Tag Archives: TeachMeet

Ten years on from the very first unconference for educators: TeachMeet is 10⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education

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This Tuesday, I want you to join me in the pub. It’s your homework. There will be a test.

My old tutor from teacher training college, David Muir, giggles as he types up some gems being shared over a beer between two other men: John Johnston, a primary teacher from Glasgow, and Will Richardson, an international keynoter whose formal talk earlier in the day had left us asking what they did in New Jersey that was, actually, any different from what we did in Scotland. Bob Hill from Dundee and Andrew Brown, a local authority (or school district) geek-in-residence listen in, priming the anecdotes they’ll respond with shortly. Behind me, at a different table, are a few others, snuggled around a table listening to the gems coming from an old uni pal who’s just started teaching, Grant Fraser.

152573117_26c660774b_oIt doesn’t seem like much, but this informal gathering, arranged in fewer than 24 hours, was the first unconference for teachers, anywhere in the world. As we organised it through IRC, for lack of a Twitter quorate, and blogs, we called it the ScotEduBlogger Meetup, but that very night we decided that this might be a tad limiting, given we talked about more than just blogs. We also realised that if we wanted any women to make it along, we’d have to break free from what was, at that time, the mostly blokeish pastime of blogging.

 

TeachMeet was born. And it was a full four years ahead of its American cousin, EdCamp. The parents of TeachMeet were, from the start, against it becoming monied, sponsored or financially supported beyond what was necessary to make it work, commercialised in any way, or becoming too formal by requiring a board, or trustees, or organisers. The lack of politics with a small ‘p’ was refreshing for teachers who mostly inhabit a world full of it. The lack of cash? Well, we’re teachers. That’s considered normal. I don’t know what I’d do with$2m, but I doubt it’d help make TeachMeet any more popular than it is today. Over the past ten years, it’s been a challenge to maintain that attitude in the heads of everyone who’s involved, but it’s managed to remain a very different beast to its EdCamp cousin as a result. It’s a difference I love.

 

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More than just a random bunch of teachers heading out for a midweek pint, this was planned, intentionally, to be the antidote to the Edinburgh City Technologies Conference, which had left us all a bit deflated. In our classrooms, we were doing more interesting stuff, frankly, than that talked about by the experts and commercial outfits vying for business back at the conference centre.

I remember a discussion on IRC, about whether we should even invite Will along, given he was the keynote speaker that day, and somewhat occupying the podium that we were wanting to rebuke. A few of us knew Will well enough, though, through his blog posts, and thought he’d get into the ‘real’ goodies over a pint, more readily than in front of a few hundred folk in a beige convention centre.

The evening also had an unwritten rulebook, formed through the conventions of this rather twee little pub on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile:
1. Don’t speak over someone who’s speaking;
2. Don’t hog the conversation, or someone will speak over you;
3. If you need to leave to get a pint, leave;
4. Don’t get too many laptops out: if you can tell your story without one, just do it. We’re in an Edinburgh drinkers’ pub, after all;
5. If you do need to show something, for goodness’ sake, don’t do a PowerPoint (see Point 4, above).

The most unwritten of all the ‘rules’ is maybe that of the Master of Ceremonies. In the pub setting, there’s always an MC. Sometimes they’re a total pain the neck. The loud chap in the corner, probably in a double-breasted suit, prophesying at his loudest and brashest to anyone who’ll listen, berating those who speak during his wife’s karaoke attempts, or who disagree with his political persuasion.

The more successful MC is almost invisible through their prowess. Any good pub has one. Sat, not stood, in a central position of the bar. He keeps an eye on the action, and subtly moves the pieces around like a chess master. A small utterance now and then turns potential discord between patrons into uniting harmony. His own stories normally get saved to last, until the after-hours lock-in, where a few lucky souls will get the résumé of the evening that no-one else was able to see.

From that night, we’ve written down most the rules, sighed when we’ve seen them forgotten. We’ve run some bigger TeachMeets, snagged some amazing venues, spent a lot of businesses’ cash on free beer and pizza. We’ve seen other countries adopt TeachMeet as their own, a few claim credit for starting it. We’ve seen TeachMeets sizzle when they offer something different for the teachers who come, and we’ve seen them stumble, stutter and stoater out as hosts forget how to really make those segues shine the spotlight on the teacher (and not the MC). We’ve kept the chaotic wiki where people organise, sign up and talk about their events. It’s got the look, feel and usability of your aged granny’s family anecdotes, but it’s for that reason that we keep it and love it (it is down as I try to link to it…).

This Tuesday, 10 years on to the night it all started, I’m going back to the Jolly Judge Pub in Edinburgh. I’d love you to join me if you can. In an age of Facebook Live, Twitter, Medium and Instagram, maybe you’re expecting to join in virtually. The point is, I’m going to be in an Edinburgh pub. What do you think I’m going to do?

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#TMGlasgow a Delight⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

tmglasgow

Last night I went along to TeachMeet Glasgow.

As Athole wrote:

Why unplugged? We want everyone to be prepared with something to share. And not to worry too much about the tech and their PPT slides.

from: TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) – TeachMeet Scotland

He referenced the original ScotEduBloggers meetup (the grandparent of TeachMeet) as a indication of casualness and said:

However, clearly with a better balance of men, women and youth!

More about the idea behind on Athole’s post: TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) in six steps which I’ve read a few time now and enjoyed each read:

We may be talking about ‘the tech’ but can we challenge ourselves not to hide in front of our PPT slides, tablets and media? The face to face interaction bit is crucial.

