09 SES 11 C, Assessment Policies and Evaluation Instruments
Parallel Paper Session
External (or regional/national) evaluation of pupils can be used at all levels of the education system (class, school, network) to steer education actions. However, such assessments of pupils’ level are often underused. Working on a computerized steering tool, a multidisciplinary research team has integrated external evaluation results to facilitate their exploitation. Through the concrete realization, this paper aims at showing how the collaborative work of researchers and education managers and the use of ICT have led to an enhanced and user-friendly communication of evaluation results.
In the French Community of Belgium, non-certificate external evaluations (called EENC) of all pupils of four age-groups are performed each year. From the beginning, pupils’ results were used in two separate ways. On one side, results of pupils from a sample of schools, representative of the whole French Community, are collected and analysed. These results are used for both the purpose of giving a picture of the situation and of identifying learning weak points. Identifying common weaknesses lead to the production of adapted new teaching tools. On the other side, teachers of all pupils (being or not in the representative sample) are meant to encode all results in provided excel sheets. This gives teachers the opportunity to have a picture of their own classes, to compare them with the picture of the French community and identify weaknesses for remediation. However, the extent of this use of EENC is not quantified. In that context, one school network decided to improve the use of EENC results at all levels of the structure. The systematic collect of encoded results has been settled, using some administrative staff and training them. A data-warehouse has been created to gather all interesting data and an application has been developed to query the database, calculate evaluation scores at different levels and produce user-friendly presentations of results. The system was built integrating a data protection scheme matching the authority of the user, i.e. a school director gets access to the scores of his school while the top manager will get access to the complete data of his area of responsibility (region/national).
Working on the presentation of results, graphical representations have been selected in order to stimulate a wisdom interpretation. As a follow up, pedagogic advisers were trained to the sensible interpretation of school results to assist education teams to improve the local situation. Apart from the class and school levels, scores are also presented by zone, and for the network, allowing the identification of specific weakness and strength and eventually the development of specific teaching tools.
While implementing the whole process, the research team is following up the effective conduct of a pilot project (on 3 of the 10 zones), from the collect of data to the return of results to all stakeholders. This monitoring has helped improving the process for the actual implementation that has begun in October 2011.
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