain which one of the classrooms you would associate with OBA? Give reasons for your answer. ACTIVITY (1) Write down some notes on how teaching and learning take place in Classroom A (Mr September) and Classroom B (Mr Cele) with regard to the following: . so Mr Cele decides to abandon this activity.
We know how Mr Diphoko has applied these assessments throughout his lesson. If you know what you are assessing and why you are assessing. Your assessment must focus on those desired learning outcomes. This would also tell you more about the appropriateness of a particular method.6 REFLECTION ON THE CASE STUDY
Mr Cele's assessment has a clear focus. The focus and purpose of an assessment determines the best method. consider what knowledge. or when you have completed the section. When your assessment activities. start by asking yourself what you want to find out. As much as you need to have clarity about what you are trying to assess. then you will be able to decide on how to make the assessment. so that they knew exactly how well they were doing and where they could improve. which means that the teacher had in mind to teach the learners about how people can use simple science to solve practical problems. This implies that a variety of methods can be used. you may assess the learners to find out whether they have made satisfactory progress (summative assessment). tools and methods get learners to do things that clearly form part of a particular outcome. you also have to know why you are assessing: Are you assessing to find out what the learners already know about the topic (baseline assessment) or are you assessing to find out how they are progressing/getting along (formative assessment)? You may also assess to try and find out why the learners are struggling (diagnostic assessment). To assess your learners' progress towards the desired outcome. Go back and look again at the various methods that Mr Cele used and you will be able to infer why he used those methods and what he was assessing. Mr Cele's assessment was built into the process of teaching and learning from the start.
. you gain accurate and reliable information about how your learners are progressing towards that outcome. Mr Cele's assessment has a clear purpose. with a clear purpose in mind.29
2. you must provide them with opportunities to demonstrate their progress. He organised his teaching around a cycle of plan-do-assess-and-review. techniques. This is the what part of assessment. This enabled him to give the learners constructive feedback on their work. which is the whole point of continuous assessment. To do this. When planning an educational assessment. skills and attitudes your learners will need in order to make progress. Mr Cele's assessment activities ultimately matched the desired learning outcomes.
30 The more realistic and ``authentic'' an assessment activity is.
. This makes the activity more interesting and more challenging to the learners. the more likely it is to produce accurate and reliable information. Authentic activities are those that closely resemble the things people do in ``real life''.
Languages or Science. The education system allows entrance to higher education depending on Matric or Grade 12 results.31
STUDY UNIT 3
Everyone in the educational field agrees that there should be a reason or purpose for assessment. select and so forth. learners should prove their competence by passing all tests and examinations. By allocating grades to the work. to complete a project in Environmental Studies. but the teacher has to be sure that the purpose would be applicable to the particular field. it is possible to sort the learners according to their performance.
3. B.1 Assessment in order to grade or sort
Grading is the most common purpose of assessment. Educators should always be able to say why they assess. The underlying principle in selecting and promotion is to keep the group more or less at a similar level and to facilitate teaching from the front. To be promoted to a higher level. for instance.1.
3.2 Assessment in order to promote or select
The main reason for this way of assessing is to select.
3. who will benefit from the assessment and why a particular form of assessment was chosen. Learners performing well in a particular field would be selected. It's also possible to decide whether a learner passes or fails that specific subject at a particular grade by adding up the number of marks he has accumulated. guide. grade. or C or whatever. content and reason for assessment. This means that the teacher forms a judgement as to whether the work deserves an A.1.1 CHOOSING A PURPOSE FOR ASSESSMENT
The Department of Education (DoE) has indicated on more than one occasion that assessment could be used to diagnose. Teachers read learners' work and assign a grade or mark to indicate the value of the work.
6 Assessment in order to diagnose
Outcomes-based assessment is designed to promote diagnostic assessment: it enables the teacher to adjust teaching to where the learners are. a school with a high Matric pass rate will be seen as a ``good'' school and the teaching will be considered effective and of a high standard.1.
. they will do well in something else as well. a learner ``underachieved'' in the eyes of the teachers in a particular school.1. For instance. assessment in order to control is still sometimes used for ill-disciplined learners by marking their work strictly. A variety of tasks designed to find out where learners are struggling will help the teacher change the teaching strategy so as to make teaching and learning more effective.32
3. if learners do well in that particular assessment. if learners are doing well.3 Assessment in order to evaluate
Schools and training institutions are judged by the performance of the learners.
3. Teachers may also evaluate their own teaching according to the performance of the learners.5 Assessment in order to control
Assessment for the sake of control is a highly controversial use of assessment! In such cases the teacher will use the assessment as a ``stick'' to control bad behaviour. with the indication that if a learner does well in a particular field.1. Unfortunately this had exactly the opposite effect on the learner Ð she decided to stop working! Rather than addressing bad behaviour separately from achievement.
3. therefore society often uses the results to evaluate the quality of education. The teachers decided to mark her down in an attempt to make her work harder and achieve according to her ability. For example. careers associated with that field ought to be considered. In OBA this is an extremely unfair practice and should never be part of any assessment. Career guidance leans heavily on prediction for future career options. teachers would feel that their teaching is effective. On the other hand.1. and to plan how to teach and assess further. wellbehaved learners are sometimes rewarded with marks for their good behaviour.
3. In other words.4 Assessment in order to predict
Existing assessment tools are used for the purpose of prediction.
In this manner assessment becomes an integral part of teaching.
. if not always in reality. In theory. In class this means using tests as a basis for further learning. It separates teaching and assessment in time as well as in concept. as in the case of promotion to a higher grade or obtaining a certificate. This is possible when learners are given credit for what they can do rather than being penalised for what they have not yet mastered. If all assessment is summative. Traditionally teaching.1.1.
3.1.7 Assessment in order to guide and motivate
Teachers want their learners to do well! By giving positive reinforcement. Teachers use it to diagnose problems and make the learning more effective. but assessment for learning involves integrating the three. prediction and control.2.8 Assessment in order to learn
Assessment for learning underlines the entire approach of the Curriculum 2005 Assessment Policy Document.2 KEY CONCEPTS IN ASSESSMENT 3. or doing informal assessment during group work or while the learners are busy with a project. Summative assessment is often done at the end of a programme to sum up what the learner has achieved.2 Formative assessment
Formative assessment is designed to support the learner's development and to provide feedback that shapes the teaching and learning process. great care is taken to provide accurate information and judgement about a learner's ability Ð especially when the consequences are important.1 Summative assessment
Summative assessment is known as the traditional mode of assessment where a judgement is made.1.2.
3. Central to summative assessment is the idea. learning and assessment have been kept separate.1 Approaches to assessment 3. Summative assessment is used chiefly for grading. ``I will teach you something and then test how well you've learnt it''. then any teaching or support during an assessment task is considered ``unfair'' because it helps learners to do better than they should. This is usually done in the form of a mark indicating the learner's level of competence. Many teachers do formative assessment even if they don't use the term.33
3. hence assessment for learning. In this way learners become self-motivated to learn more and better and to master the next step. teachers can use assessment to create a stimulating environment that encourages learners to learn while at the same time guiding their progress.2.
The reply to this is that there is no reason why tests and exams should not be used to test the achievement of outcomes. When summative assessment is well developed and matched to individual learners. formative assessment happens informally and at all times. it will also tell you more about your teaching and your learners' learning. Therefore we say OBA is formative by nature but can include summative assessment. There are strong arguments in favour of using them.
To some people it might appear that OBA has done away with tests and exams. motivating and learning. however. it is called formative assessment. To illustrate: A class undertakes a Science project. For this reason. we have to acknowledge that assessment shapes and forms the learning process as well. It is important to keep in mind that summative and formative assessment support each other in the teaching-learning process. Unfortunately.2 Assessment involves comparison
Any assessment scheme works by comparing the Performance of an individual with something else Ð Dylan William
. or looking over the shoulder of a learner who is writing. provided they are not the only means of assessment used. It involves a teacher in looking for clues when listening to group work. and they comply with the requirements of OBA. If the assessment is intended to find out who needs special help in Science.34 These teachers watch out to see which learners are struggling and which are coping. Formative assessment is used chiefly in diagnosing. however. or listening carefully while a learner is reading.2. the assessment is used to decide whether or not a certain outcome has been achieved. They know when to adjust their teaching methods to meet the needs of learners: it's just that they don't record these observations formally. They are a valid means of assessing the set criteria.
3. As you can see. If. summative tests and exams are often used to test learners' recall of knowledge only. but they can offer an opportunity for learners to demonstrate what they have learnt. They use such clues to build a theory about the learner's level of competence. In some ways it turns the traditional logic of assessment on its head. it is called summative assessment. the results of the same means of assessment can be used in a formative and a summative way. Instead of thinking of assessment as always summative and always a test. This practice has led to strong criticism of summative assessments.
If everybody were able to answer a particular question correctly. there would be no spread in the results. you pass.
. producing some distinctions some failures and a whole lot of learners in the middle: 50±65%. It means that questions and tests should be designed in such a way as to ensure that there is a spread of marks. Criterion-referencing is the practice of comparing a learner's performance with a well-defined standard (criterion). These criteria can be explained to the learners and are clearly indicated in the marking memorandum for that task. The average performance of the class sets the standard. It is clear.2. how well or far the soccer player is able to kick the ball). you must try again.2. then. the word ``criterion'' can have either or both of these meanings. that criterion-referenced assessments record positive achievements at different levels Ð for instance. If you reach the required standard. the teacher compares the learner's performance with that of other learners or the `'norm''.2 Criterion-referenced assessment
The word ``criterion'' has two meanings in the English language. or for different levels of competence in swimming or athletics.
