Key Principles for Quality Assessment

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The use of effective feedback is an integral part of formative assessment, and it plays an important role in schools today. Feedback is integral part to learning and can meet several needs. Feedback encourages students to understand where they are progressing with their learning, gives an indication of where students need to go next, improves students' performances, and motivates students to be active in their own learning. Brookhart (2009) refers to feedback as a process that gives students information about how they approached the task, information about the relationship between what they did and the quality of their performance, and information about possible alternative strategies. "It is important for students understand that feedback shows how the performance compares to a standard. It provides learners with a sense of their progress by identifying their strengths and weaknesses, in doing so; it allows the learner to work in an informed way." (McMillan, 2009, p.139). Feedback may employ new ideas or ways of understanding a concept, and problem solving. Teachers need to modify feedback for various learners. It is important to understand the different types of feedback and their purposes.


Feedback provides a decision made from a teacher by a grade or marking system which summarises what has been learnt Explicatory and clear feedback provides specific comments that help the student to understand what areas need improving. Brookharts (2009) article discusses effective feedback may written, given orally or demonstrated. Teachers identify students' strengths and weaknesses in their work and communicate without making any judgements. Addressing a student's ability influences a student to strive and achieve and improve their performances.

Brookhart (2008) discusses how being positive means describing how the strengths in a student's work match the criteria for good work and how those strengths show what the student is learning. Being positive means pointing out where improvement is needed and suggesting things the student could do about it. Positive feedback builds students' self-confidence, and self-esteem. Therefore, influences students to be motivated in their own learning.

The purpose of feedback also provides teachers an indication how students are working in relation to the learning targets, and students' learning processes. Brookhart (2008) suggests that good feedback is one of the skills teachers need to master as part of good formative assessment. Formative assessment skills include having clear learning targets, crafting clear lessons and assignments that communicate those targets to students, and-usually after giving good feedback-helping students learn how to formulate new goals for themselves and action plans that will lead to achievement of those goals.

All the aspects of feedback that have been discussed play an important role in today's schools. Feedback is an effective tool for teachers to use and facilitate learning within classrooms, accompanied by the vital purposes for assessing outcomes or objectives, to motivate learners' thinking and challenge their alternative ideas, to develop students understanding and improve students' performances.




Brookhart, S. (2009). How to give effective feedback to your students Educational Leader. Retrieved July 15, 2010, from:

McMillian, J. (2007). Classroom Assessment Principles and practices for effective standards (4th ed.). United States of America: Pearson Education, Inc.

Reynolds, A. (2009) Why every student needs critical friends. Educational Leadership 67(3) 54-57.

Retrieved July 15, 2010, from

Topic 8: The Key Principles for Quality Assessment

There are many key principles to quality assessments. Assessments are collected from multiply sources, and are primarily used to identify learners' deep understandings, reasoning, skills and other activities which students should apply knowledge and skills. Therefore assessments are linked to learning goals or objectives and students need to be clear of these expectations, as well as being an effective tool to assist student learning. Assessment should provide meaningful feedback to students and allow for them to take responsibility of their learning. Assessing learners should be balanced between summative and formative assessments. Department of Education and Training Queensland (2010) policy document states that assessment is an ongoing process "it is used to gathering evidence to determine what each student knows, understands and can do - to inform teaching and support student learning. Assessment also provides data to inform reporting on the achievement of individual students or groups of students".


The Purpose- "The purpose is to inform others, programme planners, supervisors, teachers, parents and students the overall level of performance." (Chappuis, S. Chappuis, J. Stiggins, R, 2009) Relates to why the assessor needs to conduct the assessments, which will use the results and what decisions will be made from the results. Teachers consider how students will best be able to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do, and select the assessment instrument that fits the purpose.

