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Photographic and Digital Media Years 7–10: Advice on Programming and Assessment

3Advice on Assessment

3.1Assessment for Learning

The Board’s revised syllabuses advocate assessment for learning. Assessment that enhances learning recognises that learners use their current understanding to discover, develop and incorporate new knowledge, understanding and skills. Assessment for learning helps teachers and students to know if that current understanding is a suitable basis for future learning.

Assessment occurs as an integral part of teaching and learning. Teacher instruction and assessment influence student learning and learning processes. This involves using assessment activities to clarify student understanding of concepts, and planning ways to remedy misconceptions and promote deeper understanding.

Assessment for learning encourages self-assessment and peer assessment. Students can develop and use a range of strategies to actively monitor and evaluate their own learning and the learning strategies they use.

The feedback that students receive from completing assessment activities will help teachers and students decide whether they are ready for the next phase of learning or whether they need further learning experiences to consolidate their knowledge, understanding and skills. Teachers should consider the effect that assessment and feedback have on student motivation and self-esteem, and the importance of the active involvement of students in their own learning.

By integrating learning and assessment, the teacher can choose which aspects of a student’s performance to record. These records can be used to monitor the student’s progress, determine what to teach next and decide the level of detail to be covered. At key points, such as the end of the year, this information is also available for the teacher to use to form a judgement of the student’s performance against levels of achievement. This judgement can be used to inform parents, the next teacher and especially the student, of the student’s progress. Consequently, teachers using their professional judgement in a standards-referenced framework are able to extend the process of assessment for learning into the assessment of learning.

Principles of assessment for learning

Assessment for learning:

AP1emphasises the interactions between learning and manageable assessment strategies that promote learning

AP2clearly expresses for the student and teacher the goals of the learning activity

AP3reflects a view of learning in which assessment helps students learn better, rather than just achieve a better mark

AP4provides ways for students to use feedback from assessment

AP5helps students take responsibility for their own learning

AP6is inclusive of all learners.

Details on how these principles translate in practice can be found on pages 58–59 of the Photographic and Digital Media Years 7–10 Syllabus. One activity in this document has been annotated to show how the principles of assessment for learning feature in that activity. It can be found on pages 16–18.

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