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5 Assessment
This is one of the chapters of the Basic Education Curriculum Guide - To Sustain, Deepen and Focus on Learning to Learn (Primary 1 - 6). Its contents are as follows:
5.1 Background
5.2 Purposes of the Chapter
5.3 From Curriculum, Learning and Teaching to Assessment
  5.3.1 Connections between Curriculum, Learning and Teaching and Assessment
  5.3.2 Aims of Assessment
5.4 The Way Forward for Assessment
5.5 Formulating School Assessment Policy
  5.5.1 Linking Assessment Policy to the Whole-school Curriculum Planning and the Targets of the Curriculum Reform
  5.5.2 Formulating Year Plan of Assessment
  5.5.3 Connecting Formative Assessment with Learning and Teaching
5.5.4 Reviewing Assessment Policy and School Curriculum Development Plan
5.1 Background
Based on the beliefs that every student is unique and possesses the ability to learn, and that we should develop their multiple intelligences and potentials, the CDC Report Learning to Learn - The Way Forward in Curriculum Development (CDC, 2001) recommends that there should be a change in the assessment practices and schools should put more emphasis on “Assessment for Learning” as an integral part of the learning, teaching and assessment cycle.
Under the curriculum reform, schools have made various attempts to adopt “Assessment for Learning”, and are able to formulate clear assessment policies and measures with emphasis on both summative and formative assessments. In addition, diversified modes of assessment were introduced, putting great emphasis on both providing written feedback and involving different stakeholders such as students and parents in the assessment process. Some schools placed great emphasis on reviewing and analysing student assessment data in order to develop appropriate follow-up plans.
Over the past ten years, in addition to the ever-changing social environment of Hong Kong (Please refer to Chapter 1), there have also been many changes in the implementation of assessment in schools. For example, in 2001, the Education Bureau authorised the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority to develop and implement the Basic Competency Assessment in the three subjects of Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics by stages, and introduced School-based Assessment under the New Academic Structure in secondary schools in 2009. The aims are to assist schools to understand students’ performance better, in order to enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching. This chapter will introduce the latest developments in assessment culture, as well as providing suggestions to schools to facilitate assessment for learning.
5.2 Purposes of the Chapter
* Explain key concepts and basic principles relating to assessment
* Reflect on past experience and respond to changes, and explain the future direction of assessment
* Suggest how to plan and develop the whole-school assessment policy in order to promote students’ self-directed learning
5.3 From Curriculum, Learning and Teaching to Assessment
5.3.1 Connections between Curriculum, Learning and Teaching and Assessment
The central or the school-based curriculum of each Key Learning Area/subject has set out the learning targets and objectives, for example, knowledge, capabilities, values and attitudes. Assessment is the practice of collecting evidence of student learning in various aspects (including the learning process and learning outcomes); interpreting data, assessing students’ performance for the purpose of providing feedback to students, teachers, schools, parents and other stakeholders as well as the education system, which are fundamental to improving learning and teaching. Therefore, assessment is an integral part of the curriculum, learning and teaching and feedback cycle. (as illustrated in Figure 5.1)
Figure 5.1 Learning, Teaching and Assessment Cycle
Figure 5.1 Learning, Teaching and Assessment Cycle
5.3.2 Aims of Assessment
The aims of assessment differ with different stakeholders, as summarised in the following:
For students
* To understand the learning objectives, as well as their learning progress
* To understand their strengths and weaknesses in learning
* To identify their learning needs and ways to improve learning so that they can eventually become self-directed learners
For teachers and schools
* To identify the strengths and weaknesses of their students in learning
* To provide quality feedback and concrete suggestions for students on how to improve their performance
* To review and adjust the learning objectives/expectations on students, curriculum design and content, teaching strategies and activities so that they can better suit the needs and abilities of their students and enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching
* To evaluate the effectiveness of the school-based curriculum and improve the quality of teaching
For parents
* To understand the strengths and weaknesses of their children
* To consider how to collaborate with schools in improving their children’s learning
* To have reasonable expectations on their children
For the government
* To evaluate the standards of students in specific areas
* To review the quality of education
The modes of assessment can be divided into the three categories below according to the purposes of assessment:
Assessment of Learning Assessment for the purpose of evaluating the quality of education or understanding students’ standards.
Assessment for Learning Assessment for the purpose of helping students to understand their strengths and weaknesses in learning and to make continuous improvement. It also enables teachers to review and adjust their teaching objectives, teaching plans and teaching strategies.
