Good Assessment Practice in Science

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This report from Ofsted describes how assessment in science is most effective where it is used as a teaching tool as well as a means of judging attainment. Similarly the assessment of practical coursework is not just a means of assigning students to levels but of giving them the information they need to improve their laboratory skills.

The report describes:

*Day-to-day assessment where students are given time to think about answers, rather than any delay in answering being followed by an easier question; all sensible contributions are accepted; wrong or partial answers are used to pick up misconceptions rather than being simply classed as right or wrong; teachers provide students with individual feedback later in the lesson, for example when circulating during practical work.

*Marking in science is most effective when the tasks set enable teachers to gain insights into students’ understanding of the science involved and respond according; it is used to identify specific strengths or misconceptions.

*Best use is made of the time spent on written assessment when: related topics are taught and assessed in close sequence so that students are able to make connections and the time required for assessment is reduced; a range of assessment tasks are used requiring students to apply scientific principles as well as demonstrating their knowledge of content.

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

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