In the short video below, I want to share one approach that may help to support the measuring and tracking of skills across the senior school phase.
What research has shown is that its complex to assess 21st century skills commonly referred to as the 4Cs (creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration) and even if this is achieved, there may be errors associated with their measurement.
The Brookings Institute advises that assessment of these skills can be achieved if the following principles are adhered to:
Firstly, data collection processes should be aligned with purposes and agenda at all levels. The goal here is to ensure that even though there will be different approaches across subject departments and activities, the goal is always to enhance learning.
Secondly, schools should establish a clear link between the captured form of data and the intended reported form of data. This means that the format and structure of the reporting framework is clearly specified. Also important to this principle is that individualised learning progressions are the intentions of the reporting.
Empirical data is not always feasible when assessing all types of skills progression. When reporting at school level it may be preferable to describe each skill with words and examples to show what it means to make progress or to improve in an area of learning.
The Center for Universal Education at Brookings* identifies the purpose of assessment to be four fold:
To locate learners along a learning progression and identify gaps in achievement.
To adapt instructional practices to individual needs and inform instructional improvement.
To track and communicate learner progress.
To inform data driven decision making at classroom and school levels.
Download the full paper, Education system alignment for 21st century skills: focus on skills by Esther Care, Helyn Kim, Alvin Vista, and Kate Anderson here.
Using these guiding principles, we can view assessment as information to inform teaching and learning practice for individual learners as opposed to assessment as a means to rank learners against each other. In this regard, assessment can be truly adaptive and enhance learning.
Using an ePortfolio, learners are encouraged to document and take responsibility for tracking their development. They can reflect on next steps and take greater ownership of their own learning pathway.
The beauty of the ePortfolio in this format is that it’s cost effective and can be added to by the learner.
These ePortflios can be published on the internet and password protected. They can be collaborative in nature with more than one learner contributing or with teacher input.
Hyperlinks to these ePortfolios can be embedded into digital reports so that parents and carers can feel more connected and view examples of work and reflections.
If you would like to find out more about how to plan and action reporting in this format, contact me for an informal conversation via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch my video below to explore this idea in action: