I do a lot of training courses on assessment across the UK for both Primary and Secondary colleagues and I ALWAYS end up telling teachers that they are doing too much, too often, wearing themselves out and panicking the pupils.
Well it’s time teachers made a PPI CLAIM
P – Pupil friendly
P – Positive
I – Instructional
C – Class-based
L – Light
A – A lot less stressful for teacher!
I – Inspiring
M – Meaningful
Assessment is a classroom activity. The minute you take it out of the classroom it ceases to be meaningful, unless you use Reflective Time to allow students to study your comments and work to put right the comments you have made. Grading work is heinous because all they do is create a feeling of competition, and for most a deflated feeling. In subjects such as mathematics of course numerical comparisons will always be made; “I beat you on the test, I got ten out of ten!” etc. But even here, the emphasis should be on personal improvement and the awarding of grades and scores should be done private. Some competition is good, but only when you willingly enter into it. I would never read out a whole class of test scores because it has a detrimental effect on most.
What is worse than that though is Senior Leaders who, panicking under the strain of constant OFSTED changes inflict huge burdens on teachers to produce personal assessment for every pupil. They provide Target Tracking booklets, insist they have to be completed every two weeks with, effort grades, attainment grades, and written comments for WWW (What Went Well) and EBI (Even Better If.) If I teach six classes of 25 pupils a week in Secondary that’s 150 pupils. Even at a modest 5 minutes per pupil (that’s rushing it) that amounts to twelve and half hours extra work just to complete the Tracking Booklet!! It’s the same at Primary because they swop different classes for different subjects so it’s probably even longer.
What on earth is happening? This is a monumental burden to place on teachers and it’s both unfair and unnecessary. Assessment is not a judgement passed from Teacher to Pupil. Assessment is a process of self-awareness. It should be a classroom activity, it should be light and streamlined, positive and inspiring. I should create an environment where pupils can realise what they have learned, what progress they have made and what they need to do to get better. Self-assessment, peer assessment, small group assessment activities, teacher tutorials, verbal, formative, instructional but NEVER a pointless teacher burden of writing endless comments on a tracking sheet.
Besides which, why aren’t schools using those shiny iPads to make assessment easier? You can do most assessment on a smart phone these days, record yr voice, speak type etc. and email it to the pupil.
Check this video out of a ‘mock’ assessment I did on my phone using Claris Sketch. You can use ExplainEverything on iPhone http://www.clarisketch.com/sketch/a9Vzkn4zbyc7u8RUiI8zBo
Make your assessment PPI CLAIM today