information technology - Australian Curriculum Studies Association

Using Standards and Assessment
for Learning
1 August 2014
Val Klenowski
Queensland University of Technology
[email protected]
Aims of Workshop
• Revisit the principles for using assessment for
the support of learning
• Demonstrate how to involve students in the
use of standards to improve learning
• Introduce a pedagogic practice for the use of
standards for developing judgment and
• The learning power of assessment
• Changing demands of assessment policy
• Building teachers’ assessment and digital
• International comparative analysis data
• National curriculum and assessment
• Standards-driven reform
Drivers for Increased Use of
Evaluation and Assessment
An increased requirement for effectiveness, equity and
quality in education to meet economic and social demands.
A trend in education towards greater school autonomy, which
has led to a need to monitor schools’ improvement.
Developments in information technology, which allow for both
large-scale and individualised student assessment and
facilitate the sharing and management of data.
Greater reliance on evaluation results for evidence-based
decision making.
“Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment”
(OECD, 2013, p.13)
Recommendations from OECD
1. Integrate student assessment and school
evaluation in a single framework which
‘articulates ways to achieve the coherence
between its different components’;
2. Align assessment and evaluation with
educational goals and learning objectives set
out in the curriculum;
3. Design the accountability uses of evaluation
and assessment in ways that minimise
undesirable effects;
Recommendations from OECD
Use measures of performance that are broad
enough to capture the whole range of student
learning objectives;
Focus on improving classroom practices and
build on teacher professionalism (…promote
regular use of evaluation and assessment
results for improvements in the classroom.);
Place student at the centre, the fostering
engagement in learning through using formative
assessment strategies.
(ARG & BERA, 2013)
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and
Reporting Authority (ACARA)
• Standards-based
• Achievement standards for P-10
• A statement of learning typically expected for each year
• Expectation of the depth of understanding, the extent of
knowledge and the sophistication of the skills for each
year level
• A set of work samples to illustrate the differences in
quality of aspects of expected learning in student work
Standards ‘fixed
points of reference for
assessing individual
(Sadler, 1987: 191)
Standards - referenced
Teachers draw on their
assessment connects a professional knowledge
student’s actual
and expertise to make
achievement with
judgments of the quality
grades or levels
or grading decisions
Reference points
for teachers to use
for judging how
well students have
demonstrated what
they have learned.
Standards acquire
meaning and have
meaning ascribed to
them through use over
time and as
understandings develop
within communities of
moderation and
teacher judgment are
all required –
evidence, exemplars,
agreement, learning
Representation of Standards
• Important to use the variables of:
– Concept/skill
– Verb/cognition
– Degree/qualities
• Too often only two variables are used such that
the standard describes more or different work for
each level of the standard
• For example, words such as ‘evaluates’ or
‘analyses’ used to describe the A standard and
‘identifies’ to describe the D standard indicates
that what is being assessed at the levels of the
standard are very different.
ACARA Achievement Standard
Year 9 Australian Curriculum:
By the end of Year 9, students refer to key events and the actions of individuals
and groups to explain patterns of change and continuity over time.
They analyse the causes and effects of events and developments and make
judgments about their importance. They explain the motives and actions of people
at the time. Students explain the significance of these events and developments
over the short and long term. They explain different interpretations of the past.
Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework,
with reference to periods of time and their duration. When researching,
students develop different kinds of questions to frame an historical inquiry.
They interpret, process, analyse and organise information from a range of primary
and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions.
Students examine sources to compare different points of view. When evaluating
these sources, they analyse origin and purpose, and draw conclusions about their
usefulness. They develop their own interpretations about the past.
Students develop texts, particularly explanations and discussions, incorporating
historical interpretations. In developing these texts, and organising and presenting
their conclusions, they use historical terms and concepts, evidence identified in
sources, and they reference these sources.