Assessment as Learning Assessment for the purpose of enabling students to be more active in connecting learning and assessment, thereby developing their self-directed learning abilities.(Please refer to section 5.4 “The Way Forward for Assessment”)
When formulating an appropriate assessment strategy at primary level, “formative assessment” and “summative assessment” should be differentiated and adopted to serve different purposes. “Assessment for Learning” is formative in nature and “Assessment of Learning” is summative in nature. There are different objectives for the two modes. Formative assessment is used to collect evidence of student learning and provide feedback to enhance learning. Summative assessment is usually conducted at the end of a teaching module, a school term or a school year, to evaluate students’ learning performance or outcomes.
Regarding the conceptual framework of assessment practices, see Figure 5.2 below.
Figure 5.2 Conceptual Framework of Assessment Practices
Figure 5.2 Conceptual Framework of Assessment Practices
* Internal assessments refer to the assessment measures which are taken in response to the aims of the school, carried out as part of the learning and teaching process, formative in nature and capable of facilitating “Assessment for Learning”. However, schools can also use the assessment data to determine whether students are ready for promotion to the next level.
** External assessments refer to the assessments which are held by external organisations such as the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority in accordance with the established mechanism, summative in nature and capable of facilitating “Assessment of Learning”. However, schools can use the assessment data, such as data in the Territory-wide System Assessment to review students’ overall performance, improve teaching strategies and facilitate learning.
For Reflection and ActionFor Reflection and Action
* What kind of assessment practice can schools adopt to gauge students’ performance in various aspects?
* How can schools further improve the assessment design, feedback, data analysis and follow-up measures in order to enhance learning effectiveness?
* What measures can be adopted to help students understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and improve their learning?
* What can schools do to inform parents on how to help their children improve learning?
5.4 The Way Forward for Assessment
Reflecting on the experience gained from the implementation of “Assessment for Learning” over the past decade and responding to the needs of the future, the following are the directions in which schools can further enhance the effectiveness of assessment.
Full coverage of curriculum objectives and learning outcomes
* To be able to develop effective and reliable assessment tasks, teachers should make reference to the curriculum guides of various subjects, so as to understand the learning objectives of the curriculum. For the three subjects of English Language, Chinese Language and Mathematics, teachers could also refer to the “Learning Progression Framework” and the “Basic Competency Descriptors”.
* The “Learning Progression Framework”, which outlines the knowledge and skills that students are expected to master in different areas, is developed according to the learning objectives and learning focuses of the respective curriculum and with reference to the actual performance of students. Students’ performance and progress in the related subjects are divided into eight levels to enable teachers to have a better understanding of students’ learning performance and progress. It enables teachers to adopt effective strategies to facilitate learning and teaching.
* The “Basic Competency Descriptors”, which are set with the help of experts, educators and community members, describe the essential subject knowledge and skills which students should possess in relation to the learning targets and objectives set out in the curriculum by the end of each key stage of learning in order to progress to the next stage of learning. With data generated from the Basic Competency Assessment, teachers and parents can understand students’ performance and learning needs so as to provide timely assistance. Schools may also take the assessment data as well as the needs of school development into consideration in developing more effective learning and teaching programmes.
Details of the Basic Competency Descriptors are available at “Assessment for Learning Resource Library: Basic Competency Assessment”:
* The “Basic Competency Descriptors” refer to the basic standards that students should achieve in the curriculum and should not be viewed as the ultimate set of expectations on students. Taking into account the needs of students and school contexts, schools should introduce diversified modes of assessment so that students with different capabilities and learning styles have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning outcomes, thus have a full understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the students in different areas.
Effective allocation of resources for teaching and assessment activities
* Teachers can make use of regular pre-assessment activities to gauge students’ standards. Appropriate learning and teaching activities can be designed based on teachers’ own experience to meet the special needs of students.
* During the initial implementation stage of the new assessment mode, teachers may need more time to prepare the assessment activities. Therefore, schools should allocate sufficient resources to support teachers in trying out the new modes of assessment while not compromising the quality of every lesson.
Making good use of feedback to promote learning
* Analysing students’ mistakes is often the “window” through which teachers understand how well students are learning. By analysing students’ performance in assessment activities, for example, observing the patterns of mistakes and the relationships between different mistakes, teachers can find out the errors in students’ understanding of concepts or what they have failed to fully grasp. Teachers can explore ways to improve student learning and design activities to address students’ problems, or even adjust the school-based curriculum if necessary.
