Advocacy

Collecting Evidence of Learning

Evidence of learning is collected within the context of student performance relative to curriculum outcomes. This evidence does not include extraneous factors such as behavior, tardiness, or assignments not completed. When data about these factors is included, then information about student performance becomes distorted. If teachers, for whatever reason, are unable to collect sufficient information about learning to make a valid and reliable judgement of student performance, then the most honest communication is to indicate that no mark is awarded due to insufficient evidence.

To arrive at a meaningful representation of student performance, teachers require multiple pieces of evidence derived from a variety of assessment strategies. Teachers need to consider carefully how much evidence is required during a typical reporting period. The actual amount of evidence required may depend in part on whether or not the evidence collected confirms a typical pattern of performance. If the evidence shows an erratic pattern of performance, then additional evidence may be required. As such, a mathematical calculation of marks must be mediated through the eyes of teacher professional judgement.

Supporting Collaboration among Teachers

Jurisdictions have found creative ways to provide collaborative time for teachers. When new reporting systems are being introduced, teachers require time to develop lessons and assessments, and to grapple with new technology.

Video: Supporting Teachers

Supporting Teachers

Dorothy describes how teachers work collaboratively to develop lessons and assessments.

Video: Developing Common Assessments

Developing Common Assessments

Jill describes the value of developing common assessments across the jurisdiction.

Judging Student Performance in Relation to Curriculum Outcomes

Teachers need to be cognizant that performance is only based on what the student demonstrates relative to curriculum outcomes. While other aspects of what students do can be reported (e.g., behavior, attitude, work habits) these factors must be kept separate from the demonstration of outcomes.

Video: Aligning Assessments

Aligning Assessments

Janice describes ensuring that student marks accurately reflect performance.

Gathering Evidence on the Full Range of Curriculum Outcomes

Whether the decision has been made to use outcomes based or holistic reporting, it is the teacher’s responsibility to gather and report evidence for the full range of curriculum outcomes. It is generally appropriate to cluster knowledge and skill outcomes when designing assessments. This not only ensures that the skill outcomes are not being overlooked, but also makes assessments more robust. A variety of mechanisms are in place for tracking the outcomes that have been assessed in order to fit with the reporting categories.

Video: Assessing the Full Range of Outcomes

Assessing the Full Range of Outcomes

Colin describes the role of the principal in ensuring that the full range of outcomes are assessed.

Video: Using an Assessment Template

Using an Assessment Template

Linda describes the use of assessment templates to ensure that the full range of outcomes are assessed.

Video: Determining the Big Ideas

Determining the Big Ideas

Dorothy talks about the big ideas in curriculum.

Using Teacher Observation, Anecdotal Comments, and Checklists as Part of the Body of Evidence

These processes are valid ways of collecting evidence about student learning. The intent of the outcome may well guide the selection of specific strategies to most effectively capture the assessment evidence required. For example, an outcome that requires students to ‘demonstrate’ would likely best be assessed through teacher observation. Efficient mechanisms for collecting and storing this information must be devised so that it can become part of the body of evidence used by teachers to make judgements about student performance.

Video: Giving Students Choice

Giving Students Choice

Janice discusses the need to allow students to express their learning using their strengths.

Video: Using Different Sources of Evidence (Jill)

Using Different Sources of Evidence (Jill)

Jill speaks to the importance of observations and conversations.

Video: Using Different Sources of Evidence (Dorothy)

Using Different Sources of Evidence (Dorothy)

Dorothy describes the value of collecting evidence of learning in a variety of ways.

Amount of Evidence Required to Arrive at a Meaningful Representation of Performance

Having a myriad of marks in the marks book is not necessarily a desirable objective. What is critical is that the assessments are providing information about high priority outcomes and enduring understandings. Having a major part of the Language Arts mark based on spelling quizzes in no way reflects the intent of that Program of Studies. Likewise, in mathematics, using marks from the administration of timed math tests is antithetical to the pedagogical intent of this curriculum. It is not about the number of assessments, but rather about the quality of assessments that are used.

Video: Sharing the Big Ideas

Sharing the Big Ideas

Linda describes an example of how teachers can share the big ideas of curriculum with parents.

Video: Role of Teacher Judgement

Role of Teacher Judgement

Bryan speaks to the value of teacher professional judgement.

Video: Role of School Based Leadership

Role of School Based Leadership

Colin describes the role of school based leadership in determining the amount of evidence required.

Gathering and Recording Evidence of Student Learning

Technology can support a variety of processes for gathering and recording student learning, i.e., anecdotal records, video/audio files in electronic portfolios, regrouping of data, and so forth.

However, the technology platform must not dictate the way evidence of learning is gathered, calculated or recorded. These are professional decisions that rest in the hands of educators.

Video: Capturing Information by Outcome

Capturing Information by Outcome

Bryan describes how teachers gather and store evidence of learning.

Video: Including Key Learner Outcomes

Including Key Learner Outcomes

Lois describes having key learner outcomes included on the assessment.

Working Together to Determine What Acceptable Work Looks Like

Looking at student work collaboratively is a valuable process for coming to a common understanding of standards. A variety of protocols are available to enhance the effectiveness of this process.

Video: Teachers Working Together at Their Own School

Teachers Working Together at Their Own School

Lois explains why determining what acceptable looks like was left to individual schools.

Video: Teachers Working Together at a District Level

Teachers Working Together at a District Level

Colin describes the district's work in developing exemplars for writing (HLAT), mathematics and critical thinking.

Video: Teachers Working Together at Their Own School and Across Schools

Teachers Working Together at Their Own School and Across Schools

Linda describes the how teachers at her school and teachers from other schools work together to develop exemplars.

Looking beyond the Use of the Mean

Teachers need to have confidence in their ability to make judgements about student work. Often, the use of an arithmetic mean does not validly represent what the student has demonstrated relative to a course of study. Teachers need to put more credence in the most recent evidence and be prepared to discount earlier evidence that no longer represents the student’s current learning. This practice is particularly important when reporting on student skill development that occurs over the course of a term or the entire year.

Video: Shifting Our Paradigm

Shifting Our Paradigm

Janice describes the benefits of using the mode.

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