Assessment tools

Each Assessment Tool contains a number of "components" (shown below) that may be clicked and expanded upon.

Click on the Arrows at the left of the heading of each component to view singularly, or click on the "EXPAND/MINIMISE ALL COMPONENTS" button at the top of the component list, to open/close all components simultaneously.

Tool 1F: 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:

Issue/challenge: Equity and validity of assessment judgment

 To support assessment processes that are equitable and valid, assessors need to have the professional knowledge and experience to explicitly analyse practice and teaching capacity in terms of relevant Professional Teaching Standards at Graduate Teacher level, Additionally, they need the professional knowledge and judgment to modify Standards to be appropriate to the developmental stage and learning needs of each preservice teacher (PST).

Assessment processes need to be focussed not only towards evaluating the preservice teacher’s final performance and capacity against Standards but also to guide on-going professional learning. The National Professional Teaching Standards (AITSL, 2010), with their Focus Areas offer a comprehensive guiding framework for assessors. However, Standards and summative report formats can be experienced as overly prescriptive, complex and expressed in language that is not completely accessible to both PSTs and their assessors. Commonly assessors need support in using Standards within the assessment process. Rubrics and Evidence Guides can provide such assistance as they support clear and more explicit communication for all parties involved.

As Standard documents become the common guiding documents for professional experience, the assessment process, particularly its formative phases, needs to have more explicit, focussed and at times simpler documents to provide both PSTs and educators with clear guidelines for explicit feedback. Evidence Guides and Rubrics provide such explicit guidance. It is not uncommon for a professional experience placement to be provided only with the final or summative report document. Equity issues around the assessment process can arise due to lack of understanding on the part of the PST and their supervisor as to exactly what is meant by particular assessment criteria and what they are required to do to demonstrate competence.

 

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Assessment Strategy & Process

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Assessment Strategy and Process: Rubrics and Evidence Guides

Relevant Evidence Guides linked to Standards can assist both formative and summative assessment processes. Evidence Guides provide a range of suggested indicators that may need to be demonstrated and attained to meet a particular Standard. Evidence Guides ideally provide specific developmental indicators, descriptors of evidence pertinent to early, mid and late stage professional learning and performance.

Rubrics are developed to explicitly outline assessment criteria for particular assessable elements of teaching practice in clear language. A particular assessment task – for example production of a lesson plan and its implementation- may be guided by a focussed rubric which clearly sets out elements of practice to be demonstrated within the task. The rubric would provide description of aspects of the task possibly against a grading scale – ie Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations. Annotation of practice against a rubric provides clear feedback on aspects of practice observed and evaluated.

A rubric may:

-          provide the framework for explicit evidence production and collection.

-          provide descriptors of different levels of attainment relevant to assessment criteria

-          provide a framework to assist assessors giving the PST explicit feedback

-          be developed specifically for a particular PST, context, aspect of practice, ‘at risk’ situation

-          be developed by the university, supervising teacher, individually or collaboratively, as well as by the PST.

-          provide a structuring framework for a portfolio

-          be focussed toward the planning, delivery and evaluation of a series of lessons required to meet the learning needs of a specific group of students for example.

 

PSTs and their educators working with shared rubric or evidence guide documents can develop clearer common understandings of what is required and needing to be demonstrated during a placement. Such shared understanding contributes to a more equitable assessment process.

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Resources

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Resources: Protocols and Rubrics

  • Evidence Guides and Rubrics may be supplied by the university as guiding documents and may have explicit requirements as to their status as well as time and method of employment. They may be provided only as advisory documents to be referred to if required by both PSTs and educators to deepen understanding of the assessment criteria.
  • A set of explicit guidelines regarding use of rubrics and Evidence Guides needs to be developed collaboratively by educators both school and university-based
  • Evidence Guides, particularly those that flesh out the Professional Teaching Standards at Graduate level can be a valuable document to guide the PST in focussed observation and providing feedback to their supervising teachers and peers.
  • A generic rubric structure/document provides a framework for assessors to further develop for a particular assessment task, filling it in with the particular forms of evidence that needs to be produced to attain a specific assessment requirement.

Activity

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

  • Scroll to: Why should Assessment be based on evidence?
  • Complete the activity
  • Discuss how you might work with colleagues and PSTs to flesh out a rubric for your school context.
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Standards

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Professional Teaching Standards

All Professional Teaching Standards can be addressed through associated evidence guides and rubrics. However, selected Standards and focus areas may be identified as relevant to a particular PSTs or a specific stage and these provide a  focus within an assessment rubric.  

 

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