Podcast takes student assessment up a level

Changing your approach to assessment may help you become a more effective teacher and make your life easier.

Where teachers really come unstuck with assessment is where they have to take away huge amounts of paper and mark it and put it on a class list, CPL course presenter Mary-Ellen Betts tells JPL Podcast host Carly Boreland in an episode titled Assessment K-6.

“If we’re still in a setting where we spend x number of weeks and then down tools and do an assessment, we are operating in the middle of last century,” Ms Betts says. Listeners hear there is nothing in documentation from the Department or NESA saying that this is appropriate practice.

CPL course presenters Sandra Rowan and Ms Betts talk about a different approach to assessment that may help teachers with their teaching practice, reduce workload, plus introduce fun routines that may improve student learning outcomes.

They recommend introducing simple, daily routines into the classroom that ask students to reflect on their learning. Student self-assessment demonstrates to the teacher the student’s thinking and learning and thus assists the teacher with formative assessment, enabling the teacher to quickly modify their teaching to help the student understand a concept.Suggestions include asking students to fill out an exit slip at the end of a lesson and structured approaches to peer editing. For more, listen to the podcast.

Ms Rowan says if you are expecting your children to improve in your classroom, you have to help them do that by giving them learning goals and they have to assess themselves against those learning goals. “They have to be self-regulated learners in terms of ‘I want to learn, I’m going to think about my learning, I’m going to assess my learning’,” she says.

“This is the child that we need in the 21st century. We don’t need a child who says, OK, I’ve done this piece of writing, now it’s your job [the teacher’s] to do the editing and I’ll never look at it again’.”

The podcast also offers suggestions on assessing pieces of writing.

JPL Podcast episodes on a range of teaching topics are available from the Centre for Professional Learning’s website here and podcast streaming services such as iTunes and on your mobile device through our Soundcloud RSS feed.

Listening to an episode of the JPL Podcast can contribute to meeting teacher-identified professional learning hours for Maintenance of Accreditation as well as professional learning goals for the PD Framework.

— Kerri Carr