Start Date

23-8-2022 7:00 PM

End Date

23-8-2022 8:00 PM

Subjects

Standards, Formative evaluation, Online tests, Pilot projects, Performance, Teacher opinions, Primary secondary education

Abstract

Assessing learners’ performance makes very different demands upon teachers depending on the purpose and the context of the assessment. But common to all assessment is some sense of what ‘quality’ looks like. Most often teachers engage in formative assessments in the classroom, and the familiar standards of the classroom are adequate for this purpose. However if teachers are to undertake external, nationally regulated assessment then some sense of a national standard of quality is required. But there are very limited mechanisms by which teachers can acquire this understanding, so they use their best judgement, and standards vary from school to school not because anyone is attempting to cheat the system but simply because they cannot know what the real national standard is. It is for this reason that regulated examination bodies follow some process such as the following from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) in Ireland. ‘… teacher estimated marks will be subjected to an in-school alignment process and later a national standardisation process’. (SEC, 2021). How much simpler it would all be if teachers had – as a matter of normal practice – access to, and familiarity with, work from a national sample of schools, not just their own classroom. Adaptive Comparative Judgement (ACJ) is an online assessment tool that has been used for some years, principally as a formative tool for learners (e.g. Bartholomew et al., 2018; 2019). This presentation reports on a study of the new ACJ Steady State tool from the same stable. The purpose of the new tool is to solve the problem of variable standards across schools by enabling teachers to make paired judgements of work from multiple schools and thereby evolve and agree standards of performance beyond their own school. The current study is operating in Ireland with a group of schools, a university, and the SEC. The anticipated outcomes include 1) better consistency of performance standards across schools in the research group and 2) greater understanding of and confidence in assessment judgements by the teachers. If ACJ has proved to be a powerful formative assessment tool for learners, ACJ Steady State is designed to be a formative assessment tool for teachers, helping to inform and support their assessment judgements.

Place of Publication

Melbourne, Australia

Publisher

Australian Council for Educational Research

ISBN

978-1-74286-685-7

DOI

https://doi.org/10.37517/978-1-74286-685-7-6

Geographic Subject

Ireland, United Kingdom

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Aug 23rd, 7:00 PM Aug 23rd, 8:00 PM

Sharing and securing learners' performance standards across schools

Assessing learners’ performance makes very different demands upon teachers depending on the purpose and the context of the assessment. But common to all assessment is some sense of what ‘quality’ looks like. Most often teachers engage in formative assessments in the classroom, and the familiar standards of the classroom are adequate for this purpose. However if teachers are to undertake external, nationally regulated assessment then some sense of a national standard of quality is required. But there are very limited mechanisms by which teachers can acquire this understanding, so they use their best judgement, and standards vary from school to school not because anyone is attempting to cheat the system but simply because they cannot know what the real national standard is. It is for this reason that regulated examination bodies follow some process such as the following from the State Examinations Commission (SEC) in Ireland. ‘… teacher estimated marks will be subjected to an in-school alignment process and later a national standardisation process’. (SEC, 2021). How much simpler it would all be if teachers had – as a matter of normal practice – access to, and familiarity with, work from a national sample of schools, not just their own classroom. Adaptive Comparative Judgement (ACJ) is an online assessment tool that has been used for some years, principally as a formative tool for learners (e.g. Bartholomew et al., 2018; 2019). This presentation reports on a study of the new ACJ Steady State tool from the same stable. The purpose of the new tool is to solve the problem of variable standards across schools by enabling teachers to make paired judgements of work from multiple schools and thereby evolve and agree standards of performance beyond their own school. The current study is operating in Ireland with a group of schools, a university, and the SEC. The anticipated outcomes include 1) better consistency of performance standards across schools in the research group and 2) greater understanding of and confidence in assessment judgements by the teachers. If ACJ has proved to be a powerful formative assessment tool for learners, ACJ Steady State is designed to be a formative assessment tool for teachers, helping to inform and support their assessment judgements.