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Teachers' Christian Fellowship of NSW: Conference Paper
Using the primary KLA syllabuses for consistency of assessment.
March 2007

What is assessment?
Assessment is the process of identifying, gathering and interpreting information about student's learning.

Quality Teaching and Assessment questions.
  • What do you the students to learn?
  • Why does that learning matter?
  • What are you going to get the students to do or produce?
  • How well do you expect them to do it?
Assessment types.
  1. Ongoing assessment  (assessment for learning). Evidence of student achievement exist in all the work of students, and teachers can gather that information.
  2. Assessment events (assessment of learning).  Evidence of student achievement from planned assessment events involving a task and performance criteria.
DET Policy guidelines say:
Schools plan assessment tasks so that:
- students can demonstrate achievement for the relevant stage of learning.
- valid and reliable assessment strategies are used. 2.

Good assessment practice
  • Is embedded in teaching and learning practice.
  • Provides opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and can do.
  • Is inclusive of all learners.
  • Is fair and valid.
  • Uses assessment processes that are time efficient and manageable.
Evidence of achievement
  • observations of student participation and engagement with learning.
  • analysis of the 'work' of students.
  • questioning, both formal and informal, of the student's understandings.
  • results of assessment events.
Assessing student work.
Assessment is based on teacher expectations developed collaboratively from shared teacher judgments about:
  1. What students are to learn (an understanding of the syllabus standard for the stage).
  2. How well they learn it (generally understanding the performance standards represented by published Board of Studies work samples).
Consistent teacher judgements.
The reliability of teacher judgements is enhanced when teachers collaboratively develop a shared understanding of what constitutes student achievement in each of the stages.

Planned assessment in primary KLAs.
  • Teaching and learning programs with planned assessment opportunities based on the outcomes, skills and content of the syllabuses.
  • Planned assessment tasks as 'snapshots' of student learning at that point in time.
  • Assessment criteria for tasks.
Assessment criteria.
For a planned assessment task the teacher develops criteria.
  • Students should know the criteria.
  • Teachers should apply the criteria consistently.
  • Teachers should provide feedback to students against the criteria.
1. Principles for Assessment and Reporting in NSW Government Schools; NSW Department of School Education, 1996, Page1.
2.  Getting the Balance Right; DET, 2005.

John Gore

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