The designing of assessments is an integral part of the overall curriculum design process. Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.
It involves making expectations explicit and public, setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality, systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches expectations and results, and using the resulting information to document, explain and improve performance.
At ASB, we endorse the following eight big ideas about assessment (Damian Cooper, 2007):
- Assessment serves different purposes at different times: it may be used to find out what students already know and can do; it may be used to help students improve their learning, or it may be used to let students and their parents know how much they have learned within a prescribed period of time.
- Assessment must be planned and purposeful.
- Assessment must be balanced including oral, performance, multi-modal, digital, and written tasks, and be flexible in order to improve learning for all students.
- Assessment and instruction are inseparable because effective assessment informs teaching and learning.
- For assessment to be helpful to students, it must inform them in words, not just numerical scores, what they need to do next in order to improve.
- Assessment is a collaborative process that is most effective when it involves self, peer, and teacher assessment.
- Performance standards are an essential component of effective assessment.
- Grading and reporting student achievement is a caring, sensitive process that requires teachers' professional judgment.
Approaches to Learning
Approaches To Learning (ATLs) are trans-disciplinary skills and habits that support and enhance student learning, both now and in the child’s future learning experiences beyond the school. These ATLs reference the IB Approaches to Learning and link closely to the IB Learner Profile dispositions. We believe the development of these skills and their habitual use, inspires continuous inquiry and allows students to pursue their dreams and enhance the lives of others.
The Approaches to Learning are taught and assessed throughout the year in each subject area. The ATL’s are recorded in the Semester reports and do not affect the overall grade, but they do provide information regarding behaviors that can help or hinder learning. ATL’s are assessed on a 4-point scale for each assessment and recorded in the grade book. At each Semester the ATL grade is reported on the report card by the frequency of occurrence.
ASB’s High School ATLs are:
- Descriptors for Approaches To Learning (ATLs):
- ATL Standard 1: Managing Complexity
- ATL Standard 2: Collaboration and Social Skills
- ATL Standard 3: Critical Thinking
- ATL Standard 4: Creativity and Innovation
Report Cards & Grades
In High School, teachers maintain grade books online, which can be viewed by students and parents at any time on our online parent portal, Veracross. Students and parents have access to Veracross through the ASB website.
The purpose of this level of openness is to enhance communication between students and teachers, students and parents, and parents and teachers. Teachers use Veracross to report student assignments and marks, and regularly update their grade books. Students and parents can use Veracross to check student progress throughout the year.
Students earn grades (summative reporting) in each class, depending on how well they meet course expectations. Grades are reported as 1-7, which is similar but not necessarily consistent with the IB.