|Topic|| Assessment portfolios, OER4Schools, Teacher Education Resources for Sub-Saharan Africa
This resource is part of the OER4Schools programme.
The "Assessment Portfolios" are primarily for formative assessment, and we would highly recommend that you do these, to have a record of your own work. Doing a portfolio is quite different from a traditional exam: portfolios should provide evidence of learning, and in particular evidence of having attempted to implement interactive techniques in the classroom, rather than being able to (e.g.) recite the principles of interactive teaching.
For the programme at Chalimbana Basic School, we are also offering certificates as evidence that you have completed the programme successfully. In order to gain a certificate for the OER4Schools programme, teachers will be assessed, and as part of this assessment, we would like you to prepare a simple assessment portfolio, as outlined below. However, even if there is no certificate provided because of the way you are running the programme at your school, you should still do assessment portfolios as these provide evidence that you have completed the programme.
The interim portfolio - at the end of each unit. This portfolio should include your two “best” pieces of work (e.g. completed activity template, concept map, etc) from what you have done within that unit.
Please prepare those two items (and write your name at the top of each sheet); hopefully you already have material in your folders that you can dig out or draw on. It can be an activity outline using one technique (e.g. robots/traffic lights or no hands up) or a (plan for a) whole lesson.
For each piece of work, do an audio reflection. To do this, think about how you would show a teacher in another school what you have been learning through the OER4S programme? What concrete examples would you share with them? How would you show them the range of things you have covered? Suppose then this teacher asked you some questions, e.g. What worked well, what didn’t work so well? What would you say to them? Ideally you would make a link between the workshop session and your classroom trial. Tell us where this idea came from, and how you applied it. We don’t want or need evidence - we just want to know, in your own words, what you have learned.
So to start your audio reflection, state clearly
- the item you are talking about, e.g.
- “my class discussion about how diseases are transmitted”, or my
- “concept map on parts of a plant”,
and then discuss the following questions:
- Why have you chosen the item?
- What does it illustrate? For example, what new technique did you decide to trial and how did you apply it in your lesson? How well did it work in practice?
- What did you learn from that about what works or doesn’t work to support interactive teaching and learning?
“I learned about _________ in session ____. I thought that it could be really useful for my pupils during a lesson on _________, I tried it out with my students. The work I have submitted is an example of ________. I have also submitted an example of what the students did. I had initially written this ______ [for the students], and the students then added ________. Students responded differently. Mary had difficulty with it because ___________. (E.g. some computer did not work - why did it not work?!) I concluded the lesson with a plenary, and they told me these answers. If I was to do this again, I would do it like this: ______. I would also apply this tool to another lesson on such and such a topic ________ because ______________“.
- We encourage you to include developing new computer skills but please do this through showcasing your new knowledge about interactive teaching techniques rather than just including computer skills by themselves – so your chosen activities or examples of learning about interactive teaching may or may not involve computer use.
- Please do not feel that you need to write a lot about the techniques themselves this time. Anything that is written already in the resource text can just be referred to, rather than needing to be repeated.
- What can I submit? You can submit concept maps, lesson plans, activity templates, collections of images, … e.g. for cumulative talk, you would submit the classroom activity that went with it. Go through your homework throughout the course, and see what you made.
We emphasise that the portfolio we have asked you to prepare is not to test you, and certainly not to see whether you "know about techniques" (say whether you yourself can remember what "robots/traffic lights" are). Instead, it is an opportunity for you to showcase what you have achieved, what you have learned, and how your thinking and practice have moved on. (That is to say: What your experience of using robots/traffic lights in the classroom was.)
We do not need “paper evidence"! Your own recollection and thoughts are enough evidence for your own learning. Additional material is simply to support the audio reflection and make it easier to understand.
The type of work you submit does not need to be unique - it’s ok for several people to submit e.g. mindmaps, even on the same topic. Because these are your own, and because you have used them in your classroom, they will be different, and tell a learning story about you.
Note: We will need you to submit the work as requested (copies of the two items plus uploading a reflection to the server) in order to award certificates at the end of the year.
FINAL PORTFOLIOS. To obtain the full OER4Schools programme certificate, you then collate the two items that you have prepared from each unit.
Present as much student work and lesson plans/materials as you can, so we can see clearly what went on in the lessons and how you applied the techniques (mention which ones you used and why/how). Then submit your reflections on your learning from these, either by typing them (bullet points are quite sufficient, it need not be an essay!) and/or by doing an audio reflection where you think really hard about how your practice and thinking have changed over the course of the year, referring to examples wherever possible. If the paperwork doesn’t make it completely clear what you and the students did, then elaborate this too (as you helpfully did last time). Note that if you type something you don’t need to speak it too – audio and written reflections should be complementary not duplicating. See whether you can apply e.g. a Leadership for Learning lens or perhaps the thinking hats to your reflections, to help you structure them.
Don't hesitate to dwell too on the challenges and pitfalls you experienced and how you overcame them. It's very unlikely that every new technique would work brilliantly the first time you tried it, there will always be adaptations to make, so please describe that process too and be self-critical. For example, were your talking points and questions open-ended enough or did some of them have “right answers”? If some learners did not participate fully or respond as you had hoped they would, what did you or what could you do next time to try and address this? If you think something needs adapting for certain learners, suggest this.
Make a concrete plan with dates, for when the various portfolios should be submitted by.