Welcome to this course preview on how you as a primary teacher can "Assess ICT Capability" across all Learning Areas (except DT)! In this article, you will get a glimpse of strategies specifically created and matched to individual skills associated with the higher order skills associated with ICT use in your classroom.
Attached to this article is an example of what is included in the course and which I have also released individually at 'Teachers Pay Teachers'. Any of my resources are priced below $10 and are designed to help you use ICT more effectively and efficiently in the classroom while being able to carry out the Australian Curriculum requirements to assess this 21st century skill. This is one 6 pages long with a skill per page! However, this is only Part 2 so I recommend you get Part 1 as well. Alternatively, you can enrol in the online PD, earn accreditation as a Proficient teacher (addressing APST 2.6.2 & 5.1.2) and get all the resources that I have included along with it at the same time!
A student must use their higher order skills in order to develop their capabilities in ICT. It is the decision by the student to determine whether a software or hardware is appropriate, a technique is appropriate or both are appropriate to use for an ICT solution to a problem. Questioning and discussions about how and why a student did something is vital in any assessment.
There are three main principles involved when assessing higher order skills. According to Brookhart (2010, p23), these are:
- Present something to students to think about, usually in the form of introductory text, visuals, scenarios, resource material or problems of some sort;
- Use novel material – material that is new to the student, not covered in class and thus subject to recall;
- Distinguish between level of difficulty (easy versus hard) and level of thinking (lower-order thinking or recall versus higher order thinking), and control for each separately.
In the development of ICT capability, the use of ICT demands higher order skills such as:
- Recognising when the use of ICT might be appropriate;
- Planning how ICT resources, techniques and processes are to be used in a task;
- Conjecturing, discussing and testing the strategies and data to be used;
- Monitoring the progress of problem-solving activities;
- Making and testing hypotheses;
- Evaluating the outcomes of using ICT for a task;
- Explaining and justifying the use of ICT in producing solutions to problems and;
- Reflecting on the learning that have occurred during the task.
Here is what I do to help develop student capabilities in ICT. Each of the strategies that follow correspond with the above points.
- Give the students a scenario and then ask them to make a judgement. The type of judgement you would consider would be whether they are evaluating the credibility of ICT;
- Assess their creativity based on the ICT techniques, tools and resources they use;
- Give feedback to students on their intended strategies and ask them specific questions to do with the key evidence to support, argue for and validate their decisions;
- Examine the whether the evidence was accurate, logical and relevant;
- Determine if a student can: identify a problem; identify irrelevancies; describe and evaluate multiple strategies; model a problem; identify obstacles and reason with data;
- Ask the students the reason why they chose to use the ICT tool or resource;
- Find out if the students can justify their decisions and question the logic and reasoning behind their techniques.