Identify learners' deep understanding, reasoning, and skills- Focus on students' (Killen, 2005) learning is the student reaching the goals or objectives set within the curriculum. These learning targets and objectives are divided into groups, deeper understanding which is what specifics and concepts we want students to know, reasoning targets are to how learners use knowledge to reason ands problem solve. Skills are allowing students to use their knowledge to preform, demonstrate their understanding to a specific skill. Killen R (2005) article on programming and assessment for quality teaching and learning discusses how assessment for learning clearly expresses the student demonstrates their learning will be judged on the goals of learning activities. Quality assessment is an effective tool that can assist learners to deepen understanding, reasoning and their skills.

Be an integral part of the teaching and learning process- Teachers make judgments about how well a student has learned by focusing on the evidence from students, but if assessment shows that the concept of learning is not evident, then teachers need to reflect on teaching re-adjusted to ensure concepts have been understood. Killen (2005) article discusses how the results of assessments are used to reflect on what students have achieved and can be used to modify teaching programs to improve students learning.

Balanced between summative and formative assessments- assessment programs should include a range and balance of formative and summative tasks. The range could include, for example, anecdotal records, diagnostic assessments, running records, extended writing, concept maps, oral presentations, demonstrations, projects and self-assessments. It is important to ensure there is a range and balance of assessment and assessable elements across all KLAs. Quality assessments require multiple measures to ensure fairness and equality learning is for all learners. Teachers need to plan various assessment methods to validate a student's learning development. Winger, (2009) article grading what matters considers "if high order of thinking matters most, then that is what our grades must assess, record, report and reward".

Feedback- . Assessment should provide meaningful feedback which will promote students to take responsibility of their learning. Providing quality and useful feedback is a fundamental step for supporting learning. The goal of feedback is to inspire students to become better learners' through encouraging independent learning and providing the necessary motivation for them to improve. Killen (2005) article states that assessment for learning provides ways for students to use feedback to improve their learning.


Chappuis, S. Chappuis, J. Stiggins, R. (2009, November). The Quest for Quailt. Retrieved July 19, 2010, from Educational Leadership Multiple Measures:

Department of Education Queensland. (2010). Retrieved July 19, 2010,

from P-12 Cirriculum Framework Policy:


Killen, R. (2005). Programming and Assessment for quality teaching and learning. South Melbourne: Cengage.

Winger, T. (2009). Grading what matters. Retrieved July 17, 2010, from Educational leadership, 67(3), 73-75.

Topic 9: Assessing Student Affect

A social relationship is a trait that people can adapt to in their surrounding so as to fit in and interact with others.

Social Relationships

Make an X in the box under the if you almost never do.

Make an X in the box under the if you sometimes do.

Make an X in the box under the if you almost always do.





Almost Always

I try to behave politely -

(eg please, thanks, excuse me)

I try to cheer up someone who is feeling sad.

I listen carefully to what other people say to me.

I am good at taking turns when playing with my friends.

I am happy to share with others.

I try to always tell the truth.


Almost Never


Almost Always

I like helping people.

I ask questions about things I don't understand.

I try not to leave others out.

I never give up.

I enjoy working in groups.

I know when to say no, when someone is asking me to do something that might get me in trouble.

This assessment tool is to gather information on each student's interaction skills and appropriate responses to various social situations. A description of the social relationship assessment tool targets the social relationships, emotionally, cognitive skills and behaviours that children need for successful social interactions. McMillian (2010) explains that "social interactions" are one of the key elements, of knowledge, active learning, and deeper understanding that can be developed through a person's ability to get along with other people and how well they communicates with other children and with adults. The student fills in the questionnaire to indicate how they feel towards the each question.

The purpose of assessing student's social relationships is to,

Obtain a general profile of a child's social and communicative behaviour.

Gather a profile of a child's specific social and communicative skills.

Determine how a child functions in a class environment.

Awareness of self and others.

Assessing student's gives an indication what targets need to be addressed. This assessment tool allows a teacher to identify with a specific target, whether it is collaborative skills, cooperative skills or peer relationships that need addressing. An example of a specific target that needs to be address could involve a student that does not like to share, or take turns when playing a game. Building on specific targets develops students' interpersonal skills within a community as well as being able to promote social skills and relationships through various life experiences.