Representation of Standards
• The ways in which standards are formulated and
represented influence the particular approach teachers
adopt to judgment
• For example, standards represented:
– in a matrix format suggests an analytic approach to
– as continua suggest a more holistic approach to
Judgment Practice
Teachers draw on these intellectual and experiential
resources when making a judgment of student work:
• Superior knowledge about the content to be learned
• Sound knowledge of criteria and standards
• Evaluative skill in making judgments about students’
efforts on similar tasks in the past
• Attitudes towards teaching, towards learners, ability to
empathise with students who are learning, desire to
help students develop, improve and do better, personal
concern for feedback and veracity of their own
judgments, and their patterns in offering help. (Sadler,
1998: 80-2)
Action Research and Critical Reflection
• Issue, concern or problem identified
What practices constitute effective educational
assessment at the classroom level?
• Question/s
• Research approach/ methods
• Strategic Plan
• Action
• Professional Practice
Research Questions
How do we incorporate into teaching and
learning practices, assessment that is
formative in both function and purpose, and
puts the student at the centre of the
assessment process?
What are the processes and procedures by
which the meanings of stated standards for
assessment tasks, are shared with students,
to enable them to articulate their own learning
through self-assessment?
Action Research Aims
• Attempted to create a community of shared
• Peer observation, peer teaching and peer
assessment to enhance our own teaching
and professional development.
• Pedagogical approach involved an interactive
curriculum design to engage students in
discussion and critical debate.
Lessons involved
Input and presentation to the students
Active tasks performed by students
Student presentation of their work
Demonstrations of learning
Group work
Individual reflection
Synthesis and summation by all
• Students’ learning was assessed summatively
by means of an assignment.
• Students were provided with feedback on
draft work plus a workshop that focused on
the use, implementation and interpretation of
assessment criteria for the assessment task.
Action – Intervention in teaching,
curriculum and assessment
• Students provided with grade related criteria or
achievement standards (A-E)
• In working groups students were asked to identify the
criteria for each standard.
1. Each student considered the criteria on his or her own.
2. In groups students discussed the criteria
3. Each group then identified the criteria embedded within the
standard descriptor
4. Each group’s interpretation of the criteria was then
presented and discussed in a plenary session.
Research Findings
Defined standards:
• inform teacher judgment of system level expectations
• inform teaching and student learning for improvement
• support student self- and peer-assessment by reducing
student dependence on the teacher as the primary or sole
source of evaluative feedback.
Standards need to be validated through interpretation
and negotiation in moderation practice and should be
empirically derived.
Implications for policy, practice and
Standards-moderation-judgment require a suite of
Statements of standards are required
Illustrative exemplars of folios of work (body of evidence)
or single tasks
Processes for arriving at an overall judgment taking
account of trade-offs or compensatory factors articulated
by use of a evaluative commentary
Teacher judgment is under-researched and in its infancy
Thank you!
[email protected]
Assessment Reform Group and British Educational Research Association (2013) A Response to
DFE’s 2013 consultation on: Primary assessment and accountability under the new national
Klenowski, V. & Wyatt-Smith, C. (2014) Assessment for Education: Standards, judgment and
Moderation, London: Sage.
Maxwell, G. S. (2007) Implications for moderation proposed changes to senior secondary school
syllabuses, Accessed from
Newton, P. (2010) ‘The multiple purposes of assessment’, International Encyclopaedia of Education, 3: 392–6.
Queensland Studies Authority (2012) ‘Reporting student achievement and progress P–10 Advice and Guidelines’
(Draft) ( p. 13.
Rowntree, D. (1987) Assessing Students: How Shall We Know Them? London: Kogan Page.
Sadler, D.R. (1998) Formative Assessment: Revisiting the Territory, Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and
Practice, 5 (1), pp. 77-84.
Wyatt-Smith, C., Klenowski, V. & Colbert, P. (eds) (2014) Designing Assessment for Quality Learning, Dordrecht:
Wyatt-Smith, C. & Klenowski, V. (2013) ‘Connecting Curriculum, Standards and Assessment for Quality Learning in
Demanding Times’, Poster presentation, American Educational Research Association Conference, San
Francisco, April.

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