Assessment is a hot topic in schools today and for good reason. When it is done well, there can be high impact on learning and when it is not done well, learning can be negatively impacted. When I was in school back in the late 70′s and 80′s, I had a fairly limited understanding of what testing in school was all about. Basically, you memorized stuff, wrote a test and it counted on your report card. In schools, our understanding of, and use of assessment has changed dramatically over the years but as far as grading goes, our practices haven’t changed all that much. Parents seem to still have a need to see the A, B or C on the report card as a reflection of how well a child has learned. This, in my view is largely due to the fact that the practice is deeply rooted in tradition but may not necessarily be the best way to report on learning, in fact, it may even interfere with learning.
Educators have a great deal of concern about the different categories of assessment, and the differences between assessment and grading practices. In my view assessment has to do with the kind of information we collect about learning, how we collect it, how we use it and how students are involved in the process. NCEA does it quite well. Grading is about how we translate the assessment information for the purposes of report cards. So what is in a name: A, B, C or N (not-achieved), A (Achieved), M (Merit), E (Excellance), except that you look for A in the older system and look for E in the latter?

  1. Undertake brief development to address a need or opportunity
  2. Use planning tools to guide the technological development of an outcome to address a brief
  3. Use design ideas to produce a conceptual design for an outcome to address a brief
  4. Undertake development to make a prototype to address a brief
  5. Use the work of an influential designer to inform own design ideas
  6. Demonstrate development of own design ideas communicated through graphics practice
  7. Promote an organised body of design work to an audience using visual communication techniques: Prezi, Glogster