Inducting ITE students in assessment practices through the use of comparative judgement.

Canty, Donal, Buckley, Jeffrey and Seery, Niall (2019) Inducting ITE students in assessment practices through the use of comparative judgement.


A new curricular framework, presented by the Department of Education and Skills (DES), (2015), implements an assessment strategy that has changed from a predominantly summative to a more formative integrated approach. With the emphasis being placed on the process of learning rather than the product, it is critical that the assessment practices and instruments created and employed by the teacher have the capacity to capture authentic assessment. The tensions between formative and summative assessment outlined by Black and William (1998) raise considerable concerns for teachers and learners. Striking a balance between the forms of assessment and their impact on teaching and learning is of critical importance. This is also has implications for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) where undergraduate teachers endeavour to become literate and skilled in assessment, This paper focuses on a strategy that uses peer assessment, facilitated through comparative judgement (Kimbell, 2011), to help student teachers identify qualities of capability, establish constructs of quality and standards and develop skills in generating formative commentary that will help move the learner forward. This papers describes an explorative case study that observes the practices and outcomes of student teachers as they engage in assessment related tasks. The study tracks 59 Technology ITE students as they respond to a learning and assessment task, establish criteria and standards for assessment, and generate formative feedback for learners. Data collection for the study will be predominantly qualitative in nature focusing on the outputs student teachers made in relation to delivering effective formative feedback on a learning and assessment task, Quantitative data from the comparative judgement assessment instrument will give further insight into the assessment practices of the participants on an individual and group level. The results of this study will present an analysis of the nature and quality of the feedback created by the student teachers highlighting potential gaps in the knowledge and skills required to deliver effective feedback in the classroom setting.

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