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Assessment for Learning

Rita Berry

Publication Year: 2008

This book reflects current thinking of assessment with a stated focus on assessment for learning (AfL). It informs teachers about the latest developments and provides teachers with important tools for integrating assessment in the classroom.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

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p. vii-vii

Teachers play a fundamental role in the social and economic development of any society. Their preparation as professionals to meet the challenges of post-modern living is a key priority for both governments and universities. Many changes have taken place in teacher education since the establishment of formal institutions of teaching training in Hong Kong over one hundred years ago. Today, the Hong Kong government is committed to an “all graduate, all trained” profession and university level institutions are now responsible for all teacher education across early childhood...

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pp. ix-x

The completion of this book owes much to a number of people in various ways. The content of the book was compiled based on the teaching notes I have accumulated over time, papers which I presented at different conferences, and the research findings of the projects that I have conducted. I would like to thank all the teachers and studentteachers who have attended my courses, seminars, and workshops. It is from these teachers that I am continually learning how to link theories with classroom practices. The insights gained were subsequently built into my teaching notes...

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pp. 1-4

For many students and teachers, the idea of tests, examinations, and evaluations can carry negative emotions. Tests, examinations, and evaluations may evoke bad memories of being anxious, fearing failure, and worrying about what others may think of us based on our performance. This is unfortunate, because learning depends on assessment, as learning cannot occur in the absence of the feedback which assessment provides. Equally importantly, learning cannot take place without getting students engaged in their learning. The bad experiences that some students have had with tests and examinations turn them away from learning in school...

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1. Basic Concepts of Assessment

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pp. 5-22

Assessment has to be seen as an interconnected part of teaching and learning. The conception of assessment is one that focuses on describing student learning, identifying where each student is in his or her personal learning progression, diagnosing any difficulties students may be having in their learning, and providing direction to the teacher and the student in the steps to be taken to enhance learning. This focus on the use of assessment to support learning, rather than to document...

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2. Assessment in Hong Kong

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pp. 23-44

For decades, high-stakes examinations have been used to assess students in Hong Kong for decisions about education and jobs. In recent years, there is an awareness that assessment can also be used for helping students learn. This awareness has led to a number of assessment initiatives and plans being proposed and eventually implemented in the education sectors in Hong Kong. It is important for teachers to keep abreast of these initiatives and plans so that they will be able to play a part in the current assessment reform. It is also important for teachers to understand...

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3. Assessment Approaches

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pp. 45-60

There are three widely recognized assessment approaches: Assessment of Learning (AoL), Assessment for Learning (AfL) and Assessment as Learning (AaL). AoL is mostly used for making summative judgement of students’ performances. The other two approaches are more formative. During the learning process, information of students’ performance is collected using various types of assessment. With the information collected, teachers will give feedback to students...

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4. Traditional Assessment: Paper-and-Pencil Tests

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pp. 61-80

Paper-and-pencil tests have a long history in assessing student performance and are therefore labelled as traditional assessment. To write a good test, it is necessary to plan well. Understanding the steps for developing a test plan should mean a good start. The next steps would be knowing how to prepare specification grids and writing good test items. Because of their nature, paper-and-pencil tests are more restricted to assessing students cognitively and tend to challenge “recall” of factual knowledge. Within the cognitive parameter, test papers can in fact...

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5. Alternative Assessment

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pp. 81-98

In many educational contexts, assessment is largely used for measuring learning outcomes at the end of learning. This kind of assessment tends to have less direct effect on students’ learning. Assessment is most effective for student growth when it reflects, supports, and advances learning. Alternative assessment is designed to stimulate students’ abilities to create and apply a wide range...

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6. Catering for Diversity

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pp. 99-122

Classrooms nowadays are exemplified by student diversity. Students differ in, for example, motivation, learning style, aptitude, cultural background, socio-economic status and past learning experience. As students’ learning needs are becoming increasingly diverse, a new challenge is to look for ways to address their needs. Assessment is one useful way to help teachers deal with classroom...

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7. Grading, Marking, and Feedback

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pp. 123-140

Giving marks and grades to student work is teachers’ everyday work. It is common practice that marks and grades are used for making summative judgements of learning outcomes. They have comparative value and are useful for making students understand their level of performance. Marks and grades are in fact a type of feedback. However, on their own they are less effective in helping students learn, because of their limited capacity in informing students about what and how to improve. To make grades and marks more useful for learning...

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8. Recording

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pp. 141-162

Teachers need to be accountable for the decisions they make about students. Recordkeeping is how teachers document the basis upon which they arrive at decisions that may be reflected in grade reports, in recommendations for particular interventions for specific students and the like. Although teachers hold in their heads a lot of information about students, there is a need to record student learning systematically. Good records help teachers track student progress against standards, and identify trends in their learning and areas needing intervention...

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9. Reporting

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pp. 163-182

From the perspective of education, reporting is the communication of the information collected from the students through different means of assessment to the students and their parents, the school itself and the wider community. The purpose of reporting should lie in enhancing student learning rather than merely informing people of the results of assessment. Reporting can be both formative and summative...

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10. Case Studies

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pp. 183-201

In most educational contexts, assessment guidelines are stated and defined in the national curriculum or system for schools to refer to. In Hong Kong, the learning function of assessment has been brought to much wider attention than it has been in the past, especially in recent years. The message of assessment for learning has been conveyed very explicitly to schools in the basic curriculum guidelines as well as in many education occasions such as workshops and seminars offered by the government...


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pp. 203-209

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052059
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622099579

Page Count: 220
Illustrations: 73 b/w tables and illus
Publication Year: 2008