3.2. certificates awarded for playing instruments. one type of competence for a soccer player is being able to kick the ball.1 Norm-referenced assessment
By using norm-referenced assessment. if you have not reached it. The teacher judges how well the learner performed compared with the performance of the group. Teaching contexts the world over are so diverse that a single standard cannot be taken as the `'norm''.2.
3. and so forth. Statistical analysis therefore developed the theory that `'norm'' means a regular distribution of test results in any context. The question here is to decide what is `'normal''. another is heading the ball) and the second refers to the standard or level of performance (for example. what is worth a B.35
We normally compare a learner's performance with one of two types of ``something else'': The norm set by others in the group. In criterion-referenced assessment. This has some major implications for the design of tests. This actually means that there are clear criteria described and defined to indicate what level of achievement is worth an A. Teachers check whether the learner has achieved an identified level of achievement by ascertaining whether the set criteria have been met. in other words. One refers to types of competence (for example. Standards and criteria. This means that a ``good'' test will spread the learners. so that most learners would score around the class average (60±65%) while some get A's and E's. which means comparing the learner's performance to what is normally expected from people in that group.
Make it interesting. punctuation or grammar mistake. Criteria are set with the cooperation of the learners before an assignment or test. the qualifying times for the Olympic Games are governed by the norm.
. using all her creative powers to create a powerful atmosphere. so that every learner should be able to understand how the work is assessed. the criteria for matching that record would have to be adapted. Criterion referencing and norm referencing are not mutually exclusive. This means that anyone who meets the criteria set for a field of knowledge and skill can pass the subject. which implies that if a swimmer were to set a new world record. assessment and evaluation processes tend to involve elements of both approaches. every educator should be able to explain results with reference to the stated criteria. For example. The assessment criteria in criterion referencing are quite explicit. The educator explained that she had marked it out of 20 and subtracted a mark for each spelling. It is also appropriate to the changes that are happening in our society at the moment.'' A learner wrote a very interesting story. As Firth and Macintosh (1984) note: A swimming test demands certain levels of performance and is ostensibly criterion-referenced.
An educator told her class: ``Write a story with the title `Alone in the forest'.36 Criterion-referenced school assignments and examinations try to provide measurable criteria. Similarly. stretching her vocabulary. That learner was very unhappy with the result of the assessment and was discouraged from trying to write interesting stories. so that learners know exactly what will be assessed and what proportion of credit will be allocated to particular efforts. The shift from norm-referenced to criterion-referenced assessment is part of an international trend in education. The work was returned and the learner was puzzled by her very poor mark. yet the criteria can change with improvements in levels of performance. so that a learner's progress can be monitored and particular achievements acknowledged. In practice. Criterion referencing is also used to bring the learner into the assessment process. smell the damp and share the fear in the story. Those who read the story could feel the loneliness. This reflects a desire to move away from an assessment system which is primarily designed to select toward one which is primarily designed to give credit for achievement at different levels.
Mr Ludritz. The test looks something like this:
. Mr Ludritz wants to find out how much the children have learned. We did not think very precisely about what we were assessing. Everyone seems able to achieve the outcome (to add and subtract money. but our strategy actually assessed something else.
A case study in Maths
Mr Ludritz's class has been working with the commercial value of money. she would have understood what her strong and weak points were.37
What criteria did the examiner use? What criteria did she give the learners? Was the assessment fair? Imagine if the educator had said: ``Write an interesting story. to find out. What often happened was that we thought we were assessing one thing. so he has designed a test. working out the total cost of shopping lists and doing some calculations.
Are we assessing what we think we are assessing?
In the past we often tested learners. I will mark your writing as follows: Assessment criteria Creative use of language Expressing feelings clearly Punctuation Spelling Total mark Mark 20 5 5 5 5 20
Had the learner then seen the assessment. The learners have role-played shopping. What do we mean by this statement? Let us consider the experience of a Maths educator. allocated marks. give change and calculate sums to the value of 100) in these ``pretend'' real-life contexts. and then made sure that there was a range of marks.
His colleague. . .45 R34. noting down the different things he wanted his learners to be able to understand and do.30 each.60 R10. because he has seen the children handling and calculating the play money correctly. He did not need a written test! So Mr Ludritz's problem was that the test he set did not test what the children had been learning to do. He cannot. explain the poor results. He had moved too quickly from the skill of manipulating money to the skill of adding figures that represent money (the calculations in the test). Mrs Ngwenya. He could then simply have observed his learners in their games and decided who was using money well and who was not. how much would you have to pay for 20 of the same workbooks? Mr Ludritz is pleased with the test he has compiled. hands-on approach to Maths is not working. Mr Ludritz knows that this is not true. You have R250 in your purse.98 R22.80 R41. The test introduced too many things at the same time. . .00 and had to fill up the car as well. something like this:
. Mr Ludritz was doing a good job.38
(1) You have bought the following items: . but nearly all the children have done badly. But the best way to assess whether his outcomes have been achieved is to get the learners to use money. . Fruit: Cereal: Canned food: Bread and buns: Tea and coffee: Milk: R43. He took a class list and put each of his outcomes in columns next to the names.60
How much did you pay for all the groceries? (2) You have bought groceries for R187. tells him this proves that his practical. however. How much petrol can you buy? (3) If you bought 12 workbooks and paid R2.68 R11. Let us take a look at what happened here. How did Mr Ludritz adapt his assessment technique? He made a list. laying solid foundations for a genuine understanding of the manipulation of figures representing money.
interpret word sums correctly Can subtract totals Can multiply and find the correct total Name Fikile Tsepho Karin Siphiwe Á Morne
During the next two lessons. . he did not just allocate a mark in some arbitrary way. listening to their communications with each other. he assessed his learners' performance against a list of criteria which he believed they should meet in order to achieve his outcome. It means. He is dedicated and does good preparation for his lessons.2.3 Fairness in assessment 3. In general terms it means that the teacher cannot assess content and skills which were not taught. Mr Ludritz is doing three key things in his adaptation: .
Think about the following:
Mr Botwick is a Mathematics teacher. that a teacher cannot test Grade 10 learners on Grade 12 work Ð unless your purpose with the assessment is diagnostic (to find out what the learners are capable of).39 Outcomes Knows how to add rands Can add rands and cents Can read. asking questions and making notes against his check list. . He is integrating assessment into his teaching. how it is taught (teaching processes) and assessment. He is making more use of observation as a form of assessment. for instance. In other words. He puts a tick next to the child's name when he is satisfied that one of his selected assessment criteria has been met. He is using a form of criterion-referenced testing.2. Instead.3.1 Curriculum fidelity
Curriculum fidelity is a requirement for fairness in assessment and means that there ought to be a clear relationship between what is taught (curriculum). His learners experience him as a teacher
3. because he has found that he sometimes wants to add a note (because people often learn things that are not in the educator's plan). he assesses the children constantly by observing them at work. He has also left a space on his check list for comments.
externally set. concerned about the performance of learners.40 who would do his utmost to enable them to understand and apply concepts. writing songs or designing posters. But is it really fair? There are many examples of people like the architect who took 8 years to finish the 4-year degree.3. many teachers forget about individual learning styles when they teach and assess. Therefore we can say that he unfortunately did not adhere to the requirement of curriculum fidelity. Mr Botwick's learners didn't perform well. simply by debate. Although Mr Botwick felt very bad about the situation. competitive. because none could answer the questions on the sections they were not familiar with. The reason? He suffered so badly from test and exam anxiety that he struggled to finish tests and exams. He is a skilled teacher.
3. hands-on designer and planner the
. the success that learners can achieve will to some extent depend on the assessment task they are given and not only on their skill and knowledge. He involves learners in class with practical activities. Usually teachers are aware that different learners have different learning styles. written in a public hall. For the above reasons. Unfortunately. doesn't favour anybody in particular and is therefore fair.2 Diversity and opportunity
The application of diversity and opportunity in assessment means that all learners must have maximum opportunity to reveal what they know and understand and what they can do (Parker & Rennie 1998:898). Other learners like to act or write a play which illustrates that the new learning works for them.2. The most extreme sort of formal assessment tasks are paper and pencil tests which are timed. Some can construct their knowledge by designing and some by building models. Mr Botwick realised a bit late that he would not be able to complete all the subject content in the syllabus with his learners and therefore left out sections of the work. The final exam at the end of the year included questions on the whole syllabus. because the design of the assessment task was out of his hands. There would be learners as well who like music. Some learners can learn on their own. externally marked and externally moderated. The argument in favour of such formal assessment is that it is objective.
For Mr Botwick it was difficult to achieve curriculum fidelity. as in the Grade 12 or Matriculation exam. There was no question about his competence in the subject: he was considered the best practical. but still there is no relationship (congruence) between Mr Botwick's teaching and the assessment done. he couldn't change anything at that stage.
ACTIVITY Read the article ``Equitable assessment'' by Parker and Rennie (Addendum A). all of them are applicable to all subjects. a way of giving access to higher education to some and denying it to others.
