Today I completed the marking and assessment feedback for my first NCEA level 1 assessment.
As usual, I have spent a lot of time worried about my marking and results, keen to ensure I get it right and that the moderation process would be smooth. I always want to ensure that my students are not disadvantaged by my lack of knowledge/experience of the specification.
So I spent time before, during and after the assessment process going through the assignment task given to me by my HOD as well as looking at exemplar work from previous years and advice/specifications/grading criteria on NCEA.
I attended a ‘New to NCEA’ personal development course as part of our teacher only day. I had already accessed all of the drama content online so felt confident with the drama curriculum but this was really useful for seeing and understanding the ‘bigger picture’ of the levels, credits and what this means for my subject and our learners. I also booked onto a ‘best practice’ course with NCEA so that I will have the opportunity to mark work with other teachers and examiners to have first hand experience of the level required.
As a result of this I produced a ‘checklist’ as some of my students have SEN which produces a barrier for them being able to pull together lots of information from multiple sources. This checklist, along with a timeline which I published on our schools website allowed the learners to keep to specific targets.
I have learnt from this assessment that there are 4 of my year 11 students who are extremely weak writers. However, when I filmed them giving oral accounts of the work they had produced they were much stronger. Therefore in the future I will need to ensure that they have the opportunity to orally discuss their work if writing is going to cause a significant barrier to achievement.
Below are some examples of feedback I have written on one of my learners work:
“Well done on being awarded an ‘Excellence plus’ for your written portfolio and accompanying mask (name). Your designs for Arlecchino show a sensitive understanding of not only the character and his traits but the historical context of the form and its masks. Your portfolio is full of justification down to the different techniques and materials you could have (and did) use in construction. Your timeline is well detailed and shows the decisions and changes you made to the design and construction along the way with clear justification. Your reflections at the end of the portfolio are sophisticated and detailed. Well done.”
“Well done on being awarded a ‘merit’ for your written portfolio and accompanying mask (name). Although, at times, your portfolio is difficult to follow, it is clear you are making many links between the character, the context and the practicalities of the mask. For example you discuss making the nose phallic to show off the characters ego, yet also discuss the challenges you faced making the nose and how you needed to amend construction methods following the workshop so that it was strong. You also justify your decisions a lot of times; had this been more and the portfolio given a bit more time earlier, this might have been an even higher grade, but well done for this achievement (name).”
“Well done on being awarded an ‘Achieved plus’ for your written portfolio and accompanying mask (name). Your portfolio starts really well, with research that is clearly highlighted to show the important parts of your character. You also annotate your designs with your ideas, for example that you think your design ‘goes well with your characters personality’ which shows you making links here, but don’t take this all the way through the portfolio enough to warrant a merit. You begin to make some justifications on your final design; having white eyebrows to ‘show he is ageing’ which shows more detailed character understanding, but again this isn’t consistent enough throughout. The last sections of your portfolio are all complete, which allows to you achieve the standard, but there is not enough detailed justification or linking to move you up through the bands. The justification and linking you have done has warranted you the Achieved plus, so well done for that. Your masks construction is good, and there is some thought about character, however the finish is rough without due justification in your portfolio to back up this decision. More work earlier in the process where you are really taking the grading criteria into account would have helped move this grade up.”
I ensured in the feedback given that I used termnology from the grading criteria. This not only supports my grade for the moderators and the student but also is a method for me to ensure my marking is accurate. This use of terminology which distunguishes the levels along with evidence from the work itself ensures that I am marking to the criteria.
My HOD and colleague were in agreement with my marking. I am really pleased with my final assessment, which has been recorded in a spreadsheet so I can track progress through the year.