Using Assessment Data to Inform Planning and Teaching: The Case of State-Wide Benchmark Numeracy Tests

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Nisbet, Steven
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Brendan Bartlett, Fiona Bryer & Dick Roebuck

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2005
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Surfers Paradise, Australia

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Abstract

lthough the stated purposes of assessment include informing teachers' planning and instructional strategies, there is little evidence to suggest that this happens to any great extent in Queensland in the case of the state-wide numeracy tests in Years 3, 5, and 7. Queensland teachers claim that the results from the tests arrive too late in the year to be of any benefit to them in their planning and subsequent teaching of mathematic (Nisbet, 2004). However, teachers may need expert assistance in first, analysing and interpreting the data, and second, deciding what changes need to be made to the school's work program, classroom pedagogy, and teaching/learning support. This paper outlines strategies that schools and teachers may use for analysing the numeracy test results at multiple levels: (a) results for the school as a whole, (b) results for various groups of students, (c) results for classes, and (d) results for individual students. Further, an analysis of the errors made in the various test items may provide teachers with indicators of student difficulties in specific topic areas as well as indicators of strands of the mathematics syllabus that have not been dealt with inadequately in the classroom. Instances of systematic errors may be identified through this process, and plans can be made for established intervention strategies to assist students overcome difficulties. This way, assessment data can be used productively to enrich the teaching and learning of numeracy skills.

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Stimulating the "Action" as Participants in Participatory Research

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© The Author(s) 2005 Griffith University. The attached file is posted here with permission of the copyright owner for your personal use only. No further distribution permitted. For information about this conference please refer to the publisher's website or contact the author.

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