* Schools need to be aware that continuous and frequent assessments do not necessarily enhance students’ learning. Schools should adjust their assessment activities and reflect on how to mark students’ assessment work effectively. It is also important to analyse students’ performance in the assessment and plan for follow-up activities based on the assessment data.
Enhancement of teachers’ assessment literacy
Teachers’ assessment literacy plays a vital role in optimising the positive impacts of assessment. Assessment literate teachers are able to:
* understand the expected learning outcomes in the curriculum and how each of them is manifested.
* select and design appropriate assessment activities according to the nature of learning targets and the purposes of assessment, and understand how to reduce potential problems and deviations.
* equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills for different types of internal and external assessment activities.
* conduct diverse modes of assessment activities, mark and interpret students’ evidence of learning.
* explain clearly students’ performance to different stakeholders.
* make use of the data collected from assessments to provide feedback to individual students, improve learning and teaching strategies, develop the school-based curriculum and plan for the school’s future development.
* help students develop a positive attitude towards assessment activities so that they participate actively in these activities, and develop continuously their self-directed learning abilities through assessment activities.
Towards “Assessment as Learning”
* Student learning is all that matters in the context of school education. Therefore, cultivating students’ interest in and responsibility for learning is of utmost importance. At the same time, with the rapid growth of information and knowledge in the 21st century, it is impossible for students to spend just about a decade in schooling, and yet be able to acquire the knowledge they need for their whole lives. Therefore, we need to develop students’ effective learning skills and habits to help them achieve life-long learning.
* In order to develop skills and habits for self-directed learning and effective learning, students should not passively wait for their teachers to judge whether their answers are correct or not, or rely on their teachers’ advice on how to improve. They should be more proactive in connecting learning and assessment, which is the essence of “Assessment as Learning”. Under “Assessment as Learning”, students should understand their learning targets, monitor their learning progress, reflect on what to learn and the learning strategies to adopt based on feedback, adjust their learning methods and future learning targets, or even plan for their future direction of learning. In the long run, students should become their own best assessor and provide feedback for their own learning.
* Enhancing students’ role in assessment does not mean that teachers no longer have a role to play in the “Assessment as Learning” process. On the contrary, teachers should integrate their teaching with the assessment activities. Teachers play a major role before, during, and after the learning activities, including:
  * using assessment to understand students’ prior knowledge and their modes of learning.
  * designing appropriate and diversified teaching and assessment activities according to the learning targets and students’ learning needs.
  * explaining clearly to students the learning objectives and assessment criteria to enable them to make informed decisions about their own learning direction.
  * providing opportunities for students to study quality learning outcomes or work to enable them to understand what constitutes the achievement of the learning targets and how to achieve them.
  * equipping students with the skills and attitudes for conducting self-assessment and peer assessment, for example, how to determine their level of achievement, compare it against the expected performance and analyse the mistakes and reasons.
  * providing regular and challenging activities for students to perform self-assessment and peer assessment, through which students develop self-confidence and become competent assessors.
  * recording students’ learning process and providing timely feedback and support.
  * training students to systematically record their learning process.
  * developing in students the habit of evaluating their own learning process and progress, and enabling them to propose ways for improvement and set their future learning goals.
* “Assessment as Learning” can be structurally integrated into the learning and teaching activities so it is not necessary for teachers to spend extra time conducting related activities.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
* How can the alignment between the content and mode of assessment and the curriculum objectives be ensured? How can students be informed of the assessment criteria?
* How do teachers and students in your school utilise feedback at present?
* What are the ways through which your school assists teachers to enhance their assessment literacy?
* What are the ways through which your school informs students of their own learning targets and progress?
* How can we assist students to systematically examine their own learning evidence and learning progress?
5.5 Formulating School Assessment Policy
Changes in school assessment practices are necessary to enhance the effectiveness of “Assessment for Learning” and increase students’ incentive in learning and assessment, i.e. “Assessment as Learning”. They need to be planned, discussed, shared, negotiated and agreed by all teachers. A corresponding assessment policy and mechanism also needs to be worked out at the school, Key Learning Area/subject, classroom or teacher levels. Figure 5.3 illustrates how the related key issues can be addressed.
Figure 5.3 Flow Chart of School Assessment Policy Planning
Step 1
Develop an assessment policy to reinforce the effectiveness of “Assessment for Learning” and develop “Assessment as Learning” in order to integrate the assessment policy, whole-school curriculum planning and targets of the curriculum reform.
