International perspectives on
assessing learners’ competences
David Pepper, King’s College London
Hariduspeegel, 29 September 2011
Plan
• Key competences
• Learner self-assessment
• Competence test items
Competence
• Key competencies
Defining and selecting key competencies (OECD, 1997-2003)
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
• Key competences
European Reference Framework of key competences (2006)
European Qualifications Framework (2008)
EU Reference Framework
Eight key competences:
1. Communication in the mother tongue
2. Communication in foreign languages
3. Mathematical competence and basic competences in
science and technology
4. Digital competence
5. Learning to learn
6. Social and civic competences
7. Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship
8. Cultural awareness and expression
A European definition
• Knowledge
• Skills
• Attitudes
- what or who
- how but also why
- how to be
• Context
- realistic and relevant
What does this mean for schools?
• Cross-curricular teaching and learning
• Real-life contexts or authentic representations
• Thoughtful answers not ‘right’ answers
• Focussing assessment on key competences
• Assessing learning outcomes and processes
Discussion groups
What are you already doing about assessing
competences? What support do you need?
European examples
Developing key competences:
• Identifying opportunities in subjects and areas
• A range of sources of assessment information
• Portfolio assessment and self-assessment
Using summative assessment formatively
Use summative assessment results to:
• Analyse areas of strength/weakness
• Identify students’ misconceptions
Use summative assessment questions to:
• Adapt questions to address weaknesses
• Share (some) learning intentions and criteria
• Apply/discuss ideas- how do you know that?
• Students modify questions- in your own words?
Formative assessment- next steps
•
•
•
•
•
Clarifying understanding and learning intentions
Discussion, tasks, activities: evidence of learning
Providing feedback that moves learners forward
Activating students as resources for one another
Activating students as owners of their learning
(Wiliam & Thompson, 2007)
Self-assessment for learning
• Inevitable aspect of formative assessment
• Generally trustworthy and honest but…
learning intentions/assessment criteria not clear
• Explicit feature of successful interventions; age 5+
 Committed, effective, independent learners
(Black & Wiliam, 1998)
Self-assessment as a strategy
Students need an understanding of:
• The learning intentions
• Their present position
• How they can close this gap
(Sadler, 1987)
Self-assessment as a strategy
• Learning intentions …not performance goals
• Present position
…criteria rather than peers
• Closing the gap
…effort rather than ability
(Sadler, 1987)
(Dweck, 1999)
Discussion groups
What can you do to facilitate
peer and self-assessment?
Some tactics
• Encourage initial reflection eg worked examples
• Modify/generate/discuss questions and criteria
• Provide time for individual reflection on own work
• Facilitate feedback between learners eg mixed pairs
• Feedback/discuss peer and self-assessments
• Highlight differences with teacher marks/comments
Some more
• Textbooks: what’s easy … what’s hard
• Learning facts: identify what you do and don’t know
• Using others: go ask someone who knows
• Helping others: what would you advise
• Useful comments: find it and fix it
• Learning intentions: what was it all about
• Challenge “right” answers: do you really know
Self-assessment and self-efficacy
• Self-efficacy is ‘a judgment of one's capability
to accomplish a certain level of performance’
(Bandura, 1986)
How confident do you feel about… calculating
how many square metres of tiles you need to
cover a floor? (PISA, 2003)
• Perceived competence versus assessed
competence
Perceived competence
• What are the learning goals?
• What is my present position?
• Can I close the gap?
…clear
…realism
…optimism
• Feedback on self-assessment highlights
discrepancies, improving quality and depth of selfassessments and learning (Black & Wiliam, 1998)
Discussion groups
Reflecting on PISA items: what do your students
need in order to respond to these items?
International perspectives on
assessing learners’ competences
David Pepper, King’s College London
Hariduspeegel, 30 September 2011
EU Reference Framework
Eight key competences:
1. Communication in the mother tongue
2. Communication in foreign languages
3. Mathematical competence and basic competences in
science and technology
4. Digital competence
5. Learning to learn
6. Social and civic competences
7. Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship
8. Cultural awareness and expression
A European definition
• Knowledge
• Skills
• Attitudes
- what or who
- how but also why
- how to be
• Context
- realistic and relevant
What does this mean for schools?
