University of Hong Kong Faculty of Education Inaugural Seminar Series English Language School-based Assessment: Integrating Theory and Practice, Jan 9th 2006. Fairness as an issue in school-based assessment. Liz Hamp-Lyons, Honorary Professor Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong.
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“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 … there should be a change in assessment practices and schools should put more emphasis on 'Assessment for Learning' as an integral part of the learning, teaching and assessment cycle …
… In other words, teachers should use assessments (e.g. as simple as effective verbal questioning, observation of student behaviour) and provide immediate feedback to enhance student learning in everyday classroom lessons. The focus is on why they do not learn well and how to help them to improve rather than just to use assessments to find out what knowledge students have learned.”
all stages of the assessment cycle:
planning the assessment programme
identifying and developing appropriate
overseeing the assessment process
making final judgments
“Many teachers reported they cannot ‘assess’, only ‘mark’. They feel unable to make a difference in teaching and learning, to respond to individual needs, because of community expectations of convergence and commonality. Teachers feel their assessment processes are expected to change, without fundamental purposes being explicitly challenged. Such role conflict results in increasing stress and a decline in perceived teacher expertise.”
R: How? How is it fair?
T1: It can help the students better. The teachers are here to help. It is more encouraging because it lasts for a period.
T1: All the ideas are good but still there are loop-holes. The only thing I’m afraid is what if I am the assessor and my relatives are going to be the students, so how can we check or ensure that my relatives will not be assessed by me and there will be absolute fairness. I think it’s a concern to the public.
T4: As I have mentioned earlier, I would say as a teacher, a school teacher, examination in the school usually shares two purposes. One is assessing them; the other is teaching... In fact every time I teach them, not just assessing them. Because after their examination, I give them some feedback, right after the examination, group after group. It really helps them to improve and so that’s more… still I think the SBA component is better because it can encourage students to do better. In a way, I think it will affect the atmosphere of the school, the learning atmosphere. The students think that if they learn harder, I mean they can get some marks in advance. And I think it is the right direction.
“To be fair to students, all students should be given the same amount of time for their task.”
(SD 1.61 on 6-point scale)