Sign of the times: assessment

Last week Jacob (5) submitted his year one homework by handing over a URL to his teacher – brilliant! A clear sign of the times J His task was to re-tell a story by any means; cartoon, writing, through a video or other. It seemed like potentially a lot of writing to get him to write a story which contained the detail which he retains, so we decided that it would be best to talk about the story so that we could hear all that he has to say. Jacob is pretty camera shy and so we filmed his chat in a very informal sofa setting with friends in the lounge, so that he was relaxed enough to chat through the story. Unhappy with the video, he wanted to film again. So this time he sat in the ‘hotseat’ in a staged environment (well a dining room chair!) and we tried to get him to talk directly to the camera. No chance! After five false starts we decided that the less high quality camera work which captured his story telling was much better than trying to produce BBC standard interviews in which he just couldn’t get across his ideas under pressure. Extreme analysis for a 5 year olds homework granted, however it struck me that this had synergy with what I am trying to do everyday…

We know that learners in a workplace setting have heaps of knowledge and they use it in practice, yet exams and under the spotlight assessments are often undesirable and do not enable the learners to show what it is that they can really do. When developing new provision (through REEDNet), one of our key aims is to facilitate learners to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in ways which fit their current ways of working, which dovetail practice and which do not add so much pressure to a learning experience that the credit value of the is lost.

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