The assessment-capable teacher: Are we all on the same page?

The assessment-capable teacher: Are we all on the same page? Booth, Hill & Dixon. Assessment Matters 6: 2014

What is an assessment-capable teacher and what is an assessment-capable student?

  • An assessment-capable teacher differentiates from an assessment-literate teacher in that they can engender student agency & ability to assess themselves.
  • “The distinguishing factor is the expectation that teachers will encourage students to feel deeply accountable for their own progress and support them to become motivated, effective, self-regulating learners.” p.140
  • AFL (assessment for learning) often fails to engage the learner.
  • An assessment-literate individual knows what is being assessed and why. This does not increase the agency of the learner.
  • Assessment capable: Students’ own assessment capability is at the hear of the process.
  • “Currently, many decisions about assessment are made for students by adults (Absolum et al., 1009), with student involvement being either infrequent or involving “low-stakes” activities. The realisation of the assessment capable student will require norms of behaviour which encourage student autonomy and enable student agency during learning. This reflects Sadler’s suggestion that there should be explicit provision for students to acquire evaluative and productive knowledge and skills, with the goal of facilitating “The transition from feedback to self-monitoring” (1989, p. 122).”  p.140
  • The assessment-capable teacher helps students understand what quality is: teachers share their understanding through use of criteria/descriptors and models.
  • The assessment-capable teacher helps students develop their metacognitive skills to effectively evaluate their own work. Think about learning and discuss. It is essential that people see mistakes as an opportunity for growth.
  • “2 major aspects of self-reflection: first, self-appraisal, whereby learners review and evaluate their abilities, knowledge states, and cognitive strategies; and second, self-management, where learners monitor and regulate their behaviour and planning, correct mistakes, and use fix-up strategies. Thus, self-reflection requires both through and action. Aligned with the ability to do these things, for both student and teacher, is also the motivation to do so.” p.143
  • The assessment-capable teacher helps students to learn strategies to modify their own work.
  • Connect three learning strategies to modify their own work:Explicit teaching and provision of time. Students need to learn to critically appraise their work.
  • peer assessment (requires explicit teaching): identify if task specification met, overall quality and then back it up with reference to criteria – otherwise wrong feedback will be given.
  • Referencing to actual exemplars is better.

Bear in mind, you need to have background understanding when implementing new ideas. A system of support is needed alongside teachers taking research and applying it.


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