3. By stakeholders we mean learners. schools. Just before the development of Curriculum 2005. changes in assessment need to reflect the social values of all stakeholders in the process. is not formally assessed and is not valued in the school system. and differences will disappear gradually. Remember that although the issues raised in the article are about Science teaching. Up to this point we have mentioned three requirements of fair
. This change in social values is generating a change in assessment mode.41
department had produced in decades. Use the following questions and comments to guide you through your reading. It is clear that different stakeholders can have different values with regard to assessment. but it is offered to slower learners. contests in curriculum construction how Australian employers would like their potential employees to be able to do practical ``maths-for-everydaylife''. In South Africa assessment has traditionally been used as a gatekeeper. and now access for all has become vital. Generally speaking. If he could have been assessed in a more informal way and given credit for what he could do. But values in South Africa have changed. the Critical Outcomes were adopted as guidelines for all industry training. future employers Ð anyone who might be affected by the way in which learners are assessed. After many discussions in the union and employer workshops in the nineties. . work in groups and resolve conflicts? The workplace (see study unit 2) has a need for the development of a higher order of thinking skills which a lot of current assessment trends still does not address. These outcomes may bridge the gap between employers and schools.3. For example. What it means for school-based teacher assessment of learners is to use a variety of tasks which have the same value for stakeholders as external examinations. Lynn Joffe (1993:238±239) describes in her book Inventing knowledge. teachers. such as is being proposed by Curriculum 2005.2. parents. She comments on the irony that there is such a course available. he probably would have had a far happier university experience. schools and the workplace appear to attach importance to different aspects of assessment.3 Values and ethics
Assessment reflects the social values of those who make the assessment. What is more important to future employers: the ability to remember facts or the ability to be self-motivated.
) Summarise the main points the authors make about the use of results.4.4 Transparency
Transparency means that all stakeholders.
.3 THE TEACHER AND ASSESSMENT
The question of the teacher's position in the teaching/learning situation and the purpose of assessment still leads to debates. There are three issues mentioned and discussed in the section ``The influence of the test-taking situation''.
3.2. This can be varied by breaking down questions to show exactly what the marks are for. Being transparent is often an issue of communication. Make a list of these issues.1.1.3. Describe your assessment situation in relation to what you've read about gender preferences.2 as well. Teachers should always have a set of criteria by which the learner's performance is measured.
3.4.3. An important way of achieving transparency is through criterionreferencing (see Unit 3.). work sheet or whatever. a set of criteria negotiated with the learners or even an assessment grid which is discussed with the learners or otherwise provided as a guide to finishing the project. It can include allocating marks to questions in a written test instead of just allocating a mark to the whole test. should understand what is going on in the assessment. Write down two which you consider very important and give reasons for your choice.3.
. How does your experience in the classroom relate to what the authors are saying? Gender issues are discussed in ``The influence of the response format of assessment tasks''. What type of assessment tasks do males tend to prefer? Compare these tasks to what females would prefer and indicate how they differ.1 as well. 3.
. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer. (See Unit 4. Study the following illustration and write down your interpretation of the teacher's tasks and how these relate to assessment.2.2. . (See Unit 4.42 assessment. 4.2 as well). Diversity and opportunity are especially important in the South African context. This could be a marking memorandum. especially the learners.
interests and language. The method of assessment will depend on where the task fits into the teaching sequence and what kind of information is wanted. . When designing a task. in order to achieve such an enhanced situation. This gives more learners opportunities to show what they can do. Use a variety of tasks Ð for instance. select a small number of outcomes (or even assessment criteria) as so-called ``focus outcomes''. organise ideas and give evidence that will support your argument. . What should be the teacher's guidelines when planning assessment? . relating to different contexts. open and closed questions and tasks. and of course it better addresses the different dimensions of competence. plan and plan again. learning and assessment. the teacher will not be so concerned about actually presenting the argument in this particular task. A single task. regardless of their ability. A fair task provides equal opportunities for all learners. . This hand-in-hand relationship will lead to an enhanced teaching-learning situation. . the teacher has to plan.43
Learner Learner Teachinglearning situation Learner
It is clear that teaching.'' By implication. Design tasks that are authentic. which parts of the process are their responsibility. formal and informal. learning styles. requiring different modes of communication and thinking. For example: ``In this activity I will be looking especially at your ability to plan an argument. combine the functions of teaching. can for instance. Always seek balance in your programme with regard to types of
. One has to remember that. which means that these tasks ought to be appropriate to the learners' experience and the particular learning areas concerned. Design tasks that are fair to all learners. what are the time lines for the process and how they will be assessed. learning and assessment are inseparable. A good assessment task reveals what learners know and can do. Keep outcomes in mind at all times. . Ensure that learners know what they are to do.
You should organise your teaching around a cycle like this:
. A good teacher constantly checks learners' progress and modifies teaching plans to meet the learners' needs. Assess the things that are important. not merely aspects that are easy to assess or subject content that would ``select or grade'' learners.44 assessment. Always keep in mind what is manageable for teacher and learner. real-world activities? (7) Does the task match an important outcome that reflects a range of complex thinking skills? (8) Does the task test larger areas of the curriculum and higherorder thinking skills at the same time? (9) Is the language level appropriate for the learners? (10) Is the task gender-biased? (11) Will important stakeholders (learners. or if the learners themselves are involved in the assessment of their tasks. the teaching and learning situation per se!
3. or do you subtract marks for things like handwriting and behaviour? (5) Is the learner familiar with the type of task? (6) Does the task use authentic. It helps if most of the tasks can be ``marked'' efficiently and easily.
After all the comments and questions you can ask yourself.3. . outcomes. school. So assessment is built into the regular pattern of classroom activities. employers) see the task as meaningful? (12) Will the task be meaningful. content of and emphases in the learning programme. . Draw up some grids and schemes that enable you as the teacher to check the variety of tasks and the balance across outcomes within a learning programme. you can conclude that the teacher is the creator and mediator of assessment which is. engaging learners so that they will be motivated to show their capabilities?
. parents. such as the ones above. Ask the following questions regarding the fairness of a task: (1) Does the task provide the information you intended it to provide? (2) Has the content (or skill) that is being assessed been taught? (3) Does the task enable learners to demonstrate their progress and capabilities? (4) Is the marking memorandum objective. all in all.1 Planning an assessment cycle
We have seen that formative and summative assessment can have a ``teaching'' function.
But in order to do this. then the how will follow. The learners did not bother trying. No single method of assessment can serve every purpose or probe every level of learning. Then you will be able to decide how to do the assessment. What is the core of your assessment planning? Make sure from the start what you want to assess and why. because they knew she would supply the answers anyway. so that they know exactly how well they are doing and where they can improve. rather. This implies that there must be a variety of methods one can use in assessment. She only intervened when they seemed really confused and unable to proceed.45
The cycle would include. CASE STUDY In order to observe and assess while teaching.
. She found that her habit of supplying answers when learners could not answer her questions stopped active learning.
3.2 The focus and purpose of assessment
The most important question that a teacher has to answer is: why am I assessing? If we know why we are assessing and what we are assessing. it is used. Now Mrs Ngwenya asks different questions and insists that learners spend some time working them out for themselves. she has to ask appropriate and well-planned questions. It shows that assessment does not come at the end of the teaching and learning process. This is the whole point of continuous assessment. She started giving learners plenty of time and space to work things out for themselves. giving feedback to the learners. for instance. and to be able to assess the development of the learners' skills and knowledge through observation. Practising this cycle of plan-do-assess-and-review is the key to developing as a reflexive practitioner. Mrs Ngwenya found that she had to change her style of teaching. and so forth. to guide and direct future teaching and learning by analysing what has taken place and establishing a new cycle of teaching and learning. They also used to wait for her to tell them what to do next. gathering information (evidence). recording the results.3. It also enables you to give constructive feedback on learners' work.
STUDY UNIT 4
4. . . . monitoring and controlling. analyse and critically evaluate information communicate effectively use science and technology effectively and show responsibility towards the environment demonstrate an understanding that the world is a set of related systems and that problems do not exist in isolation explore a variety of strategies for learning explore education and career opportunities develop entrepreneurial abilities be culturally sensitive participate as responsible citizens
Do you recognise the above?
. namely the integration of teaching. which were denied to others who did not make the grade. learning and assessment and the planning of assessment with outcomes in mind. which was regarded as valuable educational knowledge that mattered at a particular time. . . identify and solve problems by critical and creative thinking work effectively in a group/team organise and manage themselves responsibly and effectively collect. . grading.1 ASSESSING WITH OUTCOMES AND INTEGRATION IN MIND
We saw in Study unit 2 that the Matric examination serves the purposes of selection. Those who met the requirements obtained certificates and thereby a passport to all sorts of options and professions in society. We unfortunately still cling to a paradigm of the past in which certain subjects were considered more important than others and in which these subjects held the key to ultimate success. . .
Read through the following list: Learners should be able to . To be well equipped for the contexts in which we are living today. . . another paradigm should become part of our thinking with regard to education. .
.1 Planning to integrate teaching and assessment
To plan the integration of teaching and assessment. Our policy makers also thought that these outcomes were crucial and should underpin the learning process in all its facets. all learning outcomes should follow from these critical outcomes and they are not restricted to any specific learning context.47
Yes. one should always keep them in mind in all aspects of teaching and learning. Critical outcomes are broad. learners must be able to indicate that they can . These outcomes lay the foundation for developing all other outcomes. could they prepare a learner for an active life? Can you see why these outcomes are so important? We believe all educators should know them by heart! In fact.
4. In other words. they are the seven critical outcomes and five developmental outcomes. . demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems Developmental outcomes are also outlined: Learners should . . because they should direct our teaching and education practices and the development of learning programmes and materials in all learning areas.1. work effectively in a group/team solve problems organise and manage their activities responsibly and effectively collect. explore a variety of strategies to learn effectively develop responsible citizenship explore educational and career opportunities be sensitive towards cultural issues develop entrepreneurial abilities
Do you think these are the types of skills that should be developed in a learner? Do you believe that these skills could help a learner to survive in a fast-changing world? And most importantly. and act responsibly towards the environment . . generic and cross-curricular. According to these outcomes. . That is why they called them critical outcomes. make sure you start the planning at grade level. . . because grade teachers plan the learning programme together and that would mean equal assessment as well. . . organise and evaluate information communicate effectively use science and technology effectively and critically.