Step 2
Develop an annual assessment plan.
Step 3
Integrate formative assessments with learning and teaching.
Step 4
Review and reflect on the effectiveness of the implementation of the assessment policy, and use the review findings to feedback on the planning of the school-based curriculum and the learning and teaching strategies.
5.5.1 Linking Assessment Policy to the Whole-school Curriculum Planning and the Targets of the Curriculum Reform
According to the consensus reached by teachers in the development of the whole-school curriculum, the following should be considered:
* Schools should set out the assessment aims to be achieved with reference to section 5.3.2, for example:
  * allowing students to understand how learning outcomes are manifested and the various assessment criteria to enhance their self-directed learning abilities.
  * providing effective feedback to students and planning with the students ways to improve learning.
  * providing effective feedback for teachers to adjust the curriculum objectives, and learning and teaching strategies as appropriate.
  * informing parents of students’ performance through summative assessment.
* Based on the curriculum objectives and the learning progression framework, schools should reach consensus on the aspects to collect students’ evidence of learning, so that an equitable assessment mechanism is formulated and all students could be assessed comprehensively. For example:
  * Formulate assessment measures to assist students with special education needs; adopt the internal assessment tool for non-Chinese speaking students learning Chinese as a second language.(https://cd.edb.gov.hk/chi/resource/index_e.htm)
  * Examine the content and modes of assessment, in order to allow students of different abilities and learning styles to perform well.
* Develop a clear target for the school assessment policy in line with the targets of the curriculum reform, and appropriate assessment criteria (with specified learning outcomes) for individual levels/subjects. For example:
* The generic skills, such as collaboration skills, which are accorded a high priority for development in different Key Learning Areas/subjects in the school year
  * Personal attributes, such as responsibility, commitment and perseverance, which are emphasised in Moral and Civic Education or Life-wide Learning
  * Reading to Learn and Project Learning as effective strategies to promote learning to learn capabilities
5.5.2 Formulating Year Plan of Assessment
* Review the assessment practices adopted in the previous school year and find out which ones do not match the considerations listed in section 5.5.1. Make suggestions on how they could be improved gradually. For example:
Imperfect areas Improvement methods
Coverage of assessment, which only meets the requirements of basic competency, was too narrow, failing to cover student learning comprehensively. Broaden the coverage of assessment according to the learning objectives of the curriculum or Learning Progression Framework.
Too many assessments and too dependent on written tests. Reduce the number of written tests, and use more coursework that reflects students’ learning progress.
The assessment items are confined to question types of the Territory-wide System Assessment. Include a greater variety of question types, and introduce an appropriate number of open-ended questions.
Insufficient feedback on student learning - only marks and grades are given. Give more qualitative comments and cut down on awarding marks and grades.
Failure to diagnose the weaknesses of students. Be observant and develop a higher level of diagnostic sensitivity.
Spending too much time on marking assignments and homework. Revise the marking requirements for assignments and homework, for example, in light of the expected impact of feedback, determine the assignments and homework for detailed and impression.
Students’ self-assessment and peer assessment skills are not mature. Train students on self-assessment and peer assessment skills, build collaboration and appreciation, rather than creating a competitive atmosphere and attitude among students.
* Plan how to strike a better balance between formative and summative assessment. For example:
  * Conduct formative assessment for Reading to Learn and Project Learning.
  * At the end of the semester or school year, conduct summative assessment on students’ mastery and application of knowledge in various key learning areas.
  * Conduct formative assessment for learning at the end of a lesson/a module.
* Determine suitable frequency and modes of assessment according to the purposes to be fulfilled, the learning targets and processes. For example:
  * Be more sensitive to students’ responses in class and give verbal comments rather than setting tests.
  * Reduce homework which mainly focuses on copying, and adopt other types of homework, such as performance assessment; using concept mapping or mind-mapping to summarise what has been learned; reading and role-playing the characters in a book to demonstrate understanding of the content; preparation for the following lesson; organising information gathered from the Internet.
  * Make good use of self-assessment activities such as completing the learning reflection booklet and learning portfolio.
  * Make good use of peer assessment activities, such as conducting peer assessment in writing to help students understand better the skills and requirements of writing.
  * Invite parents to assess students’ life skills, study habits and attitudes etc. at home.
