Home' Teacher : May 2010 Contents Schools that have the facilities to do
online testing will have the advantage of
simple and flexible online administration
and instant scoring and reporting -- of both
group and individual performances. The
online version of the tests can be used in a
variety of ways, including:
testing whole cohorts where the school
has appropriate computer facilities
testing individual students who were
absent on the day when the rest of the
students were tested, and
testing individuals or small groups of
students again for follow-up monitoring.
With the direct comparability of the tests,
schools will be able to continue using the
PAT student achievement data from paper-
and-pen testing they have already collected
A further development is a research
project investigating links between
NAPLAN scores and PAT Maths and PAT
Reading scores. Such a link will enable
teachers and schools to actively monitor
student achievement and development in
real time against reported and anticipated
NAPLAN outcomes. This will be particu-
larly useful for monitoring teaching and
learning improvement initiatives between
the NAPLAN testing years.
Finally, there's a new PAT test planned
for publication in 2011, PAT Language
Conventions, which will focus on the areas
of spelling, gram mar and punctuation.
Assessment for teaching
Teachers have multiple opportunities to col-
lect data and feedback on student learning.
As Geoff Masters says, effective teachers
'actively enquire into students' understand-
ings and create classroom activities capable
of revealing student thinking.'
Some of this assessment is subjective,
some objective. Some is formative, some
is summative. A range of assessment is
required for a teacher to develop a full and
accurate picture of each student's learning
and to have evidence to describe and dem-
onstrate this learning.
Rather than worrying about the 'teach-
ing to the test' bogey, teachers need to
engage actively with assessment as a tool
to improve their ability as professionals to
deliver the most effective learning experi-
ence for their students. Tests like ACER's
Progressive Achievement Tests are an essen-
tial part the teacher's toolkit. T
Ralph Sauber n is Learning and
Development Man ager for The Song
Room. He is currently on leave from
the Australian Council for Educational
Research where he was Gene ral Manage r
of ACER Press from 2006 to 2009.
Fullan, M., Hill, P. & Crévola, C. (2006).
Breakthrough. Thousand Oaks, CA.:
Masters, G.N. (2009). A Shared
Challenge: Improving lite racy, numeracy
and science learning in Queensland
primary schools. Melbourne: Australian
Council for Educational Research.
For more inform ation on the full suite of
PAT tests, visit ww w.acer.edu. au/pat
For more inform ation on iAchieve online
testing, visit https://iachieve.acer.edu.au
CURRICULUM & ASSESSMENT 27
feedback / evaluation
Figure 1: The 'decision- m aking loop'
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