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Assessing Student Learning Workshop 2: Making on-balance judgements and building consistency. OUR EDUCATIVE PURPOSE. What is powerful to learn?. What is powerful learning and what promotes it?. Who do we report to?. LEARNER. Victorian Essential Learning Standards. Principles of

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What is powerful



What is powerful

learning and

what promotes it?

Who do we report to?



Essential Learning


Principles of


and Teaching






How do we know

it has been learnt?

Assessment Advice

Victorian Essential Learning Standards

The standards define what students should know and be able to do at six levels. They are, in effect, outcomes against which student achievement will be assessed and reported on and provide valuable information about student progress which can form the basis of further teaching and intervention. (Victorian Essential Learning Standards Overview page 8)

Progression points

Are descriptors that indicate what typical progress towards the standard may look like

Assist teachers in making judgements about student progress towards a standard

Inform discussions about curriculum planning

Progression points

Range from 0.5 to 6.0

With the exception of level 1, where there is one progression point, there are three progression points within each level

Assessment maps

Support teachers in the assessment of student work by answering the questions

What does student work at this standard look like?

What are the typical features of the work of students progressing towards a standard?

Assist teachers to develop a common understanding of the standards and progression points


Assessment Maps


Illustration of typical features of achievement

Progress towards meeting

Progression Points

Using the standards, progression points and assessment maps to make judgements about student progress

Throughout the semester, teachers assess student progress through tasks and activities focusing on relevant aspects of the standards and progression points.

Towards the end of the semester, teachers consider a variety of evidence drawn from a range of assessment activities and, with the support of assessment maps, make an on-balance judgement of progress against the standards and progression points.

Making on-balance judgements

The process should be:



on balance

The key question is:

‘Which standard or progression point descriptor does this evidence best match?


Making on-balance judgements

  • Judgements should rest on:
  • a high level of familiarity with the standards, progression points and assessment maps
  • high quality evidence gathered from well-designed assessment tasks

Familiarisation with the standards

Sequencing activity:

Place the standard statements for one of the English dimensions in order from Level 1 to Level 6


What helped and what hindered you?

What key aspects of progression stand out?


Getting to know the progression points

  • Select a level from the Reading/Number dimension. Select and sequence the progression points relevant to that level.
  • 2. Choose an aspect of Reading/Number to follow through in the progression points eg high frequency words. Use a highlighter to track progression towards the standard. What are they key changes?

Making on-balance judgements


Using the student work samples, make an on balance judgement of achievement using the standards, progression points and assessment maps provided.


What do we mean by consistency?

  • Why is it important
  • – within a school?
  • across schools?
  • Activity: Inside Outside Circle

Consistent judgements

  • Consistent judgements rest on:
  • a common interpretation of the standards and progression points
  • a shared understanding of what learner achievement against the standards and progression points looks like
  • .


“Sharing, reflection and collaborative assessment processes, using the sample material as needed, will enable teachers to develop common understanding of the standards and to make valid judgements about student performance that are consistent within their own classes, with their colleagues in their own school, and around the state.”

Victorian Essential Learning Standards Overview, Page 16



at evidence of student learning

Moderated Judgement


to colleagues judgements


on own judgement of student learning

To be effective there should be:

Mutual trust and open communication for participants to feel safe

An agreed and respectful process

A clear understanding of what the students were asked to do, and the context and conditions in which the activity was completed

A focus on evidence to confirm ‘best match’ rather than ‘perfect fit’


Activity: Using a consensus moderation process

  • Work independently to make a judgement about another student's work samples, identifying and annotating evidence to support your judgement
  • Record your judgements
  • Share your judgements
  • 4. If judgements differ, discuss why the samples were judged in a particular way, referring to the evidence, standards and progression points.

5. If agreement isn’t reached through discussion, look at other evidence e.g.

    • samples already agreed on at the same standard or progression point, or at a higher or lower standrd or progression point
    • further assessment map samples
    • seek an opinion from, or ask another group to make a judgement
    • the aim being to work until consensus is reached.

What action can we take to build consistency of judgement between teachers within our school and/or across our schools?

Further support

Workshop 1

Provides an overview of the standards, progression points and assessment maps

Assessment Professional Learning Modules

Module 1:Connecting assessment with learning – linking policy, principles and practices

Module 2:Assessment FOR learning – strategies to build into your classroom

Module 3:Assessment AS learning – involving students in assessment and setting learning goals

Module 4:Assessment OF learning – developing good summative assessment strategies for the classroom

Module 5:Making consistent teacher judgements – effective moderation strategies