Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Recording, Reporting and Statistics

Lately, we have had a few requests for our Apps to record data and statistics. Some of our Apps do this such as Timestables, but many of our Apps just congratulate on the correct answer or prompt too high or too low. We have added a few "stars" or "points" boards to our apps as feedback to student in response to this; however, we stand firm on not over-analyzing every step a child takes!

As a professional I understand the benefits of recording data and being data driven in your teaching. In Victoria, Australia, there is SINE numeracy testing, Observation Survey literacy testing for the junior classes and NAPLAN Australia wide standardised testing Years 3, 5. There are other tests schools implement such as the PAT Maths and Comprehension, SA spelling test, CARS and MARS. I personally utilized the DMT tests in my classroom as a comprehensive fail-safe in order to ascertain understanding of key concepts. All of the tests mentioned when used correctly are valid forms of assessment and inform teaching. 

When it comes to every day classroom assessment there comes a point that you might want to stop and think what is the point of assessing (and recording) every little step. Am I doing this activity as a valuable learning activity or to test if the child has grasped the concept? Am I presenting an environment where learning itself is valued? Will this assessment be valid, reliable and consistent, genuine, ongoing, involve feedback and reflection? Will the assessment improve student performance or direct teaching? Will the assessment be OF Learning, FOR learning or AS learning? Heard of that phrase. Basically what I'm trying to say is that Little Monkey Apps doesn't assess...You do... You know why you are assessing (and How) If YOU choose to use any Little Monkey Apps to assess your students great!

Sure, we could add statistics to each of our Apps but what do those numbers really tell you? Unless you are sitting beside the child 1:1, there is no way you will be able to tell if Max who got 15/20 was just lucky or really has the skill down pat or if Harriet who got 10/20 wasn’t just pressing the wrong answer because she liked the response of the deflated ‘farting’ balloon when she got a number too low. 

Speaking of sitting beside a child (or small group of children) using the App…that is how I use Little Monkey Apps to assess a child.

 

The teaching module came about because I personally use use the teaching module to teach and assess. Use it to present a problem or have the child show and explain what they are doing. I know you don’t have time to do this every minute with every child, but you also don’t have the time to look at statistics that mean nothing.  

Want a more reputable source? 

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