Rose Hague and Liz Eley

The assessment tasks included in each NEMP report provide a rich resource for use for school-wide or classroom-based assessment. The tasks, developed in consultation with curriculum experts and with New Zealand children and the New Zealand National Curriculum in mind, use a range of assessment formats, from performance-based ‘hands-on’ tasks, performed individually or in groups, to the more traditional paper-and-pencil test items. The multiple task formats and the richness of activities used in NEMP provide a substantial base for the development of classroom assessment activities that can meet multiple goals. This report documents the steps schools take when using NEMP assessment tasks in this manner.

Three schools wanting to use NEMP tasks for school-wide assessment participated in this study. Tasks were selected for each school and then modified to meet the school’s individual requirements. In each case, the researchers worked with a key person within the school—the principal, a subject specialist teacher, or the teacher in charge of assessment. All teachers were involved in selecting and modifying the assessment tasks and in analysing the results.

The following steps form the process that the schools used:

1. Identifying the purpose for the assessment.

2. Identifying and developing the specific learning outcome.

3. Selecting the assessment task that best fits that learning outcome from the NEMP report.

4. Checking the report to see how the task was administered for NEMP purposes.

5. Modifying the administration to meet school requirements.

  6. Checking that the NEMP criteria given for marking the task reflect the specific learning outcome identified as the purpose for the task, and then modifying the ctriteria as necessary.

7. Using the information gathered, perhaps to provide feedback to students, to examine the effectiveness of teaching practices or classroom programmes, or to inform the school community of student achievement.

In each of the three schools, staff reported that the NEMP tasks could be readily adapted to suit their purpose using the steps described, were manageable within the restraints of a class programme, and were worth repeating. The teachers also found that the process of working through the activities and the discussion generated in utilising them was professionally rewarding.
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The full report of this probe study will be available on this website by Jan 2004 or can be obtained from USEE.