Inclusive Assessment for Inclusive Attainment: Bridging the Gap

Leading on from the marking matrix exercise I start to think more about inclusive assessment. During the exercise we spoke about the vagueness of the marking matrix criteria. This makes me consider how some neuro-diverse students can comprehend the marking matrix as it currently stands. Although during the marking matrix exercise it was raised that there are possibilities of students and teachers working together to devise a more updated assessment criteria which will be complex and may take some time. In the meantime, a whole session or more within learning and teaching can be devoted to understanding and breaking down the assessment matrix and criteria for the students to achieve and attain. I reflect on my past and current experience as a student in terms of how I learn and the process of how I document my own work. I benefit from recording my thoughts, discussions and process of making. This may be a possible way forward towards inclusive assessment by including discussion that demonstrates learning outcomes, research and practice to a set criteria.

I think about the lessons I have taught where I demonstrates how and where the teaching and learning activities are applied to fulfil the criteria within particular section within the marking matrix. An example for a lesson that is based on research I use that section of the criteria to demonstrate clearly what students needs to do towards attaining the best possible outcomes.

There are other considerations with regards to inclusive assessment that doesn’t rely solely on aspects of the marking matrix but also on knowing the students willingness to learn suggested by the attributes and dispositions discussed in a previous blog post.

There is also the unconscious biases that needs to be addressed that that has an effect on inclusive assessment. There is the unconscious bias course available for teachers. Which is all well and good however it’s important that these need to be applied in one’s own teaching practice. It needs to be second nature.

My attendance to the attainment conference I went to in July posed two interesting workshops. ‘Growth Mindset’ led by Vikki Hill and ‘Make the Grade’ led by Terry Finnegan. Both were insightful and aroused further ideas to how I may apply inclusive assessment as a way to address the attainment gap. There is also anonymous marking also known as blind marking that was a case study and now applied in UAL.

What I find interesting about these approaches is that I had been already familiar with aspects of these interventions through my teaching in secondary schools. It seems that there is scope for more closer links to ideas between the sectors where each can learn from and gain from shared practices. If we consider the theories of Vygotski used in HE are formed n child behaviours and exampled an practised within our pedagogy throughout all education sectors primary and secondary to further education and HE.

This reinforces my interest that lay in the transition from Secondary, education to FE to HE. My experience in teaching within all three and a catalogue of assessment experience from marking to moderating, I have a more narrowed therefore tangible idea towards myself initiated project.

I mentioned that I find as I student I could demonstrate my knowledge through conversation there for talk about what I know. Is there a formal assessment where students can be assessed in this way apart from perhaps language courses? By answering a series of prescribed questions. The risk is that the questions could be divisive and exclude others. Maybe the criteria can be student focused and student led.


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