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Assessment is the ongoing process of gathering, analysing and reflecting on evidence to make informed and consistent judgements to improve future student learning.

Teachers should use information from assessment to understand student learning and to support students' progress towards achieving expected goals by providing regular, constructive feedback to students. This assessment information should be used by teachers to develop appropriate curriculum and pedagogy to meet students' learning needs. This assessment practice is enriched when teachers work collaboratively to share their knowledge and understanding of assessment, and of student learning requirements.

Effective assessment practices involve a range of measures and provide students with opportunities to display their knowledge, skills, understandings and attitudes. These assessment practices should be valid, reliable, fair and equitable, motivating students to further develop their learning.

To ensure valid and reliable assessment a variety of assessment types, techniques and instruments are required, together with sound moderation practices. They should include authentic tasks that reflect real world situations and that assess performance in an integrated way including specific discipline knowledge as well as interdisciplinary, personal and social capacities. In developing specific assessment tasks teachers must ensure that the tasks clearly match the teaching and learning objectives.

Assessment practices can assist students to learn more effectively if they develop students' capacity to reflect on their learning, develop deeper understanding and cultivate higher order thinking skills. Assessment for improved student learning and deep understanding requires the range of assessment practices to be used:

Assessment for learning occurs when teachers use inferences about student progress to inform their teaching.
Assessment as learning occurs when students reflect on and monitor their progress to inform their future learning goals.
Assessment of learning occurs when teachers use evidence of student learning to make judgements on student achievement against goals and standards.
Regular communication of student assessment information between teachers contributes to a better understanding of a student's development over time. This assists teachers in developing plans for students' future learning, in the context of whole school planning. Regular communication of student assessment information forms the basis for involving parents in the school's reporting processes.

While the primary focus of assessment is constructive feedback to students, assessment information also contributes to teachers' planning for future student learning; to state and national reporting requirements and reporting to parents. All these processes should be designed to improve student achievement.

Characteristics of effective assessment
Assessment practices are integral to the teaching and learning process and are matched to the teaching and learning goals. They inform curriculum planning to improve student learning.
Assessment practices use a range of measures allowing students to demonstrate what they know and can do; leading to a more accurate picture of their learning and growth.
Assessment practices promote deeper understanding of learning processes by developing students' capacity for self-assessment, so they can become more reflective and self-managing.
Assessment is authentic — based on an understanding of how students learn and requiring them to apply their relevant skills, knowledge and understanding to real-world challenges.
Assessment processes are valid, reliable, fair and equitable and cater for the range of student learning styles.
Students are involved in negotiating assessment to ensure a shared understanding of purpose, criteria and standards to more effectively engage them in their learning.
Students have access to ongoing constructive feedback that supports their further learning.
In English our assessment practices should:
provide diagnostic information to students, parents and teachers;
enable students, parents and teachers to ascertain students' progress in learning;
provide information about levels of achievement to students, parents and teachers;
help teachers plan teaching programmes;
be an integral and continuing part of the teaching programme;
provide strategies for the continuing provision of effective classroom programmes appropriate to students' development. Accurate and reliable reports of students' progress and achievement are built from information and records of students' activities in such programmes;
be based on clear assessment criteria that have been explained to students;
be free, as far as possible, of content or practices that might disadvantage some students on the basis of culture, language background, or socio-economic status;
provide a range of information that, taken as a whole, enables accurate judgements about levels of achievements to be made;
be as open-minded as possible to allow students to demonstrate a range of levels of achievement;
be directed to what students have been taught and can reasonably be expected to have learned;
in assessing and monitoring student progress, teachers set achievable goals that enable students to move from one level of proficiency to another;
ensure students have opportunities to learn and to show their learning in all aspects of the English curriculum;
allow opportunities for both peer- and self-assessment in addition to teacher assessment;
ensure learning and achievement in English are most effectively assessed by observing students during classroom programmes as well as by evaluating the products of their activities;
generate evidence of individual students' progress towards the achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes from assessment information collected on particular units and tasks and which is gathered at appropriate times throughout the programme. An appropriate time is when the students have had opportunities to develop the skills and abilities targeted by the purposes of the particular programme;
at all year levels, the validity of summative comments and grades stems from planning, implementing and assessing coursework.
Rubric Assessment
A rubric is a scoring guide that seeks to evaluate a student's performance based on a range of defined criteria or guidelines, and should be developed to build upon students' current knowledge and skills. When given to students before they commence a unit of work, students are able to think about the criteria and goals they have to meet and how they can address these. Rubrics serve an important role in creating assessment that is student-centred and standards driven.

All common assessment tasks have a common rubric assessment marking sheet. These are the official marking sheets for all common level assessment tasks. Teachers are expected to provide their students with the rubric assessment criteria before students prepare the task.

When designing learning activities for their students, teachers are expected to design their own rubrics and allow students to see the rubric before they undertake the task.

“The most obvious reason for using rubrics is the rubric's unique capacity to quantify student performance in a relatively objective manner. Rubrics enable teachers to establish a set of criteria for completion of specified tasks, and they give students the opportunity to see what skills and behaviours are expected for mastery of each task. For these reasons, teachers must have the rubric ready before they make the assignment, and students need to see the rubric before they undertake the assignment. Seeing the rubric at the beginning of an activity allows students to be fully aware of what the teacher expects of them in the assignment and helps students become actively involved in their learning” (extract from Designing Rubrics for English).

   
Progression Points

The level progression points for Years 9 and 10 represent typical progress of students at key points within their stages of learning. It is recognised that students progress at individual rates and may demonstrate achievement at a particular level earlier or later than typical. Level 9 refers to the standard students should have achieved at the end of Year 9 and Level 10 the standard students should have achieved at the end of Year 9. The .5 scale indicates the progress towards the expected level or beyond.

 
Record Keeping
Assessment Criteria Sheets have been drawn up for all year levels, for all assessment tasks, which can assist teachers in maintaining records of each student's language development and progress throughout the year, and in reporting to students and parents.
Teachers maintain record-keeping methods that enable valid and reliable assessment and track students' progress and achievement across all learning contexts.
Collections of students' work demonstrate learning and achievement. Examples are: writing folios, responses to texts, projects, oral presentations.
Students are given increased responsibility to keep records and examples of their work and to compile them as a portfolio at an appropriate time when evidence of work-in-progress or learning is needed.
Reporting
Assessment is derived from both the Coursework and specific Assessment Tasks undertaken each semester which are part of the regular teaching and learning programme.
Assessment Tasks are assessed as either S or N.
All Assessment Tasks are regarded as being of equal importance. A school-based overall level of achievement grade is not allocated in either semester.
For each Standard or Outcome, the Assessment Tasks are marked against the appropriate Assessment Criteria sheets and where there is more than one task for an Area of Study, the tasks are standardised into a global grade for the end-of-semester results.
Assessment Tasks (derived from the coursework) are graded using the School's grading system.
A student who is awarded N for any area of study / Assessment Task either by being awarded UG (below minimum satisfactory achievement) or NA (task not completed) may be given the opportunity to complete a supplementary task in order to redeem the N to an S. However, the original mark and grade (UG or NA) will remain unchanged and appear so on the report.
Student reports are completed at the end of each term.
   
Formative and Summative Assessment
Formative assessment
The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments
provide students with opportunities to develop and consolidate knowledge and skills prior to an assessment task
help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately
Summative assessment

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of a unit against the unit outcomes or standards. Examples of summative assessments include:

a final essay

exam
   
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Last up-dated 5 November, 2016
Website onstructed and maintained by G. Marotous, 2004
© George Marotous. Melbourne High School English Faculty
 
     
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