  * Make good use of online assessment tools, such as the student online assessment website of the Basic Competency Assessments, and diagnose whether students have attained the Basic Competency.
  * Conduct a 10-minute assessment after the completion of each learning unit, so that teachers can identify students’ weaknesses early and provide timely intervention.
  * Conduct one less uniform test each term so that 2 to 4 weeks of teaching time can be used for Project Learning to develop students’ self-directed learning capabilities.
  Schools should pay attention to the workload of teachers from assessment, and adopt appropriate measures to facilitate the conduct of assessment, which include the following:
  * Review the appropriateness or effectiveness of the assessment activities in relation to the learning objectives.
  * Adopt different modes of assessment initially in part of the course content or at certain class levels as a pilot, and then gradually extend the scope in subsequent years.
  * Reduce some of the existing assessment activities in order to make room for new trial.
  * Make good use of information technology to reduce the burden on teachers regarding paper work, marking and analysis.
* Decide how to provide effective feedback to students in formative assessment to enhance their motivation and achievement in learning and how to report on students’ learning outcomes. (Please refer to section 5.5.3 for more details.)
* Decide how to provide useful feedback to teachers in formative assessment to enhance their teaching effectiveness. (Please refer to section 5.5.3 for more details.)
* Devise strategies to support teachers to improve their assessment practices. Enhancing teachers’ assessment literacy is an important aspect of a school’s assessment development, and providing teachers with relevant professional development opportunities is particularly important. For example:
  * Enrich library stock of references on assessment.
  * Use collaborative lesson planning time for analysing students’ performance, exploring feedback strategies, and reviewing the teaching strategies such as questioning techniques.
  * Provide opportunities for interflow with other schools and teachers, or invite people with experience or tertiary academics to share their successful experience in, e.g. enlisting parents’ support, guiding students to reflect on their learning habits and planning for future learning.
  * Encourage teachers to complete a teaching reflection log, so that they will be in the habit of doing regular reflection on daily teaching.
  However, in arranging teacher professional development, schools must consider teachers’ expertise, interest and workload, and set development priorities with teachers. Schools can create a better learning environment for teachers through the following appropriate measures.
  * Create an open and inclusive campus environment, reduce the negative emotion incurred by assessment, and highlight that the purpose of assessment is to improve learning and teaching rather than to punish the students and teachers involved, in order that teachers will be more ready to try out different modes of assessment.
  * School leaders strategically lead teachers to practise different modes of assessment.
  * Enhance understanding and monitor practices through regular meetings, and provide support in a timely manner.
  * Explain to different stakeholders the reasons for different modes of assessment, and how to interpret the results and analysis.
* Examine the co-ordination and coherence of the assessment practices of different subject panels at different class levels. For example:
  * Introduce different modes and numbers of assessment for different class levels of the same subject group, e.g. gradually introducing more writing and summative assessment at the upper primary level, inviting parents of lower primary students to help assess the learning and self-care performance of students at home, progressively enhancing students’ role in self-assessment and peer assessment at the upper primary level.
  * Coordinate the implementation of assessment practices in different subject groups in order to avoid inconsistent assessment concepts, which create confusion for students.
  * Coordinate the scheduling of Project Learning or enquiry-based learning assessment activities for different subject groups at different class levels.
  (Suggestions related to assessment policy of subject groups, please refer to Chapter 5 of the Curriculum Guides for each Key Learning Area and General Studies for Primary Schools.)
* Communicate with different stakeholders, including parents and students, to explain the assessment policy of the school to get support.
  * For parents or guardians, schools need to explain to them:
    bullet_style1_2_3 the purpose of assessment activities;
    bullet_style1_2_3 how to complement and participate in their children’s assessment activities;
    bullet_style1_2_3 how to interpret their children’s assessment reports; and
    bullet_style1_2_3 how to cooperate with the school to further meet the learning needs of their children.
    At the same time, provide opportunities for parents or guardians to express their views and ask questions about the assessment activities. Teachers can also better understand the learning and development of students through communicating with parents or guardians.
* For students, schools are required to explain to them that there will be different modes of assessment and requirements at different class levels and allow them to know clearly their roles and responsibilities in learning and assessment. Schools need to make sure that students understand the dual objectives in assessment are to promote learning and to let them know their own learning progress and outcomes. It is not just for competing with their classmates every year.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
* In what ways does your school coordinate the assessment practices of different subjects and levels?
* What can be done to enable parents understand and support the school assessment policy?
