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Making an overall teacher judgment

This page gives guidance on the range and types of information used in making an overall teacher judgment, guidance on using assessment tools, and some links to practical examples of making overall teacher judgments.

An overall teacher judgment (OTJ) involves drawing on and applying the evidence gathered up to a particular point in time, in order to make an overall judgment about a student’s progress and achievement.

No single source of information can accurately summarise a student’s achievement or progress. A range of approaches is necessary in order to compile a comprehensive picture of the areas of progress, areas requiring attention, and what a student’s unique progress looks like. Using a range of approaches also allows the student to participate throughout the assessment process, building their assessment capability. Because of this, to assess a student in relation to National Standards, teachers need to bring together a range of evidence in order to form an overall teacher judgment.

Overall teacher judgments of achievement and progress involve combining information from a variety of sources, using a range of approaches. Evidence may be gathered in the following three ways:

  • Observing the process a student uses to complete a learning task.
  • Conversing with the student to find out what they know, understand and can do.
  • Gathering results from formal assessments, including standardised tools.

This gathering of information from a range of sources increases the dependability of the OTJ. The diagram above explains in more detail.

Any point of the triangle provides an approach to gathering evidence of learning. The use of a range of evidence accumulated over the year builds dependability in progress and achievement decisions. An OTJ can be made when the teacher reviews all of the evidence in relation to a National Standard, rather than relying on a single source of evidence.

When using an assessment tool

When using assessment tools teachers should:

  • understand the purpose of the assessment
  • know the curriculum content well enough to clearly understand what is being assessed and that it is being assessed appropriately
  • consider the difficulty of the assessment so that it fairly matches the level of the student
  • know how to select an assessment tool, administer it and interpret the outcomes
  • support students to understand what is being assessed and why
  • know how to respond to assessment outcomes in a way that benefits student learning.

 Visit the Assessment tool selector to review a range of assessment tools. 

Link to OTJ training modules

This series of modules has been developed to help teachers and other education professionals work with the National Standards and the illustrations in reading, writing and mathematics.

School example

Here is an example of how evidence is collected from multiple sources in reading. You can see clearly from the example that students are fully involved in the learning and assessment process.

Video examples

Professional learning facilitators from Team Solutions at Auckland University have put together videos to illustrate the process of making Overall Teacher Judgments. Visit the website to view the videos.

Article on cross-curricular OTJ

PDF icon. National Standards - Not one test, not one day, not one classroom (PDF 466 KB)

This article, by Brenda Weal and Selena Hinchco, illustrates how teachers can use evidence from student work in technology to inform overall teacher judgments against National Standards.

Research

How do teachers make overall teacher judgements 2010 (PDF 715 KB)

This research investigation by Kerry Mitchell and Dr Jenny Poskitt explores teacher understandings of Overall Teacher Judgments in primary schools, and how teachers are applying OTJs in the classroom and school.

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