.) for this purpose. .48 This planning requires collaboration. more immediately achievable outcomes for individual learning programmes and lessons. to ensure an integrated approach to teaching. In this way we want to help you plan an assessment strategy that is built into teaching and learning from the start.1. . and then taking it step by step. This is often where the problem lies. The critical outcomes are very broad. learning and assessment to empower educators (team teaching) to enrich the different learning approaches with a diversity of input to ensure consistency to ensure a high standard of work throughout the grade to share the work load
Do you understand why they say OBE should be a holistic and integrated process? Think about it again. we are going to illustrate each step by means of an example and then ask you to apply that step to your own learning area and topic. all the teachers bringing their knowledge and skills ``to the table'' and working together to develop a learning programme. For instance: Grade: 9 Learning area: Social Sciences Topic: Ethnic and cultural groups in SA Step 2: State which outcomes you want your learners to achieve This is quite a complicated task.1. In grade planning. it is important to plan together for the following reasons: . As we go along. . which means you have to start your sentence with a verb when you write or formulate an outcome.)
. This implies action. Step 1: Make your selection . We are not all English teachers and may struggle to formulate an outcome. Select a topic as a basis for developing the outcomes. Write down the grade that you teach and the learning area for which you intend to design this learning programme. you can generate and collect evidence that demonstrates that they have reached the outcome. . (See the action words in Bloom's taxonomy (4. Holistic means that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole!
4. Previously most educators planned individually.2.2 Planning the assessment strategy
A good place to start is with what you already know and can do. It requires you to think very broadly and ask yourself quite specifically what you want the learners to achieve. possibly because we do not have enough verbs at hand to help us with the process. . Once you have decided what you want the learners to achieve. therefore we need to develop smaller.
classify. define. criticise. The other categories give you a selection of verbs that will sharpen certain practical skills as well as higher-order thinking skills. distinguish. develop. describe. infer.Application sion Analysis Evaluation Synthesis
Know. question. Indicate which of them will be suitable for the following levels of thinking:
Knowledge . examine. have cultivated cultural awareness and sensitivity (attitudes)
. the learner should Ð . relate. design. differentiate. select. review. demonstrate. attack. dramatise. memorise. You will also have to think carefully about the values and attitudes you would like to instil. apply. choose. formulate. classify. arrange. have developed entrepreneurial skills . assemble. use. support. modify. collect. judge. choose/decide. knowledge and comprehension. plan. survey. . will help you formulate outcomes for the specific content that is required for your learning programme. create. experiment. indicate. The first two categories. argue. etc Comprehen. recall. prepare. predict. estimate. compare. set up. contract. locate. explain. distinguish.
We have summarised the learning outcomes for this lesson as follows: By the end of this learning programme. insert. categorise. and select a verb that will elicit the specific values and attitudes you want learners to adopt. be able to distinguish between the various cultural groups in South Africa (knowledge) . rate/score. identify. reproduce. recommend.49
Look at the list of action words. list. deduce. organise. discriminate. discuss. which implies that we would consciously spend time developing cultural awareness throughout this learning programme. integrate.
We used the verb ``cultivate''. interpret. summarise. assess. name. justify. arrange. write. illustrate. analyse. show. compare. construct. discover. calculate. identify. sketch. draw. practise.
Note that each verb elicits a different skill.
Provide a time limit. you can ask questions to determine the depth and scope of your learners' knowledge about the various cultural groups in South Africa. Brainstorming is an excellent technique to employ. . Preparing a brainstorming session . or everyone takes a turn. Identify a recorder/facilitator.) The assessment standards will also give you an indication of the level of demand that is required and what types of activity to plan. so that we can develop activities that are really authentic and relevant to the present and future lives of our learners. say 20 to 30 minutes. will give you a wealth of creative ideas to use as activities Ð and you will have a lot of fun at the same time. . . Encourage wild. Base the ideas on real-life issues. outrageous ideas. if properly applied. Go for quantity. Build on the ideas of others. Do not edit/change what is said. in order to decide what level of knowledge/instruction/learning to build into the learningexperience plan. Step 3: Do a baseline assessment Baseline assessment is the assessment an educator uses at the beginning of a new set of learning activities to find out what the learners already know and can demonstrate. List all ideas. (This will indicate the level of demand that is required.50
Note that the last outcome is also an important critical outcome that would be dealt with in various ways. Establish ground rules such as: Do not criticise.
. Determine the brainstorming method: Determine what method you will use Ð for example: shouting out ideas. For example. Step 4: Brainstorm ideas for possible activities for the topic you have selected At this point we would like to generate as many ideas as possible around our chosen topic. There are various steps to this technique which. You can do baseline assessment in various ways. so that you will know what to cover in this programme organiser. . Do not spend more than 10 to 15 minutes on this section.
she thought map work would be a good idea. yet they all relate to the same topic. where they originated and where they are located now''. This is because teachers from various learning areas put their minds together and one idea leads to another. One could depict the population distribution of the various cultural groups in this way. Step 5: Plan activities from the ideas you have generated The next stage of the brainstorming process is very important: it ``customises'' the ideas you have generated. ``A brief history of the various cultural groups in South Africa. The EMS teacher further decided that ``setting up a spaza shop'' would be an excellent way of dealing with trade and barter in this programme organiser. . How would teachers from different fields of study interpret the topic? For instance. To integrate this with Geography. How to adapt ideas and create filters: . a Social Sciences teacher decided to give the learners a research project. The Maths and EMS teachers took the opportunity of covering graphs thoroughly and offered to plan a work sheet that covered this knowledge. .51
Remember that ideas can be diverse. This may provide you with various ideas when it comes to planning activities. Substitute/combine ideas Adapt ideas Modify/magnify ideas Put ideas to other uses Eliminate ideas Rearrange ideas
Think about the critical outcomes you would like to incorporate in your learning programme. so that appropriate activities can be developed that will take the learners towards the outcome one step at a time.
. . . . This would cover the history they need to know about the various cultural groups.
She thought she could elaborate on the knowledge the learners were acquiring about the various cultural groups and do a collage at the same time. The EMS teacher then asked her if the learners could also create something authentic out of pottery or clay. Step 6: Determine the time frame for the duration of the learning programme The time you need to complete the learning programme should also be taken into account during the filtering stage of the brainstorming session. but also allows for learning area integration and a holistic learning experience. otherwise the learners may become bored with the same topic. Can you see how easy it becomes when you collaborate with your colleagues? It not only makes the task much lighter and more meaningful. now and in the past.52 The Arts and Culture teacher had quite a few good ideas too. and for oral the learners could do research on some of the beliefs and myths of each cultural group and dramatise these in front of the class. depending on the magnitude of the learning programme. He thought that the learners could learn how to make a fire without using present-day aids. thus incorporating various religions and particular ceremonies and festivals as well as famous leaders and political figures of the different cultural groups. Just imagine how exciting this learning experience could be for teachers as well as learners! Now it is your turn again to plan activities from the ideas you have generated. She also decided that the learners could illustrate the various cultures' musical instruments by making a few of them that could be used in a play or drama. The Natural Sciences teacher decided to incorporate one of the assessment standards for Grade 8 and turn it into an activity.
. such as beads or clay pots that could be sold in the spaza shop. and dramatise their stories around a ``camp fire''. You may have to adapt the time frame. The Life Orientation teacher really came up with a bright idea. The Languages teacher thought he could let the learners do a written presentation to go with the collage. She decided that the learners should generate a list of basic human needs that are common to all sciences. They could also use their musical instruments in the play. Try to keep to a three to fourweek time span. because it integrated well with the research project the learners had to do for Social Sciences.
we are talking about criterion-referenced assessment. or no effort at all. Remember. Do you agree? Now look at the assessment criteria we have designed for a research project entitled ``A brief history of the origin of the various cultural groups in South Africa''. It is important to be very specific and to ensure that the criteria are measurable. show effort in their presentation (attitude) Step 8: Decide what resources you will require for each activity After identifying possible links between outcomes and activities and the resources that you have available. Make use of the verbs that we listed in Step 2. This form of assessment is viewed as making judgements about learners' performance/progress by measuring their work against set criteria that are independent of the work of other learners. Our example Activity: Research project Learners should be able to Ð . you should be able to say: Yes. the learners are graded in terms of whether they have satisfied the criteria set for assessment. Select an appropriate verb to ensure that the learners' knowledge. skills and attitudes are developed. They will help you to formulate assessment criteria. or a fair amount of effort. demonstrate a creative and original flair (skill) . the most appropriate resources should be selected.53
Step 7: Formulate assessment criteria for the activities The choice of activity should make it evident what you want to assess and how you want to assess it. Then select one activity and formulate appropriate assessment criteria for it. did he/she show perseverance? If you really think about it. summarise the essence of where and how each cultural group originated and where they are mainly located today (knowledge) . he or she put in a lot of effort.
But how does one measure attitude? Educators often ask this question. Simply ask yourself the following question: did the learner put in some effort. select applicable information (knowledge) . Even if grades are given. Do you agree? What would you use?
. In this case we would have selected books or articles from the library as resource material. illustrate the above by using a map of South Africa (skill) .
For example. tools and methods. use a research project or a written assignment? How would you assess a research project or an assignment? Would you use an observation sheet with assessment criteria. . . So the moment you plan your first activity. The following table provides you with a variety of assessment techniques (activities). . They are also regarded as assessment techniques. .54 The resources you are going to use should . . . Remember.
