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Managing assessment processes

Consider the time and the place of the assessment

To ensure that students are motivated and engaged, the teacher needs to consider the time and conditions of the assessment. The best time is when the students are fresh - usually in the morning. The optimum place is one where students feel comfortable and familiar.

Read the instruction manual

Assessment tools come with a set of instructions or a manual about how to administer them. Everyone involved should read these carefully. The instructions contain important information to help ensure consistency of administration across classes and cohorts, so that reliable information is gained. Teachers may need some professional development in the administration of a particular assessment.

Make the administration of the assessment consistent

Everyone involved in the testing should discuss beforehand the details about the administration of the test, to ensure consistency across classes and cohorts. Some of these issues will be covered in the instruction manual, others will have to be decided within the school. For example, the time given for the test (this needs to be consistent but not necessarily rigid – it depends on what the administration guidelines indicate), the amount of information given to students beforehand, any ‘brainstorm’ which may be necessary to engage students in the process, and the amount of assistance given to students during the test. All teachers should be aware of the expectations for administration.

Organise moderation of the marking

Using effective processes around moderation of marking is extremely important. This is especially important where there is scope for widely differing judgments about results – this is most often seen in the marking of writing assessments and Overall Teacher Judgments.

Consider who will do any necessary data entry

Ensure decisions are made early for results requiring data entry - decide who will do it and organise a schedule so that it can be carried out quickly and efficiently. Schools may decide that this is a task better suited to support staff than teachers. However, there is value in teachers entering their own data as this can serve as a further check on the accuracy of marking and help teachers to further understand the strengths and learning gaps of their students.

When students miss the original assessment

Consider when and where to assess those students who were absent for the original assessment, and also inform collators of the data.

Further reading