5.5.3 Connecting Formative Assessment with Learning and Teaching
* Set learning objectives and enable students to understand the learning objectives and assessment criteria, for example:
  * Explain to students the performance pointers in the Number Dimension under the Mathematics Learning Progression Framework.
  * Explain to students the methods to accurately measure body height, weight and body fitness.
* Allow students to perform self-assessment, for example:
  * Select related questions provided on the website of Basic Competency Student Assessment; determine whether they understand the value of decimal places and whether they can conduct four operations on decimals.
“Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority:Basic Competency Student Assessment” is available at:
  * Students conduct fitness test and record their own weight and height.
  * Students review their own reading strategies.
* Help students to know their own levels and the levels they should attain, for example:
  * Students and teachers enter into a “Learning Contract” to set their expected learning performance.
  * Upon completing the mathematics assessments provided on the website of Basic Competency Student Assessment, students know their performance on the understanding and arithmetic of decimals.
  * Students know their fitness levels and find out that they weigh heavier than the reference value.
  * Students understand their own reading strategies are slightly below standard, and that they seldom use comprehension or summarising strategies.
* Feedback formative assessment data to students, so that they understand what to do next and how to do it.
  Effective feedback not only helps students to improve their learning, but it also enhances students’ interest in learning. However, if feedback is not properly handled, it may make students give up studying. Therefore, teachers should pay attention to the following points when providing feedback:
  * Feedback is best when it is truly informative in nature, clearly identifying areas of strengths and weaknesses in light of the learning goals and assessment criteria, and explicitly pointing out how to improve.
  * Feedback should be positive and constructive so that it enhances students’ learning motivation, e.g. highlighting areas where the students have shown improvement, and directly or indirectly show areas they have not yet achieved.
  * Feedback should be dynamic and adaptable, allowing exchanges of ideas and adaptable to the learning needs of individual students.
  * Feedback should be timely. Delay in providing feedback to students diminishes its value for learning. The value of oral and blackboard feedback in the classroom should be emphasised.
  * Feedback should be presented in the language and ways that students can understand. Teachers should also pay attention to whether students can understand the content of the feedback.
  * Feedback can clarify the content and requirements of the learning activities. It can also focus on the learning skills to be adopted, while reminding students the relevant self-directed learning skills and direction for reflection.
  * Ways of giving feedback can be diversified, including in oral or written form; with individuals, small groups or the whole class. Feedback can be given by teachers, but it can also be given by students, peers or parents.
  * When giving oral feedback, teachers could use follow-up questions to guide students to reflect on the justification of their answers, and should not rush to decide whether students’ answers are right or wrong.
  * When raising questions, there should not be excessive yes/no questions (or closed-ended questions). Adequate number of questions which stimulate students’ thinking and multi-level questions may be added. Students can also be encouraged to raise questions.
  * In giving written feedback, marking is not limited to pointing out if students’ answers are right or wrong, or awarding marks and grades. Using only a symbol that means “Correct” and writing the word “Good” is not enough to explain what is good about students’ piece of work and what constitutes good work. Teachers can use diagrams or charts and supplement with written comments to point out to students the merits and areas for improvement of their work.
  * When giving written feedback, depending on the subjects and learning objectives, teachers should use different marking methods or criteria, and reach consensus regarding the basic principles, methods, frequency and quantity of marking. Schools should not expect teachers to mark all the assignments in great detail, and teachers should not have to do so.
  Upon giving feedback, teachers should design follow-up learning activities and pay attention to the following points:
  * Follow-up learning activities should be focused, and geared to particular students and learning objectives, thus only the students in need should participate in the related follow-up learning activities. Different short, medium and long-term targets should be set according to students’ needs. Regarding the content of the follow-up activities, it should focus on the problems or difficulties students encounter, rather than revising the entire chapter or doing the exercise again. For example:
    bullet_style1_2_3 When diagnosing the basic competencies that students fail to attain, download the corresponding support learning activities from the learning and teaching support webpage.
“Education Bureau: Web-based Learning and Teaching Support” is available at:
    bullet_style1_2_3 Introduce the impact of food calories and exercise on body weight and fitness, as well as analyse individual students’ dietary and exercise habits
    bullet_style1_2_3 Introduce reading strategies.
