Assessment Principle 3
Assessment needs to take account of the diverse needs of students, to be equitable with regard to gender, disability, background language and socio-economic status and not discriminate on grounds that are irrelevant to learning.
If assessments are to be fair they should provide valid information on the actual ideas, processes, products and values expected of students. A valid assessment is one that assesses what it is supposed to assess. For example, recall of facts should not be assessed if the primary purpose of the assessment is to collect information about problem solving skills.
Assessments should also provide reliable indications of students' knowledge, understandings and skills and should be based on the integration of a range of types and sources of evidence.
Reflecting on fair assessmentBackground
If you have made sure that your assessments are integral to your teaching and learning program and that they are educative and equally available to all students, without discrimination, then it is likely that your assessment of all your students is fair.Consider how fair your assessments are
- Do your assessments closely match your lesson objectives?
- Have you defined the aspect of learning that you are assessing and not allowed other aspects to influence your judgements? For example, when assessing students' ability to write a narrative, have you made sure their handwriting and presentation have not influenced your judgements?
- Have you assessed your students in a way that does not give some students an advantage because of factors that are irrelevant to your lesson objectives?
- Have you collected a range of information (including anecdotal information) on students so that your judgements about their skills and understandings are reliable?
- Check that what you are assessing and how you are assessing provide worthwhile information about students' learning.
- Reflect on the different groups in your class and whether you allow any characteristics not related to the purpose of your assessment to unfairly influence your judgements of a group.
- Reflect on individual students and whether you allow any characteristics not related to the purpose of your assessment to unfairly influence your judgements of the individual.