Can you see why we say teaching and assessment are linked? When planning a learning programme. . One should then ask: ``Who will be doing the assessing?'' Will it be a group assessment. or a rubric? These are the tools of assessment. Step 9: Design an appropriate assessment strategy Your assessment strategy should include a variety of techniques. encourage learning get the learners interested build a learning experience respect different views on different issues suit the environment of the learners link up with the learners' existing knowledge be appropriate for all learners in the target group encourage positive values and attitudes be free from any bias and stimulate critical and creative thinking ACTIVITY Write down the resources you can use. you have taken the first step in planning your assessment strategy. You already covered the first step of your assessment strategy when you planned your activities. the assessment criteria have already been designed for the activity. for instance. you should ask the following question from the outset: What assessment technique would be the most applicable for measuring the required outcomes? Would you. because they are designed or selected to generate specific evidence for assessment. tools and methods to choose from:
. . self-assessment or peer assessment? These are possible methods of assessment. Simply use these criteria again and select an appropriate assessment tool. we selected a map for Social Sciences and a bar graph for EMS as suitable activities for the learning programme.
essay. maps. game. because you have a broader base of knowledge and more information to select the most appropriate COs and LOs. roleplay. drama. learner to learner. panel discussion model. journal. exhibition
grids/rubric. as you know what activities you have planned in order to generate evidence for assessment. graph. video. questions and answers. examination. charts
cassettes. scenario. poetry. observation. tests. portfolio Ð this can be group to learner/group. We have followed a bottom-up approach: we feel it is easier to select the applicable COs and LOs at this point. stories. We also find it easier to refer to the policy document at this point. class to learner Ð self/peer/teacher/group assessment Ð self/peer/teacher/group assessment
music/songs. You also know what assessment strategy you have designed to evaluate the evidence against the outcomes. worksheet. questions. sculpture. design. conferencing. questionnaire. assignment.55 Techniques (``what'') project. physical activity Tools (``how'') observation sheet. painting mind map. table.
. presentation. construction. examinations/tests. posters. oral. collage. written report
EDAHOD-5/1 Methods (``who'') Ð self/peer/teacher/group assessment Ð also interviews. self-reporting. survey.
Step 10: Select appropriate critical outcomes and learning outcomes Deciding on the applicable critical outcomes (COs) and learning outcomes (LOs) are the last pieces of the puzzle. learner to group. report. photograph
ACTIVITY (1) What assessment tool would be the most appropriate to record your findings about your learners' performance? (2) What assessment method would be the most suitable in this case? Write down your answer and give a reason why you say so. descriptions.
ever since the 1950s. formulate assessment criteria for the activities you have planned? .56
Now that you have worked through this section. design an assessment strategy that generates evidence for assessment and evaluates the applicable evidence against the outcomes? . cater for diversity and different learning styles and intelligence? . select an appropriate topic for the particular grade and learning area for which you are responsible? . This call. plan activities from the ideas you have conceived? . plan backwards all the way. determine the approximate time frame for the duration of a learning programme? . determine what resources you will require for each activity? . to assess more than knowledge led Bloom to classify the questions we ask. both you and your learners will most certainly achieve them. can you . select appropriate COs and LOs for your learning programme from the policy documents?
You have reached a very important milestone in the planning process. have high expectations and avoid limiting the learners' opportunities of achieving these outcomes. but it will certainly be worthwhile!
4. brainstorm ideas for possible activities that will take the learner towards the outcome one step at a time? .2 THE ASSESSMENT OF HIGHER-ORDER THINKING SKILLS
It is stressed throughout these study units that we have to be aware of the need to assess more than a learner's ability to recall facts or knowledge. If you consistently and systematically preserve clarity of focus regarding your outcomes. His motivation was to make teachers aware that they were concentrating on recall questions that encouraged rote
. It may not be at the same time and in the same way for every learner. do baseline assessment to determine what the learners already know and understand about the topic you have selected? . formulate the outcomes you want your learners to achieve for the content/topic you have selected? .
Workbook pages. build. questionnaire. choose/decide. discuss. Vocabulary. relate. rearrange parts. he hoped to encourage them to teach learners higher-order ``thinking skills'' (cognitive skills). maps. defence. edit. Support judgement
Decision.2 Questions and answers
Bloom's taxonomy helps us think about the types of questions that teachers use in the classroom situation and in assessment tasks. compare. report. judge. Everyone would agree that it's easy to ask questions to test
. match. hypothesis. remember. solution. charts. verdict
Understand how parts relate to a whole. Test. criticize. artwork. list. explain. rate/score.57
learning. rating/marks. debate. forecast. story. imagine Judge. locate Give examples. By informing teachers about the demands of different types of questions. Understand structure and motive. demonstration. response to question. interpret Tell. use. report on Demonstrate. design. memorise. guides. name.2.
4. classify. sketch. editorial. select. model. poem. categorise. recommend. recite. Translate to other words Ability to remember something previously learned
Drawing. justify. construct. diagram. argue Investigate. critique. contact. distinguish.2. plan. create. prospectus
Recipe. predict. Note fallacies Transfer knowledge learned in one situation to another
Survey. define. identify. illustrate. apply. song. invent. translate. vie wpoint. Exam. advert. invention
Judge value of something regarding criteria. cook. show symbols. arrange. support. summarise. prioritise. solve. define. recall Tasks Lesson plan. evaluate. estimate. locate. give opinion. crafts
Demonstrate a basic understanding of concepts and curriculum. Facts in isolation
4. Quiz.1 Bloom's taxonomy of thinking
Taxonomy of thinking Category Synthesis Definition Reform individual parts to make a new whole Action Words Compose.
. When learners' main language is not English.3. (1) Making sentences short and the vocabulary simple is one way to ensure that the language level of the assessment task is suitable. . that they can define. The difficulty lies in asking questions that require thinking. or analysis and evaluation. The best way of doing this is to put the main criteria and indicators into the instructions for the task.2. an own opinion. when teachers set a task for learners. Regarding the comprehension task. check whether learners can recall particular information check whether learners understand the information ask questions in which learners can apply the information challenge learners to look for deeper levels of meaning or to synthesise the new knowledge with things they already know
4. Say. Writing questions in complicated English is unfair and discriminates against additional language speakers. So. recommend and give an own opinion. . In the past some teachers have thought that one has to start with knowledge at the beginning of the school year and work up to synthesis towards the end of the year. Learners might well know the answer. we need to . Compare the following two questions: . which ought not to happen at all! What actually needs to happen is that one should ask all the different types of questions and make sure that there is a balance between them. Then more detailed performance indicators can go into the marking criteria/memorandum. that we ask learners to do a comprehension task in English or an experimental task in Science: we would need to cover several cognitive skills at the same time. Are knowledge questions not worthwhile then? Of course they are worthwhile! Without knowledge and content there won't be anything to apply Ð that is why it's so important to make sure that learners do understand particular concepts. describe and explain before they can compare. for instance. it should be in writing and should make it clear how the task will be assessed. For a vehicle moving in a straight line.2.3 Instructions and action words
Learners should understand what is expected of them.
4. they don't have a chance. but if they don't understand the question. which physical quantities
. Here are some tips for making the English more accessible.58 recall and ask for information and knowledge.1 Clear and accessible language
Most South African learners are assessed in a language that is not their mother tongue. it is very important to phrase assessment tasks in such a way that they are clear and easy to understand.
(3) Avoid words of many syllables. For example: write ``We add sugar to the cup of tea''.2 Comprehensive instructions
It is of the utmost importance to give a clear indication through the instructions of what is really required or expected in a task. For example. For example.2. decide what is best and then do it. it. who are ``they'' and ``them'' in the following sentence: ``When teachers explain things. Competence
. if that is how they can best express an idea.
4.4 Activities 4. .'' etc Ð it must be clear what those words are referring to. Link instructions to the set outcomes and the assessment criteria in order to make sure that what is expected will be what is assessed. let learners use words in languages other than English. (4) When using words that refer back to something in the previous sentence Ð words like ``he. For example. Use action words to describe what activities should be part of performing the task. .3. Which quantity do we get from the slope of the graph at a specified time? (2) It also helps to use active rather than passive voice. Learners won't be able to complete a task successfully if they do not understand the question or the instructions. a teacher is looking for what the learner can do.2. like giving a definition by using a word or a labelled diagram. rather than ``Sugar is added to the cup of tea''. . The following must always be kept in mind when writing instructions: . write ``Use the remedy'' rather than ``Implement the remedy''.1 Assessment of competence
When assessing competence. For instance: Competent drivers not only have knowledge and skills but can also assess the traffic. they often forget that they should ask them diagnostic questions first. that. Or allow several ways of explaining the same thing.2. Think of a competent driver. a competent cook. they.4. a competent teacher. A car moves along a straight road. Reread tasks after setting to make sure that no steps are left out.
could be determined by finding the gradient (slope) of its velocity versus time graph at a specific point on the graph? . Competence is more than a collection of knowledge and skills.'' (5) Encourage learners to answer in ways with which they feel most comfortable. We plot the velocity versus time graph for the motion. Use clear language according to the level or grade of the learner.
driving in heavy traffic in the rain. it means that learners should work scientifically in investigating a problem. doing a research summary. a report or whatever. work in teams. Always remember the importance of context. but to do it practically and show us how to drive. Learners won't be able to communicate effectively it they only have a small vocabulary. but other situations may be complex and integrative Ð for instance. Later they can integrate this competence with others by compiling a report.60 integrates knowledge. all to achieve a particular purpose. analyse ideas. we want the driver not only to talk about how to drive. judgement and decision making. Assessment using complex tasks is commonly called performancebased assessment. linked to their interests and
. The teacher can focus on a particular skill or competence by deciding on a variety of small tasks that give the learners opportunities to demonstrate their competence in different situations. Learners might complete a project where they do the reach. When authentic in relation to the subject (say. An authentic task in relation to the learners' world means that learners should see the tasks as worth doing. Science). To assess a driver's competence. and so forth. we need to observe this particular driver in different situations:
Some of the situations can be reactions. providing an explanation and so forth. They won't be able to solve a problem if they don't have the knowledge and experience to draw on! a Assessing competence through authentic tasks Authentic tasks mean that the assessment of competence in such cases should be real (genuine) and applicable to the subject and the learners' world. spelling and punctuation in a short paragraph. and so on. They might produce a physical model. invent solutions. skills and values with perception. purpose and decision making in competence without under-valuing knowledge and skills or the need to practise. For example: learners demonstrate their writing skill. solving a problem or presenting a case. a newspaper article. a play. knowledge of traffic signs. a debate. The projects or performances require integration of knowledge and skills in the context of producing something. analysing an issue. ordering ideas. Furthermore. or skills.
