You are here:
Schools have more evidence about what students know and can do than ever before – achievement data, attitudes, engagement, behaviours, and environmental factors that influence learning. The challenge is to use that evidence to enhance teaching and learning.
The topics in this section cover the fundamentals of gathering evidence (including the types of evidence available), and assessment strategies, tools, and processes.
It is essential that teachers have easy access to all relevant information about students so that they can use it to enhance teaching and learning. If this is problematic, it may be necessary for school leaders to:
- conduct a "stocktake" on the range of evidence available within the school
- review the accessibility of that information
- consider staff professional development on accessing that information.
Gathering evidence topics
There is a wide range of evidence that schools and teachers can use when inquiring into student learning.
This is a resource designed to assist schools to make best use of evidence in making decisions aimed at improving student achievement.
No single source of assessment 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.
An assessment is classed as summative if is intended to summarise student achievement at a particular time. Assessment which is formative promotes further improvement of student attainment.
As is the case with teaching and learning, assessment is a collaborative endeavour between the teacher and the student - where both want to determine what the student knows and what might be learnt next.
In building a school-wide assessment strategy, leaders need to take into account three broad levels of assessment.
Good formal assessment is valid (based on what students have learned) and reliable (results can be replicated), and should provide information on what students have learned, what they need to learn and, where appropriate, how they measure up against expectations for their cohort.
To ensure that students are motivated and engaged, the teacher needs to consider the time and conditions of the assessment.
Although collecting accurate assessment data is a challenge for schools, a bigger challenge is analysing the information effectively and acting on it to effect change in the classroom.
Return to top