Making Trustworthy Assessment Decisions

In order to be more certain about the consistency of your assessments, and whether or not you can rely on them, you can compare what you are noticing with what other teachers may notice in relation to the same student’s written performance, or in relation to similar students performing the same task.

You can also compare the assessment of this task with other assessment tasks completed by the same student, to see the extent to which this assessment may provide new information compared to the information provided in those assessments. Trustworthy assessment decisions cannot be based on the performance of one task alone so a range of tasks needs to be selected and accomplished over time. In general a minimum of three tasks should be undertaken with each student.

Using the written samples for each task:

  • These are provided as examples to help you develop your assessment processes.
  • The written samples provide concrete examples of other students doing the assessment tasks. There are unmarked samples for you to look at and analyse first against the criteria. There is also an annotated version of the student sample, a commentary and highlighted criteria sheets to indicate the level of performance across the four domains. The samples provide examples of what students at different stages are able to do, and so aligning their written performance to the broad levels of performance of other EAL students.
  • Analysing the samples against the criteria sheets will assist you in the process of analysing your own students’ performances.
  • After you have looked at the samples and annotations, you can review the way you have assessed your students’ work in order to ensure your judgments are consistent.


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