20 per hour) Cost of visiting France and Switzerland during your stay. . Savings (if any!)
b Example 1: Assessing ``Learning how to learn'' The ability to learn is in itself a competence! Usually learners don't think much about their learning strategies. Indicate in your planning report how long you plan to stay and what your reasons are for going to London.61
experiences. First describe how you are going about finding information about jobs. The teacher can furthermore explain to learners why they have to do certain tasks. . Air tickets: Johannesburg Ð London How much money you will need till you get your first wages Accommodation per week E-mail and cell phone costs Monthly wages when you receive 5 per hour (R11. how it relates to their experience and fits into the bigger picture of the topic. Think also how much money you will need between home and work. they can talk about links and goals. . whom to contact about accommodation and transport. . An authentic task in Maths asks learners to tackle problems they wish to solve in contexts that relate to their interests. it also helps in understanding the content. . Tasks that help learners to reflect on and evaluate their competence in learning include the following: i Compare and reflect on learning strategies Learners write. Learners can only identify the strategies they will need in order to get information from the text and decide what is important. Teachers can promote learners' metacognition (reviewing yourself how you learn) by helping them to become more conscious of their learning skills Ð reflecting on effectiveness. for instance.
. Calculate the following: . draw and talk about the purpose of the activity. the season in London when you want to go. evaluating strategies and developing particular skills. For instance: You are planning to spend your ``free year'' after Matric in London. . It is quite difficult to separate learning skills from tasks and the things that are being learnt Ð but it's useful. For example: standing outside the reading process and thinking about strategies not only improves skills in reading.
v Translate information from one form to another In this case the learners can translate information from text to graphic. For instance: some learners. talk. information or even experiences in a unit of work. graph or cartoon. express them in different ways and reorganise them. Thereafter they will reshuffle points and start to think of their essay plan. Other learners prefer to start by thinking about what they want to address and then go to the texts to find answers. when preparing an essay. iii Draw mind maps (concept maps) First let the learners brainstorm some aspects. The learners have to place ``things done'' in logical order. reasons for doing them. learners have to look back over their work and think. What would you say?
. role plays. cartoons or tables These activities require learners to look at ideas from different perspectives. illustrative stories. concepts or information in a particular unit of work or set of concepts. a summary of ideas or a flow chart of the logic of a unit of work vii Match playing games Teachers can rewrite their plan of work. The two lists can be jumbled. vi Create a glossary of terms. Again. etc about what they found interesting and important. in another column. that a visitor came to the class today and wanted to know why it had been worthwhile to do this project. These review activities can also be imaginative. iv Create analogies.62 ii Compare different ways of working When solving a problem. viii Reflect and review Just as you found some aspects in this module to rethink and reflect on. and align the reasons with the things they relate to. table. draw. Later the class can compare the different strategies they have used to approach and complete the essay. Thereafter learners identify individually all major and minor ``concepts''. Concept maps work best when learners have to explain what they have drawn to the teacher and to the other learners. like to start reading through the references and underling points that seem important. or vice versa. analysing a text or planning an experiment. write. Imagine. learners have to look at the information from different perspectives and re-interpret it. giving in one column things the class did and. for instance. the teacher might raise some different approaches and encourage discussion.
help the group to structure the task . The educator may observe that a learner has met the criteria for achieving a particular outcome by
. and keeping a record of this development. be self-directed in cooperation with the others .63 ix Create ``class rules'' or ``recommendations''
The class can be asked to reflect on particular activities and develop a set of rules that increases the value of the activity. accept responsibility for the job the group requires . and so on. language and starting point.2 Continuous assessment
A question that always comes up in discussion groups is: How can one assess continuously? Can you imagine how much more marking there will be? What do you think? Does continuous assessment mean tests every day?
Assessment is a way of finding out what a person knows. In a group. The ability to work in a group is one of the critical outcomes of Curriculum 2005 and therefore teachers have to teach and assess it effectively. when work is divided up. individuals can learn from one another and can. pooling their knowledge. This activity may result in rules for group work. In linking outcomes to how participation in a group can be assessed. Continuous assessment is simply a matter of being constantly aware of how your learners are developing. demonstrate active commitment to the group . show sensitivity and skill in sharing power. contribute themselves and their experience in the context of the group's task or project . respect members of the group . understanding text. leadership and work . talents and experience to help each other find new meaning or a new concept. projects. of course. respect all members' tasks and fulfil own tasks . Evidence of competence (when a learner achieves outcomes) often emerges during normal daily class work or from homework. be aware of the ``rules'' of group work . work from their own perspective. the following criteria will be applicable: Learners should be able to .2. learn from and with the group members
4. understands and thinks. c Example 3: Assessing skills in group work Working in a group is most valuable when all its members are working towards the same goal and. in doing so.4. and what he or she can do.
One cannot assess every child in every lesson. . If the pattern in the classroom is simply one of teach-test-and-move-on. For example. and provides the teacher with planning information. For example: the teacher. Continuous. . Diagnostic assessment is used to find out more about the exact nature of learners' problems. . It is clear from the above discussions that continuous assessment did not happen in this manner in traditional assessment practices. watching the learner working in a group listening to the learner explaining a concept reading the learner's evaluation of a model. or give a spot quiz. formative assessment takes place on and off throughout a course or period of learning in order to monitor the learners' progress and inform teaching and learning. drawing or graph assessing any other activity used to teach the learners
Mrs Ngwenya had also learned an important practical lesson. It helps you to find out what the learners already know and can do. there will be little opportunity for either you or your learners to improve on our performance. while monitoring the learners' progress in numeracy. ``show me how you would . may find that a
. should be designed to form a part of active learning and not be treated as a separate activity.. and using this information to see how they learn and to guide you on how you should teach your next lesson. even examinations.''.
Baseline assessment is done prior to teaching or at the beginning of a lesson. final activities and were used to see whether the learner had passed or failed! They had very little formative function and usually took place only at the end of the course. It is best done quickly and informally. Continuous assessment is about recording your observations of your learners' progress. Do you agree? a The cycle of continuous assessment Continuous assessment means that you assess your learners at each critical step of their learning. and you would be repeating the pattern of the traditional approach. Tests and examinations were treated as totally separate.64 . the teacher can ask questions like. All assessment.. Therefore it is necessary to design a system where you can observe each learner for a good length of time every two weeks or so.
while there were one or two good performers (rated A or B) in each class. Although this activity dealt with a different topic (the heart as opposed to a flower). the same classes were asked to make plasticine models showing a cross-section of the heart. giving grades ranging from A to E. In both classes. Mrs Preacher and Mr Fortijn worked out a Natural Sciences activity for their learners. plasticine and wire. it required similar skills. be sure to include the stamen. or when the learners are tested. most learners got a C or D rating. labelling certain identified parts. the stigma and so forth . There was very little difference in the performance of the two classes. This could happen informally during the learning programme.
Analyse the following two ways of assessing a Natural Science lesson: Together. (and the activity went on to list a number of other things the learners had to include). This was the activity: Make a model of a cross-section of a flower. formative and continuous assessment. they should be used to offer learners an opportunity of demonstrating what they have learnt and to inform teaching and learning.65
particular learner has a problem with place value. Label the parts.
So far we have seen that the nature of outcomes-based assessment favours criterion-referenced. The teacher should remedy the problem immediately. The learners completed their models and the two educators separately evaluated their learners' models. But for some reason the learners in Mrs Preacher's class worked quickly and
Did you notice how formative and summative assessments are used in conjunction in this continuous cycle? Ideally.. using paper. The following term.
Their progress was checked and improvements were made along the way. Mrs Preacher. someone had to have met all the assessment criteria outlined. (She had given these to the learners before they did the activity.) The criteria were as follows: (1) The model must be a cross-section and must be well made. and their work was compared to the criteria while they were working. One or two also had short. with good results (a number of them got A's and B's). on the other hand. Mr Fortijn did not allow learners to look at and discuss one another's work. While Mrs Preacher integrated her assessment into her teaching. although we are teaching them in the same way?'' they wondered. Marking and evaluation Mr Fortijn marked the work and returned it. Because Mrs Preacher used assessment as a teaching
. put all the learners' work on display and invited them to look at all the models carefully. After a full period of discussion. she returned the work with grades awarded. To begin the discussion.66 confidently.
The only difference between these two educators was in their manner of assessing. She said that in order to receive an A. The two educators were puzzled. (2) The structure of the flower must be correct. (3) The parts must be labelled correctly. She reminded learners of the assessment criteria she was using to award a grade. ``How is it that one class has developed so well while the other has not. She then started a discussion in which learners were asked to identify models that satisfied the first assessment criterion. she asked questions like: ``Are there any other models that fulfil this indicator better? Why do you say so?'' She also asked if anyone could see a way of improving their own models. because he felt that this would ``waste time''. Mr Ntuli understood assessment only as a way to check what learners had learned. The learners each received a grade. In other words. Mrs Preacher furthermore explained how she had awarded grades. written comments on their scripts. while the performance of the learners in the other class had not improved (the majority still had C's and D's). and said that any of them who felt puzzled by the grade they had received should speak to her after the lesson. But it had a significant impact on their learners' learning. he only used it summatively (to ``sum up'' what learners had learned).
the choice of mode . it gave direction to their learning. they began to take some of the burden of assessment off Mrs Preacher's shoulders. . The learners tried things out. her learners began to understand where they had gone wrong and what they could do about it. The learners were involved in the assessment process. the choice of media (If you are unsure of what is meant by the above terms. .) Address the following in your answer: .
