Content in this category evidences my ability to cover standard 5 of AITSL’s National Professional Standards for Teachers “assess, provide feedback and report on student learning”. For each subcategory I will provide at least one example of how I achieve that standard.
5.1 Assess student learning
My colleague Colin McKenzie has put an extraordinary amount of time and effort in to creating an Assessment Database. It is a fantastic, interconnected system collating a range of information such as reports, special needs, individualised help and assessments. I use this to assess and record student work, return assessment to students, include parents in the assessment feedback, and as a source of information when writing reports. Students receive a professional PDF via email with their result, comment, and a specific breakdown of how they have achieved against the assessment criteria. It has led me to now do almost all assessment electronically.
5.2 Provide feedback to students on their learning
Where possible, I create authentic audiences for student work to add value to the work they do, and to add immediacy and relevance to the feedback they receive. Some example of this are:
- In Media Studies all product work has real audiences. Students enter competitions where they receive direct feedback from industry professionals regarding their work, can include their work in a professional portfolio, and, if they are shortlisted or win a prize, can put it on their resume.
- In Media Studies I get students to display their work, particularly product work, on blogs. These blogs act like an e-portfolio to record their product work and any other items of interest to their field. Some students will continue to add to these, creating a portfolio of their work they can take with them beyond school to show potential employers. This is particularly important in the Media industry as it is driven not only by qualifications, but by what people can prove they have done / can do. Here is an example.
- A Year 12 English Communications classes’ horror fiction narratives were published in a professional anthology Dread and Dismay, and made commercially available. This also acted as a fundraiser for Sunrise Children’s Home. Their book was advertised through the school community, there were copies in the local bookshop, and two students came with me on ABC Radio to promote it (read the ABC article here and listen to the radio interview here).
- A Year 10 English class created a cyberbullying magazine in response to some bullying experienced by students in the class. Students mostly worked in pairs on an article focused on a particular angle, from Information Technology issues to horoscopes! We then published this magazine on Issuu, and publicised it as a resource to staff and students. They received a lot of positive feedback on their work.
5.3 Make consistent and comparable judgments
All assessment tasks have clear assessment criteria made clear prior to students starting work, and they are all consistently assessed against these criteria. I work with colleagues on moderation exercises throughout the year to ensure we are consistent with our marking, and I do moderation for the SACE Board to help ensure my assessment standards are ‘spot on’.
5.4 Interpret student data
In the personal learning team I am leading that is experimenting with flipping the classroom, we are collecting data to help evaluate the effectiveness of our practise unit. We have given the classes pre flipping surveys, have run a small lesson in a traditional teaching method, and run a unit of work in a traditional teaching method. These will compared with a post flipping survey, an almost identical small lesson in the flipped teaching method, and a unit of work in the flipped teaching method that results in a extremely similar end task to the other unit. From these comparisons we hope to find out students’ perceptions of the effectiveness and engagement of the methodologies, and to gather some raw data on whether student achievement was different between the two methodologies.
5.5 Report on student achievement
I volunteered to be a member of an effort grade committee and helped develop a new effort grade scheme that was phrased constructively, clarified what constitutes ‘best effort’, and ensured effort was considered separately from academic achievement (there was a trend for effort grades and grades to be paired). We engaged in detailed discussion with the whole staff and within our group about what was meant by ‘effort’ and what wording would best reflect what teachers expected and communicate these expectations clearly to students and parents.