As promised, we're continuing the series in the first weeks of Term 4, starting today with assessment and reporting.
You can find previous posts on implementation, syllabus content and outcomes, target language use in the classroom, three learner groups, learning across the curriculum content, programming, Program Builder and the role of language and culture objective by clicking on the 7-10 category on the right hand side of the Languages NSW News page: https://www.languagesnsw.com/news
Please note that the information provided below is for Stages 4 and 5 in NSW public schools only. Stage 6 assessment and reporting requirements are set by NESA and must be adhered to.
Assessment in K-10 is a school-based decision. The Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 policy details how NSW public schools plan curriculum and teaching programs including assessment.
All teachers should be familiar with the Advice on Assessment provided by NESA, which guides approaches to student assessment: http://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/k-10/understanding-the-curriculum/assessment
Q: Do we need to assess all outcomes?
A: No. You need to address all outcomes across a Stage, but you can choose which ones you formally assess.
Q: Do all outcomes need to be assessed formally? Do they need equal weighting?
A: No – see above. All outcomes should be continuously assessed using formative assessment strategies (assessment for and as learning). The decision about which outcomes are formally assessed using summative strategies (assessment of learning) is a decision for individual teachers and schools. Weightings are a school-based decision.
Q: Do all of the outcomes included in a unit (in the scope and sequence) need to be assessed in that unit formally?
A: No – see above. Teachers can choose which outcomes are formally assessed in any given unit of work.
Q: How to allocate marks to indicate outcomes from rich, multi-macro skills tasks? Standards-based.
A: Teachers design their own marking criteria when developing an assessment of learning task. Stage outcomes and Stage statements can support you in developing assessment criteria and marking guidelines.
Q: Assessment – do we provide different assessment tasks to students in different learner groups? Is this compulsory?
Q: Types of assessments for Stage 4/5 for 3 different group learners?
A: How students from different learner groups are assessed is determined by the school and teacher. All students must be given an opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the outcomes. For students with a disability, this may be via support or adjustments.
Q: How many outcomes (max.) should we allocate for a summative task, so as to not over-burden?
A: Teachers determine how many outcomes are formally assessed in an assessment of learning (summative) task. Whilst there is no specific number of outcomes recommended, it is sensible to focus on a limited number of outcomes in an assessment of learning task to allow for quality, reliable and valid assessment of the selected outcomes.
Q: Should all assessments be authentic (in other words, no more written exams)?
Q: Are exams accepted for assessment of learning?
A: It is important to provide students with a range of tasks that allow them to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills, including their ability to engage in authentic, purposeful language use. Teachers are encouraged to use a wide range of assessment tools that allow students to demonstrate their learning, which may include formal written exams, if appropriate for the learners and the context.
Q: No formal exams compulsory/needed? Is it okay to do 100% task-based assessments?
A: It is not mandatory for students to complete formal exams in Stages 4 and 5. See above.
Q: How do I show assessment FOR, AS and OF learning in my programming?
A: Your units of work should contain a range of assessment activities. How you indicate this in your programming documents will vary depending on the format of your units of work. Some teachers include assessment for learning and as learning strategies with their teaching and learning strategies, others choose to show them in a separate part of the program. It is, however, very important that your programs show evidence that you use a range of assessment strategies to support your students’ learning.
Q: How do we report to the outcomes?
Q: Should we now consider changing reporting outcomes to match the new syllabus outcomes? Currently listening, speaking, reading and writing.
A: How the new K-10 outcomes will be reported on is a school-based decision. Student achievement is judged in relation to syllabus standards and reports must reflect relevant syllabus outcomes. Teachers in NSW public schools can find advice on assessment and reporting in the Policy Standards for Curriculum Planning and Programming, Assessing and Reporting to Parents K-12 (updated July 2018) at https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/associated-documents/policystandards161006.pdf
Q: Can we select specific outcomes to be reported on each semester?
A: See above – reporting is a school-based decision.
If you have questions about any aspect of this information, don't hesitate to contact the Languages and Culture team.