ACTIVITY Write some notes on the following: (1) Compare Mr Fortijn's mode of assessment with that of Mrs Preacher. In this way we will be analysing two types of assessment practice in context and simultaneously we will recap what we have learnt. Mrs Preacher and her learners started with the assessment criteria that were going to be used to evaluate the work. In other words. Assessment was part of everyday class work and/or homework. which is always an excellent note-taking strategy. it was criterionreferenced assessment. She could begin to delegate the marking of certain activities to groups of learners (although she still guided the marking). They helped each other to understand the problems they experienced and discussed what they could do about them. . checked how they worked. How did Mrs Preacher demonstrate good OBE assessment practice? . it was continuous. In other words. Mrs Preacher did not teach first and then stop teaching in order to assess. This indicates that it was formative assessment. This means that the learners started with a clear picture of what was required. refer
. (For ease of reference you can also make use of a table. and improved on them. As her learners developed the skills to evaluate their own and later each other's work in a fair and reliable way. .67
opportunity. the choice of frame of reference . Did you also notice how Mrs Preacher integrated teaching and assessment throughout her lesson? Note how she discussed with the learners the way in which she awarded grades and invited learners to discuss their marks with her if they did not agree? A good way to summarise what we have learned so far might be to compare Mr Fortijn's assessment practice with that of Mrs Preacher.
The learners were possibly awarded an A. a C or a D depending on whether they performed above or below the class average. he still awarded grades by marking the work and returning it without any disussion. which in this case appears to have been a D. Both she and her learners started with the assessment criteria that were used to evaluate the work. which is implemented informally and in a non-competitive way? From all these characteristics one can also see that Mr Fortijn's assessment leans towards the traditional approach. Can you see that he has treated the assessment in the same way as one would mark a test? It may therefore be described as a norm-referenced test. Although his choice of media is practical work (a model).68 back to the table on the Matric exam in Study Unit 2 to refresh your memory. try things out and improve on their work. is of a formative and criterion-referenced nature. The fact that Mr Fortijn would not allow any further debate about the marks also implies that it was a final product. Learners were allowed to compare their work to the criteria. Can you see that this is a process. From the above discussions. Mrs Preacher also indicated that she was a reflexive practitioner by going back to the drawing board and improving on her assessment in the second activity. on the other hand. The main purpose of Mrs Preacher's assessment practice was to inform teaching and learning and monitor the learners' progress. This indicates a more competitive and formal assessment. They were also allowed to discuss their grades with her afterwards. do you agree that Mrs Preacher's assessment demonstrates good outcomes-based practice?
.) (2) Are all the learners doing the same project? Why would you say that? (3) Which of the two classes did best? What reasons can you give for these learners' better performance? (4) In what ways did Mrs Preacher use the assessment as a teaching opportunity? (5) How did Mrs Preacher demonstrate good OBE assessment practice?
Mr Fortijn's choice of assessment mode is clearly summative. Mrs Preacher's assessment. the main purpose of which was grading.
and additional activities for fast learners.3. Also there should be a range of different task types. all the learners for whom a task is intended should be completely familiar with the contexts in which the questions are set.
4. This step actually goes hand in hand with the previous one and will have an impact on your choice of activities.1 Curriculum fidelity and diversity
Am I catering for diversity? Creating filters is a very important aspect of brainstorming and it is particularly important to apply filters when planning a learning programme and assessment strategy. societies.3 FAIRNESS 4. learners in the same classroom will have different learning styles and different types of intelligence.69
4. In addition. various means of overcoming limitations We can make use of local/community information resources such as community newspapers. The only way to cater for all these learners is through authentic teaching and learning. (See the Parker & Rennie (1998) (Addendum A) article regarding the research. This includes learners with all sorts of barriers to learning. All learners are accommodated in the main stream. In authentic learning and teaching we make use of . Consider the last question again.2 Eliminate gender and cultural bias
In order to be fair. assessment tasks need to counteract the potential for gender discrimination. multilingual and multi-religious schools as well.) As a general rule. which suggests that males and females tend to excel in different types of test. In South Africa we have multicultural. the values of different sectors of the community . Questions you could ask are: Will it be too costly to do? Are the resources available? Is it practical? Will I have enough time to do this? Am I catering for diversity? and so on. The contexts should not advantage (or disadvantage) one section of the
.3. In the same classroom you will also find learners from different social and economic backgrounds. This includes preparing alternative activities for learners who have difficulty learning in a particular way. local conditions and circumstances . learners are no longer categorised into higher and standard/lower grades or according to any similar grading system. We must plan for variety. or be a mixture of ``typical'' male and female context. The contexts in which questions are set should apply equally to boys and girls. In outcomes-based education. clubs and indigenous knowledge available from local people.
70 community above another. After a while. She asks him to explain to her what is in the bubbles that form in the boiling water. females in passive role Relevant to stereotyped male experiences Decontextualised abstract GENDER-INCLUSIVE ORIENTATION Uses the name of a person. How does it portray gender stereotypes and background experiences? How does it try to be gender-inclusive? Is that attempt at inclusivity successful? Give reasons for your answer. (i) What will Mary see? (ii) What does Mike say is in the bubbles? (iii) Mike explains to Mary how he deduces what is in the bubbles from his observation of the saucer. social. ``him''. uses you Both male and females in active and passive roles Relevant to males and females equally Human. a physics problem in a Matriculation examination paper referred to bungee jumping. Since bungee jumping is completely foreign to many of the rural candidates who wrote the examination. Mike tells Mary to look at the saucer. ``his'' Males in active role. This applies to cultural differences as well! For instance. Environmental
(b) Read the following assessment question from a Science test: Mary boils eggs on the stove for her brother Mike's breakfast. (2) Comment on the gender orientation of this assessment task. (3) Rewrite the task so that it has a proper gender-inclusive orientation
. In order to explain.
CRITERIA Language Portrayal of stereotypes Appeal to b a c k g ro un d experiences Context MALE ORIENTATION Uses ``he''. Mike holds a cold saucer half a meter above the boiling water. they were disadvantage by this context. Give his explanation. ACTIVITY (1) How can you change a task to make it gender inclusive? (a) Study the adapted version of Table 1 (The gender orientation of assessment items) which you saw in the article by Parker and Rennie (Addendum A).
4. For school purposes this moderation process is more informal than in the external. and so forth. where the results will be important to learners with regard to grading or promotion Ð it is important that your assessment task should be moderated. the layout of the paper is clear and correct . then it becomes important for teachers to start giving learners feedback in the form of comments. but it doesn't say anything about the language and format or whether the story was interesting. the mark memorandum is fair Ð in other words. What is actually the difference between a mark of 48% and one of 51%? If we want assessment to become more fair and transparent and more suited to the purpose of learning. The moderator may be the head of department or a colleague teaching the same subject and grade. but do not give much information about the content of their performance. Marks give learners an indication of where they stand in relation to other learners. These comments need to point to where learners went wrong and what they did well.71
4.4 ASSESSMENT AND MODERATION
When designing an assessment task it is difficult to fir the curriculum. what does an essay mark of 64% actually mean? It only tells me that the essay was above average. The ``moderator'' looks at the assessment paper and the marking memorandum. evaluates them and gives feedback on how they could be improved before the day of assessment. give clear instructions. avoid gender or cultural bias. the moderator should re-mark a random selection of tasks just to ensure that the mark memorandum has been used as agreed and that the marking is fair. This kind of comment is formative Ð it helps the teacher and the learner to diagnose problems and address
. the answers relate to the questions and at the same time make allowance for questions to be answered in a different way to what was intended . Therefore we suggest that whenever you design a major assessment task Ð for instance.5 USEFUL FEEDBACK
The most common form of feedback that learners get is marks. the moderator needs to check that . All in all it is designed to make sure that both the examiner and the moderator try to produce a fair examination paper. They should point out misunderstandings or errors as well as good methods or ideas. national examinations where long check lists must be signed. test higher-order thinking skills. the mark allocation is accurate After learners have completed the assessment task and the teacher has marked the work. For example. Over and above the fairness of the assessment. the question paper has no typing and/or spelling errors .
Sometimes more questions and points of discussion will come from the feedback session. ``You've presented the ideas well. Look at the text again to check whether your explanation really applies. Formative feedback should recognise what learners have achieved and point to what comes next. ``Write more neatly''. The comments need to engage with the content and substance of the particular task.. It's also very useful to give general feedback to the whole class. especially where you find that nearly all the learners are struggling with a particular concept. Encourage End the feedback with a comment which (for instance) will tell the learner that you enjoyed reading the work and that you found useful information in it.. it should reward achievement and point to directions of improvement in ways that guide that improvement. Praise learners for specific things they have done well: for instance. Very interesting story!'' or ``This is a very realistic description Ð well done''. A learner who gets an essay back with spelling corrections as the only ``comments'' is bound to assume that spelling is the important thing that the teacher looked at. but it still doesn't help her to write a better story next time. . Giving useful.72 them. is encouraging and makes the learner feel good. it is more worthwhile to speak to the whole class. For example. formative feedback needs to relate to the outcomes assessed. What is actually the relation between the community and the team?'' Or ``I disagree with your interpretation of . The feedback for Task A will certainly influence the learners' approach
. A comment like ``a good effort''. Rather than talking to each learner individually.'' Through these questions you actually start a ``conversation'' with the learner and guide her to know how to improve in future. formative feedback is a skill that needs to be learnt and practiced. Question It is useful to ask leading questions that will help the learner to identify and address major weaknesses in his work. Take note of the following ideas for how to give more constructive feedback: Praise Give positive feedback. To be really useful. An example could be: ``It's not clear how you've reached the conclusion. is not a useful comment when a learner cannot understand why her solution to a maths problem was not correct.
to the next task. Make sure the feedback is clear and practical in order to make it easier for the learner to make use of it in a step-by-step way!