  * According to individual students’ learning situation, teachers guide them to review their learning process and reflect on their understanding of concepts and misconceptions if any, and discuss with the students possible follow-up learning activities. In the long run, teachers should help develop students’ self-directed learning capabilities. Where necessary, teachers can also invite parents to participate in the discussion, planning and follow-up. For example:
    bullet_style1_2_3 Design appropriate learning activities for the students to master the basic competencies.
    bullet_style1_2_3 Discuss with students and parents the recipes to improve diet.
    bullet_style1_2_3 Formulate appropriate and progressive exercise programme with students.
    bullet_style1_2_3 Practise reading strategies and implement reading programmes.
* Provide teachers with formative assessment data, improve the planning of the school-based curriculum, and enhance the effectiveness of teaching. For example:
  * Teachers share effective teaching strategies on topics that students demonstrate good performance.
  * On topics that students have unsatisfactory performance:
    bullet_style1_2_3 analyse student performance, observe error patterns, and interpret the areas that students misunderstand or are unable to master;
    bullet_style1_2_3 examine the appropriateness of existing teaching strategies, teaching contents, teaching materials and teaching aids such as worksheets;
    bullet_style1_2_3 through collaborative lesson planning, action research or inviting experts, explore effective teaching strategies and design corresponding teaching activities; and
    bullet_style1_2_3 keep systematic records of students’ performance, such as recording their difficulty in the teaching log. When necessary, modify the teaching scheme of the same class level and the same cohort of students in the next school year, in order to enable teachers to follow up appropriately.
  * Collating and analysing students’ performance in the basic competency in the school reports of the Territory-wide System Assessment. Allow teachers of related subjects and classes to understand students’ performance, and choose the topics which require follow-up for in-depth discussion and plan for follow-up activities.
For Reflection and Action For Reflection and Action
* When developing assessment criteria, how can the school ensure that students’ work will not be marked as wrong because the students express their answers in different formats?
* How can you guide students to reflect on feedback and make improvements?
* What system does your school use to help teachers analyse assessment data and improve teaching?
* How does your school keep assessment records? How can the assessment records help improve teaching strategies?
5.5.4 Reviewing Assessment Policy and School Curriculum Development Plan
At the end of the school year, assessment plans and implementation should be reviewed by the school at three levels as listed below:
School Overall Planning Level
* Examine whether teachers, students, parents and other related persons can clearly understand the purposes of the assessment.
* Examine whether a balance has been struck between formative assessment and summative assessment in their implementation.
* Examine whether the assessment of each subject group and the arrangements for life-wide learning activities are coordinated appropriately.
* Examine whether all the data needed is obtained as expected after the implementation of assessment.
* Examine whether the information provided is inadequate.
Key Learning Area/Subject Level
* Examine how Key Learning Areas/subjects implement the school assessment policy.
* Examine whether Key Learning Areas/subjects effectively utilise different modes of assessment to fully understand student performance.
* Examine whether Key Learning Areas/subjects effectively utilise assessment data to promote student learning.
* It should be noted:
  * whether there is consistency in the assessment criteria of the same subject at different class levels while at the same time students are allowed to express their learning outcomes in different formats;
  * whether the assessment frequency and feedback mode are appropriate within the subject panels;
  * whether the support mechanisms are effective within the subject panels; and
  * whether the mechanisms improve teaching, such as teaching research, perform their functions and are efficiently carried out.
Classroom/Teacher Level
As part of sharing or monitoring mechanisms, teachers have to understand and reflect on the daily assessment practice (“Assessment for Learning” and “Assessment as Learning”) from time to time, to determine:
* whether learning and teaching objectives are clear.
* whether feedback is connected to the learning targets and objectives.
* whether marking helps students improve learning.
* whether students’ self-assessment and peer assessment skills have improved.
* whether feedback can guide students to learn further.
* whether the guidance to students on the skills of self-reflection has improved.
* whether the feedback has been put to good use to inform the teaching plan.
* whether development of students’ self-directed learning is effective.
In addition, schools should also consider collecting opinions from parents and students on assessment through different channels, such as Parent-Teacher Associations, parents’ opinion surveys. Upon completion of the review, schools, subject panels, and teachers are required to develop an action plan to improve the assessment modes to meet the targets of school curriculum planning for the next school year.
The following references are by no means exhaustive and listed for reference only.
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Assessment for Learning Resource Library
EDB: Life-wide Learning
EDB: Assessment for Learning Resource Library: Basic Competency Assessments
Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority:Basic Competency Student Assessment
Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority:The Territory-wide System Assessment
EDB : Online Learning and Teaching Support