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FORUM: Assessment in a digital age May 26 - June 26

Come and join us for this four week discussion...

Current educational pedagogy driving 21st Century learning see concepts like co-constructivism, student agency, collaboration, flipped learning, authentic learning come to the fore. A changing PLD landscape sees Kāhui Ako (Communities of Learning) forming to focus on raising achievement in target areas. Professional inquiry becomes an important framework, which helps make this process more cohesive and transparent. So where does evaluation and assessment fit into all of this?

Assessment for learning

Conversions already exist in the VLN, about concerns for assessment practices that benefit different students - in particular those who may not ‘fit’ the standardised testing system. This opens up dialogue about the need to look beyond standardised data to an interpretation of more broader sources of data (quantitative, qualitative), such as demographics, behavioural, worldviews (including Māori) and perspectives. (NEW: Enabling e-Learning different types of student data)

Effective pedagogies and strategies such as: clear, negotiated learning goals, success criteria, feedback on next learning steps, self and buddy evaluation systems, progress continuums, e-portfolios that encourage students to build peer-tutoring and self-directed/monitoring skills; can increase a sense of ownership and student agency.

Goal setting and reflection: Literacy learning supported by Google docs

Some food for thought:

What does assessment for learning look like for everyone involved - students, parents, whānau? Is this negotiated? Does this look different with a Māori world view? If so how? How do we get our parent community on board with new ways of looking at assessment, when they are most familiar with what they already know?

Data literacy skills in professional inquiry

Professional inquiry is about asking what is working for which students, when and why and similarly what’s not working and why. Collecting data as stories, helps to provide evidence to inform targeted actions for change. Data literacy skills are needed to get to the source of an issue/need/trend - teachers are increasingly asking rich questions in a spiral of inquiry such as:


What’s not working well? What do I want to change? What is the evidence? What the strengths or positives for my learners? What are the problems or challenges? How do I know all this? Have I spoken to the learners, their whanau, other staff, other agencies or specialist providers?


Using effective data literacy skills can turn hunches into credible, evidence–based springboards for taking action (NEW: Enabling e-Learning: Using data to support teacher inquiry). Having open, honest, ongoing conversations that effectively analyse what the data is saying, is an integral part of professional inquiry and professional learning.

Some food for thought:

How does your organisation collect, discuss, analyse data? Is this an individual, group or school-wide activity? What learning language, research, resources are needed for this to work well? What does this look like between schools in Kāhui Ako?

Digital tools to track and analyse shifts, change and progress

There are a number of digital tools that can help us capture, collect and analyse data. These include; using survey forms to collect responses, video for observation, voice recordings for reflection, graphs to track data shifts over time - all can be archived in digital e-portfolio formats that invite comments and feed-in from others, such as parents, caregivers. Digital tools are also being developed to help make data collection easier for teachers. For example, Literacy progressions app have been developed to help New Zealand teachers to use the learning progressions frameworks – used in the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT) – to support teaching and learning.  


Digital tools can also be used to track learning analytics in online learning programmes hosted in tools like Moodle. For example tracking engagement and on-task performance (NEW: Enabling e-Learning: Learning analytics). Digital data can be used to create quick reference student stories and inform next steps in teaching and learning, such as infographics.These are an effective way to illustrate stories in a clear format, where well-constructed symbols and information (ie: student learning) can be processed much quicker than bulk chunks of text.” Digital tools for connected schools.

Some food for thought:

What training or professional learning support mechanisms need to be in place for teachers to learn more about a variety of digital tools for assessment? What infrastructure needs to be in place to support this?

If being digital means we can create, duplicate and aggregate data, how is this helping teachers and more importantly, our students? We’d love to hear what you’re doing already. What’s working, what’s not...


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