Making Assessment Work

This is a reblog of an article I wrote for the BESA website, published December 8th 2016.

Assessment has been broken for a long time. For too long it’s been primarily a reporting and accountability tool, when really it should drive everything that happens in the classroom. As a teacher I was concerned about what my students had really learnt and retained from my lessons. Students forget things, or don’t even learn them in the first place. So the role of assessment should be the diagnosis of each student’s individual learning gaps, allowing teachers to plan high quality lessons and activities to close those gaps.

Early in my teaching career I discovered Question Level Analysis (where you input the mark for each question item that a student gains on a test or mock exam, into a spreadsheet and calculate percentages for each sub-topic and skill). It was incredibly powerful, allowing me to see exactly what each student needed further help with. My teaching became truly responsive to the needs of my students. However the workload of creating the spreadsheets and inputting the marks for each student on every question item was huge, and prevented me doing this with all but a few of my classes.

So I wanted to create an online system that would take the pain out of Question Level Analysis and allow it to be implemented simply in any classroom. That system is Flex Assessment, which will be launched at Bett 2017.

My goal is to bring the power of Question Level Analysis to as many classrooms as possible and to totally change the way assessment is used, whilst saving time and helping students to make better progress.

I’m looking forward to that journey starting at Bett 2017 and hope to see you on stand F452.

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