Module 5 Assessment

        I.            Write down 5 things you believe about assessment and 5 things you want to know about assessment.


I believe that formal assessment:

  1. Needs to be fair (i.e. no favouritism, or based on classroom behaviors etc.)
  2. Criteria needs to be transferable so other teachers would be able to mark assessments with similar accuracy
  3. Should provide feedback that is understandable by students and their parents/carers so both parties can identify how the assessment was made (and the score produced)
  4. Should be exclusive of the class/group results (e.g. not part of a bell-curve or other statistical model – whilst unlikely, if multiple students have earned full marks then that’s the mark they should be entitled to
  5. Can be scrutinized by students and teachers are confident their assessment strategy and marks are justified


I would like to know more about:

  1. Tools for developing marking rubrics
  2. Informal assessments to influence the class planning
  3. How assessment is done for VCE (i.e. outside of the school, centralized marking)
  4. Relating assessment tools back to curriculum (i.e. how much is enough/not enough)
  5. Developing tools for overall assessment (i.e. whole year)


      II.            Has anything you have read about changed or confirmed what you originally believed about assessment?


The idea that a teacher will monitor the progress of their student’s learning and modify their teaching content and methods on the needs of the students is a ‘penny dropping’ moment for me.  My preconception was that assessment was the formal assessment of student’s outputs based on assessment tasks (i.e. VCE).  For the teacher to ‘infer’ the students’ understanding of the content and their breadth of knowledge and then modify to improve this is a skill important in the improvement of teachers.

The on-going nature of assessment is in stark contrast to the periodic assessment task evaluation of a student’s outcomes which I originally believed.  I will take this important finding with me and adapt this to my planning and teaching strategies.




    III.            Record any useful resources you have found in your journal.


Northwest Evaluation Association (2015) ‘Assessments with Integrity How assessment can inform powerful instruction’ LINK


How to assess students and modify the teaching practices accordingly.
12 Awesome Formative Assessment Examples LINK Gives different activities that can be used to gauge a student’s progress without appearing as a ‘formal’ assessment.
56 different examples of formative assessment  LINK David Wees, a specialist in formative assessment, has developed a range of ideas and activities for
Assessment for Learning
Curriculum Corporation web-page LINK
Identifies assessment requirements for Australian state curricula





    IV.            What are the three most important ideas you have learnt about assessment in this section?

Grading Vs Assessment – grading places a value on the outcomes of the education (i.e. result of exams, assessment tasks etc.) whilst assessment is the understanding of a student’s progression, understanding and growth.  Grading takes place at specific intervals (i.e. at the end of the week, topic or semester) whilst assessment is a constant process whereby the growth and rate of growth is monitored and the skilled teacher adapts his or her program within the curriculum to best support the student in their learning.


Formative Assessment – monitor student learning.  Using formative assessment, teachers can work with students to BOTH identify strengths and weaknesses, develop plans in areas that need improvement, act quickly to minimise gaps in the learning.  This kind of assessment can be done informally and occurs during the learning.


Summative Assessment -evaluate student learning against specific criteria (e.g. tests, exams etc.).  Whilst these assessments can be used to develop strategies (e.g. such as in formative assessment) it is usually after the event, with the result fixed.  Summative assessment is usually formal and is completed after the learning.


      V.            Based on your learning about feedback, identify the three most important aspects of giving feedback to later years students.


Feedback helps clarify what we expect from our students.  It helps the students understand what we (or the curriculum) require from them and in turn produce better learning outcomes.

In regards to supplying feedback to students, it should be of high quality, not a quasi-marking system.  The comments made by Dylan William at the NWEA Conference (2012) that feedback should be like a medical, not a post-mortem really resonated with me.  Feedback (i.e. the ‘medical’ where it outlines components of learning and identifies areas of strengths and weakness) should provide ways to improve for all students – and this inspires and engages them toward further learning.


The return of assignments etc. is often an anxious moment for students.  It is an opportunity for teachers to provide honest and timely feedback but also a chance for the student to reflect and grow as a learner.  Watson (2013) suggests the feedback should be

Specific – as feedback is a tool for future change so identify the areas that need work.  Alternatively, identify the areas that worked well.  It is important to emphasise what could be done differently next time and highlighting only the most significant improvement to bring about the most important change, rather than brushing over a raft of small errors and omissions.

Actionable – emphasise what could be done differently next time (as opposed to the thing/s they did wrong this time) and offering how this could be done.

Timely – the most effective feedback is timely and frequent in that suggested improvements can be implemented before the next assigned task (where possible) has begun.

Respectful – looking for the good points while still focusing on future solutions.  Being less judgemental with feedback by replacing “You did not…” with “I did not understand…”


Acknowledging that there is a marked difference between ‘feedback’ and ‘advice’ and ‘evaluation’ (Wiggins, 2012) is important.  Feedback is information that a student can grow and learn from.  In the samples given, ‘advice’ is what to do or change without using a context which can lead to an unsupportive message.  The ‘evaluation’ is judgement of a poor/good/better outcome or an emotional response on its own.  Wiggins would like to dismiss the evaluation and grading within schools but concedes that it would be difficult to do this.  However, he does reiterate the benefits to both student and teacher in providing good feedback to enhance future learning opportunities.



5 Assessment for Learning Curriculum Corporation, (2008) Introduction to Assessment for Learning Retrieved from:


5 Carnegie Mellon University (1999) ‘TEACHING EXCELLENCE & EDUCATIONAL INNOVATION – Assess Teaching & Learning – Basics – Grading vs Assessment’  Retrieved from:
5 Department of Education & Training (Vic), 2013,  ‘Assessment Advice’ Retrieved from:
5 Department of Education & Training (Vic), 2013,  ‘Teacher Support Resources > Assessment and Reporting > Assessment Advice’ Retrieved from:
5 Global Digital Citizen Foundation (2016) ‘12 Awesome Formative Assessment Examples’ Retrieved from:
5 Northwest Evaluation Association (2015) ‘Assessments with Integrity How assessment can inform powerful instruction’ Retrieved from:
5 Watson, G (2013 Aug 30) ‘Characteristics of Good Student Feedback’ [Video File] Retrieved from:
5 Wees, D. (2012) ’56 different examples of formative assessment’ Retrieved from:
5 Wiggins, G.  (2012) ‘Seven Keys to Effective Feedback’ Feedback for Learning Volume 70 (Number 1) Pages 10-16 Retrieved from:
5 William, D. (2012 Dec 14) ‘NWEA – Partnering to help all kids learn. Unpacking Formative Assessment’ [Video File] Retrieved from:

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