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World-class assessment practices in Grades 11 and 12
conference contributionposted on 01.07.2019, 00:00 authored by Kenneth PurnellKenneth Purnell
Is there an alternative to external exams at the end of Grade 12? In such high-stakes as entrance to university, external exams are considered by some as ‘the gold standard’. Contrasting external exams is a system of externally-moderated, school-based assessment where teachers are at the heart of high stakes assessment decisions (Stobart, 2015). Such a system has existed in Queensland, Australia since 1972 where there is a long history with a range of quality assurance processes. One such example of those processes is the scaling instrument of the Queensland Core Skills Test that consists of four papers across two days - seven hours of testing - that has two 50 item multiple choice tests, Short Response Items and a Writing Task based on the Common Curriculum Elements in Grade 11 and 12 subjects and is used to measure school group results and to calculate Overall Positions for use in tertiary entrance selection. Another example is the panel system of expert teachers in a subject at two levels - local district subject panels to give advice on school submissions of sample student assessment responses in each subject, and State subject panels dealing with any unresolved cases between a school and a local panel as well as checking for State-wide comparability of standards. The inter-marker comparability is typically in the order of 0.9 – about what is achieved on hand scored multiple choice tests. It is very high and it is across not just a five-point scale, but 50. So, if it isn’t broke, why fix it?