. Making only negative comments could be really demotivating. while the positive reinforcement of achievements has a stimulating and attitude-building effect.
STUDY UNIT 5
Reporting and recording
Many teachers say that the recording and reporting of assessments are among the hardest aspects of the new curriculum to master. However, grappling with these aspects of assessment is like learning to swim. If you look at the deep water and worry whether you will be able to do the right strokes, you probably won't get started at all! On the other hand, if you stay within your depth, so to speak, for the time being and practise the basic strokes, you'll soon feel confident and competent enough to venture into deeper water. This is what we hope to achieve in this study unit. The success of an assessment model depends on sound, meticulous methods of recording and reporting learner achievement over a period of time. It should be organised, informative and constructive, designed to empower learners by indicating their strengths and weaknesses and to enable you to bring about the necessary changes so as to improve learning and teaching. But let us start within your depth and then help you to venture kneedeep. Ultimately we want you to think about ways to improve your own recording and reporting practice so that you can achieve the main purpose of OBA, which is to inform learning and teaching and monitor learners' progress.
5.1 REPORTING ACCORDING TO OUTCOMES
Case study: Let's visit Mr Cele's class from Study Unit 3 again. Notice right from the start how he thinks about recording and reporting. Planning the lesson . Mr Cele began by looking at the policy and noticed that this planning activity incorporated three learning outcomes of the Natural Sciences learning area. . He planned his lessons around five basic steps in the scientific process.
. Mr Cele also knew that he would shortly have to report on his learners' progress, as it was near the end of the year. He realised that Grade 9 learners' work should be between levels 1 and 4; but most of them were working at level 3 at that stage, although he expected that they would soon be entering level 4. He hoped to achieve this after the planned series of lessons.
Starting the lesson
Mr Cele began by asking questions about compasses, but learners were not sure how these worked. He then divided the class into groups of four and asked them to write down everything they knew about magnets. Notice how he did baseline assessment in order to find out how much learners knew about the topic.
Continuing the lessons
Mr Cele gave each group a small red-and-blue bar magnet and some items to test. He facilitated the learning process by asking thoughtprovoking questions. He allowed learners to explore and experiment until they were able to classify things and find relationships between the magnets' forces, and willing to test their ideas through prediction and through applying them to other materials. Formative assessment was built in throughout this phase, aimed at finding out how learners were getting along with the programme so that Mr Cele could give them constructive feedback on their work while it was still in progress.
Doing diagnostic assessment
Mr Cele then told the learners to write up what they had learnt in the form of a report. In this way he wanted to find out more about particular difficulties they might be having so that he could adapt his lessons to address their needs.
Changing the plan
Mr Cele felt confident that his learners had covered the basic concepts of magnetism, so he moved on to the topic of navigational compasses. The particular activity he had planned did not work too well, because the learners did not have compasses of their own to refer to and had to rely on their memory of the compass on the table. The lesson started to disintegrate, so he decided to abandon the activity. Instead, he planned a new lesson and drew on what he now knew the learners were capable of doing by themselves.
Formative assessment also informs teaching and learning. Mr Cele had to go back to the drawing board, because he saw that his initial plan did not work.
The next phase
Mr Cele brought along a shoebox full of scrap materials and, after some discussion about the earth's magnetic field and a few tips, he told the learners to make a simple navigator's compass for themselves. The groups discussed the problem of how to use a strong permanent magnet to make a magnetic compass needle from a piece of metal. They then tried out their ideas. The learners discussed different ways of getting their compass needle to turn freely. Soon they were trying out various solutions to that problem.
Assessing the groups' work
Mr Cele had given much thought to how this activity could be assessed. The difficulty he faced was that some of the compasses had involved a lot of effort and looked good, but did not work very well. Others had involved less effort but worked better. Mr Cele recalled that the real purpose of this activity had not been for the learners to make compasses but to develop knowledge and skills that led towards the achievement of the learning outcomes of the NS learning area. He also thought the lessons linked well with a critical outcome (``Learners identify and solve problems ... ... using ... ... creative thinking''). The purpose of the task, then, was not just to make a compass, but to develop problem-solving skills. Mr Cele therefore devised a rating scale, or assessment grid, which focused on the learners' ability to apply scientific knowledge and skills in order to solve a specific problem Ð something like the following:
Level 1 Takes steps towards a good solution. Level 2 Stays with first idea, refines the first steps, moves towards a single solution. Level 3 Explores different ideas, works on each idea before discarding some and focusing on one, makes some progress with that idea. Level 4 Works on several ideas, develops one idea effectively, and can explain reason why the unsuccessful ideas could not be developed further. Level 5 Considers several ideas, can use scientificprinciples to explain or predict why some are not likely to work; develops one or more of them effectively and raises questions or names problems that could be investigated.
Wonders how compasses work on board iron ships. OR: Tries to make floater stay in middle of large tub and not touch sides. The value of such ``mini progress maps'' lies in the way they bring a standard grading system to any assessment and in the way they show learners the difference between the level they are on and the next one up. realises that it has to be heavy compared to stiffness of thread. This helps learners to know what they must do in order to make the jump to the next level. Decides to develop a floating compass needle and solves some problems to get it to work. finds it unstable. then tries balancing the needle on sharp point.
Level 4 Examples: H angs needle. Can you see that this will also make it easy for him to make summative judgements of learners' performance on any number of problem-solving activities and that these can be used for recording and reporting purposes? (2) The grid is. in effect. then decides on floating the needle and works on improving that idea. such as the floater in the small tub.
Level 2 Examples: Ch an ge s t hic k string and uses finer thread. suggests floating it in paraffin to look for differences.
. Balances needle on sharp point and explains how it can be made stable by having more weight below the sharp point. So Mr Cele has a practical instrument for assessing a wide range of NS activities on a common scale.77
Level 1 Examples: Can magnetise the compass needle.
Level 5 Examples: Solves problem of ``large floater'' by making a freely moving compass needle.
Two things about the assessment grid which Mr Cele devised are especially noteworthy: (1) It describes levels of performance of a generic skill. Chooses suitable object to magnetise Ð right size and shape. Tries to find out if compass will still point North if surrounded by a ring of iron. Wonders how the water drew the floater towards the side of the bigger margarine tub. The examples illustrate each level of performance in terms of this particular activity.
Level 3 Examples: Hangs needle up. namely solving problems through the application of a scientific method. but the level descriptors could just as easily be applied to any activity involving problem solving in the NS learning area. a ``mini progress map''. finds thread is too stiff. OR: Smooths point of nail so that strip moves easily.
..... B or C........ Symbol D: The learner should be able to ...................... using distances.. you start the cycle of plan-do-assess-review all over again!
5... as it would be in normreferencing........... Symbol C: The learner should be able to: ... but it provides more detail. In this case the teacher sets the acceptable standard Ð not the normal average of the learners in the class.. The description would say what an A means in terms of what the learner can do...... relating objects to drawings of them .. ........................ measuring and checking............ interpret and translate between the map and the physical situation ... ... shapes........ use suitable techniques.... directions and reference point to calculate ........ visualise.............. talk about likenesses and differences between shapes of objects and within objects in the environment ....... This makes it possible to have separate reports on mapping........ use words like rectangle.... draw... use a variety of ways when prompting to check working Symbol B: The learner should be able to: .....2 CRITERION-REFERENCED REPORTING FOR GRADES
The teacher writes descriptions of the knowledge and skills that a learner must demonstrate to get a particular symbol like A........ use some self-correcting behaviours in attempts to check working
5........ triangle and circle to describe and compare objects and features of objects in the environment..... using suitable techniques ............... units and directions to measure lengths ....3 CRITERION-REFERENCED REPORTING PER OUTCOME
This is similar to the previous example with regard to measuring and mapping..........78 Once you have recorded and reported your learners' performance.. The teacher has separated out the different criteria and now reports on each criterion individually.. Note the following descriptions set for a Grade 8 project in measuring and mapping:
Criteria for measuring and mapping Ð Maths Grade 8
Symbol A: The learner should be able to . measure lengths..
E Can follow and give oral directions when finding or explaining how to find objects in the environment D C B A Can visualise locations shown in a drawing.. stick . using suitable units. directions. Can translate between map and physical situation D C B A Can use words like triangle.79
In this case the teacher writes the criteria for the two ends of the scale. using distances. techniques and directions. reference points and scales. and simply places learners in between by circling A to E under each heading. A and E.) E Beginning to use some self-correcting behaviours when asked to check working E
. D C B A Can measure lengths. using whole numbers of units provided (eg foot. relating objects to drawings of them. hand. rectangle and circle to describe and compare objects and features of objects in the environment. D C B A Can use a variety of ways when prompted to check working. D C B A
E Can talk about likenesses and differences between simple shapes of objects in the environment
E Can compare lengths..
performance or skills will be recorded. For this reason. when and how to teach and assess. and the how of recording will follow!
. Plan effectively what.80
5. This means that the teacher plans teaching. The set outcomes will determine the assessment criteria and therefore the way marks. learning and assessment. recording will be the end result of assessment and will therefore still be integrated with teaching.4 REFLECTION ON EFFECTIVE RECORDING
Teaching. learning and assessment are integrated in an effective educational environment. teaching strategies and learner activities with assessment and recording in mind.
.2 Equitable Assessment Strategies.81
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