• Cross-curricular teaching and learning
• Real-life contexts or authentic representations
• Assessing these learning outcomes and processes
Assessment-ready key competences
• Identifying opportunities for developing crosscurricular key competences in subjects/areas
Planned learning outcomes
Austria: mathematics competence
K 3: R eflection
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© H eugl/S vecnik
UK - Northern Ireland: ICT skills
Requirements for
Using ICT
Exchange
Communicate safely
and responsibly using a
range of contemporary
digital methods and
tools, exchanging,
sharing, collaborating
and developing ideas
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Pupils can:
Know what digital
methods can be used
to communicate
Pupils can:
Identify and talk about
ways of communicating
digitally
Pupils can:
Use a contemporary
digital method to
communicate or
contribute to a
supervise online
activity
Pupils can:
Use contemporary
digital methods to
communicate,
exchange and
collaborate in
supervised online
activities
Evaluate
Talk about, review and
make improvements to
work, reflecting on the
process and outcome
and consider the
sources and resources
used, including safety,
reliability and
acceptability
Pupils can:
Talk about their work
Pupils can:
Talk about how to
improve their work
Pupils can:
Make modifications to
improve their work
Pupils can:
Use appropriate ICT
tools and
features to improve
work
Pupils can:
Use a range of
contemporary digital
methods to
communicate,
exchange and share
their work,
collaborating online
with peers.
Pupils can:
Use appropriate ICT
tools and features to
carry out ongoing
improvements and
evaluate process and
outcome
Balancing (de-)centralisation
Centralised issues
Decentralised issues
Responses
Shared ownership
ie key competences do not feel imposed
Shared understanding
eg unreliability in use of level descriptions is
minimised
Consultation and co-development
Networks of schools share practice
Guidance exemplifies competence levels
Supportive external evaluation
Local relevance
eg local history project
Additional responsibility for teachers
eg find opportunities for developing key
competences in subject contexts
Scope in curriculum for local innovation
Training & guidance for curriculum
development
Local networks of education providers
Consultation and co-development
Supportive external evaluation
Differentiation for individual learners
ie interests and rates of development vary
Minimum entitlement for learners
eg ensuring continuity at points of transfer and
transition
Several levels of competence specified
Formative assessment training & guidance
Networks of schools share practice
Supportive external evaluation
Assessment methods for key competences
• Standardised tests: multiple steps, distracters, problem-orientations;
MCTs and open responses; adaptive tests
• Combinations of methods: tests, projects or coursework,
questionnaires, interviews or dicussions, portfolios
• Portfolios: self- and teacher assessment; learning outcomes and
processes; guidelines and criteria, safeguards
• Teacher assessment: range of information; reliability and comparability;
guidance, examples, item banks; peer moderation; networks of schools
• E-assessment: transforming what is assessed (competences, contexts,
interaction) not just increasing efficiency
Attitudes and attainment
• Positive attitudes support lifelong learning (as
per key competences)
• High-attainment, reduced enjoyment yet
confidence relatively stable (TIMSS, 1995-2007)
• What do we mean by ‘confidence’?
Confidence
• Self-concept (Marsh, Shavelson et al)
To what extent do you agree… I get good marks in
mathematics (PISA, 2003)
• Self-efficacy (Bandura, Pajares, Schunk et al)
How confident do you feel about… calculating how many
square metres of tiles you need to cover a floor (PISA, 2003)
PISA 2003 data
Self-assessment as a strategy
Students need an understanding of:
• The learning intentions
• Their present position
• How they can close this gap
(Sadler, 1987)
Peer and self-assessment as a
strategy
• Learning intentions …not performance goals
• Present position …criteria rather than peers
• Closing the gap …effort rather than ability
(Sadler, 1987)
(Dweck, 1999)
Self-assessment for learning
• Inevitable aspect of formative assessment
• Generally trustworthy and honest but…
learning intentions/assessment criteria not clear
• Explicit feature of successful interventions; age 5+
 Committed, effective, independent learners
(Black & Wiliam,
1998)
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International perspectives on assessing learners’ …