Assessment is a huge topic that encompasses everything from national or international accountability tests to everyday classroom observations and recording. It involves diagnostic, formative and summative approaches, and includes the use of standards as a means of benchmarking across large cohorts.
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In order to grapple with what seems to be an over use of testing, we need to think of assessment as information. The more information we have about students, the clearer the picture we have about achievement or where gaps may occur, and the areas we may need to direct extra effort and guidance.
When we think of assessment as information it becomes easier to think of the myriad of ways in which that information can be gathered, stored and reported.
Technology offers teachers a broad range of tools to collect and analyze data, and richer sets of student data to guide instructional decisions.
Increasingly, digital technologies are being used to assist with assessment practices, including:
- online quizzes and surveys
- tracking the history of wiki pages
- standardised tests such as e-asTTle
- various forms of e-portfolio
With an increasing emphasis on accountability through assessment in schools, there is a need to focus on strategies that support assessment for and of learning that are consistent with the philosophical frameworks adopted by schools, and with the intent of the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Whariki.
- What are the range of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment practices you currently use in your school?
- Which of these could be or are enabled by the smart use of ICTs?
- How are you using data to support reporting of student progress against national benchmarks?