Assessment tools

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Tool 1A: Key Challenge

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Issue/Challenge: Equity and Validity of Assessment Judgement

Summary:

Experienced teachers (as assessors in the professional experience/practicum period) identify that making judgments about and assessing the performance (according to criteria or graduate standards) of preservice teachers can be a difficult and lonely task. Teachers recognise that this is a process often done in isolation and may have expressed concern when making judgments about their own personal bias or ‘subjectivity’ impacting on their decision making.

Tool Summary: Using Roundtable Assessment to Support Equitable and Fair Assessment Judgments

 

Assessment Challenge: Equity and Validity of Assessment

Experienced teachers (as assessors in the professional experience/practicum period) identify that making judgments about and assessing performance (according to criteria or graduate standards) of preservice teachers (PSTs) can be a difficult and lonely task. Teachers recognise that this is a process often done in isolation and some have expressed concern when assessing about their own personal bias or ‘subjectivity’ impacting on their capacity to validly judge a PST’s professional practice.

The potential for inequitable or invalid assessment judgment may arise through:

  • Lack of experience of an assessor
  • Possible bias of a single assessor
  • Lack of opportunity for sufficient observation by a single assessor to inform a valid judgment
  • Lack of opportunity for school and university-based educators (Tertiary Mentors) to be involved in the assessment judgment
  • Lack of opportunity to include the preservice teacher’s voice and gain an understanding of their experience and reflective analysis of their practice.

 

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Assessment Strategy & Process

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Roundtable

Roundtable assessment structures and processes can be a formal requirement of a specific professional experience program or be set up on an individual basis to respond to a specific need or assessment challenge.

  • Roundtable requires the support of more than one assessor to participate ideally across a series of structured meeting(s). This may present challenges to both universities and schools in terms of communication coordination, availability of time and resources.
  • Roundtables may be used at the formative or summative stage. For example a roundtable could be used as the capstone assessment at the completion of a degree and whereby a number of stakeholders assess the graduate against the standards. Roundtable could also be used at a half way point of a professional experience to help the preservice teacher identify foci areas of strength and areas to further focus on in the remaining professional experience.
  • It may be a highly defined process guided by specific proformas  and communication steps that guide the focus and key questions to be included in discussion.
  • ICT offer the potential to increasingly employ online links such as Skype and video-conferencing to connect roundtable participants both on and off the placement site. These are often more time and resource effective approaches. This might be particularly useful in including a range of stakeholders and addressing participation of teacher educators for preservice teachers who are based long distances from the university campus.

 


Activity

 


 

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Resources

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Resources: Protocols and Rubrics

  • A meeting timetable may be required by the university or negotiated between the potential Roundtable members. Ideally this would include meeting (face-to-face or online) at least twice across the placement period.
  • A set of explicit questions, linked to Professional Teaching Standards to guide discussion may be developed to support both formative and summative processes.
  • Presentation and discussion of a portfolio by the preservice teacher could be included in the Roundtable discussion.
  • Summative judgement links back to documents assembled in Roundtable meetings, with collaborative discussion guiding the final reporting phase.

ACTIVITY

  • Visit the Project Assessment ‘sister site” – Project Evidence at http://teacherevidence.net
  • Click on the tab: professional roles

  • Scroll down till you find the section titled ‘Assessing Pre-service teachers on Prac’
  • Try the Activity : Being an Assessor
  • Discuss: How can I make equitable and valid assessment judgments?

 

ACTIVITY

  • Form a small group of colleagues at your school to consider together how to assess pre-service teachers.
  • Visit the Project Assessment ‘sister site” – Project Evidence at http://teacherevidence.net
  • Click on the tab: Professional learning

  • Scroll down to: Guiding professional learning and together complete the Activity. This will help you consider how you can make assessment judgements together.
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Standards

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Professional Teaching Standards

All Professional Teaching Standards can be addressed within a Roundtable Strategy. However, particular aspects of practice may be focussed upon in specific Roundtable meetings  during the placement. For example in an initial Roundtable meeting discussion of expectations would be outlined, and a timetable of meetings agreed to. Early formative meetings could focus on the PST’s understandings around the specific context, class, routines, eg. Standards 1-5

A portfolio could be used as a structuring device linked to particular Roundtable stages. A final presentation by the preservice teacher possible via a portfolio but requiring articulation of understandings would provide rich evidence to inform the assessment summative judgment.

 

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