Friday, 5 Aug 2005

MEDIA RELEASE For immediate release Friday 5 August 2005 Using student performance data effectively The education community could benefit from learning to use data about student performance more effectively to support both student and teacher learning, according to educational researcher Dr Ken Rowe. Successful learning support depends on the extent to which schools are provided with an opportunity to claim ‘ownership’ and ‘control’ over their own data. Dr Rowe is the Research Director of ACER’s Learning Processes and Contexts research program, and will speak on Tuesday 9 August at the ACER Research Conference, Using Data to Support in Melbourne. Outcomes-based educational performance indicators provide specific details of what we expect children to learn. In developmental assessment, this is expressed using progress maps that describe different skill levels. Such “maps” provide a framework for measuring, describing and monitoring growth over time at individual and group levels. “Performance indicator data can and should be used AS learning, FOR learning, as well as OF learning,’ Dr Rowe said. ‘Regretfully, these key elements of ‘using data to support learning’ are not well understood throughout all levels of the local and international education community.” Assessment results provide an assessment OF learning, describing what students have learnt. But assessment data is also important AS learning – both students and teachers learn a great deal from test results. The diagnostic nature of the assessment items provides teachers and parents with valuable information in terms of assessment FOR learning by highlighting interventions suitable for individuals or groups. “Parents appreciate descriptions of what their child has achieved and are yet to achieve because it helps them, with the teacher’s guidance, to know how best to help their child at home.” “Teachers also respond positively to the use of progress maps, as they can monitor the learning progress of each child in the class, as well as the whole class, against the norms for their age and grade levels. They can then identify what they need to do to help those children who are not progressing as well as they should,” Dr Rowe said. ACER’s Research Conference 2005, Using Data to Support Learning is being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Melbourne on 8-9 August. It is the largest conference undertaken by ACER with three keynote addresses and 16 concurrent sessions to be presented to more than 700 delegates. ****************ENDS*************