Also, we need more people to take up the mantle of organising informal teacher events, whether they be TeachMeets, Pedagoos or something else. These can be in pubs, coffee shops, schools or someone’s living room. I’m not sure the example of large chat show style events with TV production values are really within everyone’s grasp.

But that’s just my opinion. There really are no rules.

As Radio Edutalk was busy I borrowed the #DS106 Radio airwaves to broadcast live. Seemed to get a few listeners. I’ve not tried to do anything with the audio as the piano and bar buzz was quite loud.

I made a quick #tmglasgow (with images, tweets) Storify that doesn’t give a complete picture (I removed the swimsuit girls that hopped onto the hashtag).

As was pointed out at the meet, I am old enough to have been at the first TM (grey headed even then). I’ve disliked some of the directions that TM has gone, this one felt that it was on a great path. There was a quite a few folk I’ve met at TMs over the years but there were many I had not. A lot of these ‘newcommers’ brought a buzz of younger energy in the room. Athole managed not only to unplug TM but to give it a bit of a reboot too.

The Featured image on this post is a montage of some of the photos tweeted during the event. Since twitter does not support licenses I am assuming I can use them. I’ve credited each to the account that posted it…

TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) in six steps⤴

from @ Through The Windae

TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) takes place at West Brewery, Glasgow Green on Thursday 12th May from 6-8pm, and the venue hire is very kindly being sponsored by SCEL (Scottish College of Educational Leadership).

SCEL-logo

I’d never been to a TeachMeet before until a couple of years a go. I’d watched from afar, even signed up a couple of times, but never actually gone along. What would I share? Would anyone think it was any good? But I don’t know anyone. And so on… Which inevitably resulted in non-attendance. Every time. So what changed? Why have I taken it upon myself to organise one for the first time, and what’s with the ‘unplugged’ bit?

1) Twitter happened

After many years of lurking, I started interacting with Twitter properly, joining live hashtag chats such as #primaryrocks, #classdojoEU and following the Friday positive sharefest that is #pedagoofriday. I discovered wonderful people sharing resources and ideas and discussion. And a few nutters along the way too. Ultimately, I found myself helping to promote and steer the #ScotEdChat, dedicated to a Scottish focused educational debate. It is still very much a work in progress, but it has managed to bring together  a wide variety of people together in discussion from all sectors of Scottish education.

2) Time out happened

About the same time I began a secondment with Education Scotland as a Development Officer in Social Studies. After many enjoyable years at the chalkface as a primary teacher I had a new job with a second mobile phone, a stack of business cards and nae bairns! It was strange at first and my body clock never quite adjusted to the lack of bells at break and lunch, or being able to drink a whole mug of tea in one go. During my time with Education Scotland I was lucky to meet bucket loads of inspirational educators and had the privilege to visit lots of schools across the country. My perspective on my role as a teacher and of my profession was completely transformed. I realised how much I had needed that change and the challenge. Looking back, what I loved (and miss) the most was the time to think and reflect. I was energised with creative ideas and plans, with the luxury of time and a diversity of people to share and discuss them with.

3) The 4 Digi-Musketeers happened

I was also really lucky to finally cross paths with people I had admired professionally from a distance. Ian Stuart, John Sexton, John Johnston and Con Morris all have an insatiable appetite for this enlightened science we call teaching. They were provocative, encouraging, thoughtful and fun to be around. But it wasn’t just me. They were like that with everyone. I learnt much about the true nature of teacher leadership and selfless acts of pedagogical kindness from working with them. There was also other stuff about purple capes, endless gif making, bribery with Tunnock’s teacakes and Scotch pies in a bap for lunch…

4) Informal spaces in-between the cracks

A TeachMeet can help provide the potential for informal, undefined spaces to learn. They are only as good as the uptake and participation. So far there has been a fantastic response to TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) but there is always room for more. Most of us have never met each other, yet there is a clearly a common desire to find a different space to share ideas, discuss and happily promote our profession outside of the normative school hours. With a beer in hand. Or even just a mug of tea.

5) Teacher leadership

Teacher leadership is the essence of TeachMeet. As someone who was gutted to just miss out on the Chartered Teacher qualification I was inspired by Fearghal Kelly’s recent twilight input about SCEL’s new Teacher Leadership Framework.

Teacher leaders are passionate about learning and teaching. They are ambitious for the success of children and young people and in their pursuit and delivery of diverse and creative pedagogy.

 

Through informed and innovative practice, close scrutiny of pupils’ learning needs and high expectations teacher leaders play a fundamental role in improving outcomes for children and young people. Teacher leaders are effective communicators who collaborate with colleagues, demonstrate integrity and have a positive impact on their school community. They are able to develop and sustain high‐quality relationships with children and young people, parents and carers, colleagues and external partners. They self‐evaluate regularly and instinctively, and they demonstrate accomplished and developing skills in critical reflection, inquiry, the use of research, pedagogy, and leadership.

I doubt I manage to accomplish all of that all of the time, but the intent and ambition is infectious. Why wait till applying for management positions? Start your leadership journey now! Direct from the classroom. Share ideas, resources, time, enthusiasm. Make new links, discover, explore and wonder. But don’t just drink beer from the back of the hall. Come forward. Be brave. Be bold and speak up. We are all teaching professionals. We all have experiences, wisdom and daft stories to share. We are all in it together. I know I wish I’d been braver and bolder years a go.

6) So, why ‘unplugged?’

I’m a massive Nirvana fan and that’s their best album. Seriously.

Also, I saw this picture of a recent TeachMeet in London, with microphone headsets etc. and I didn’t want the tech to overpower the talk.

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We may be talking about ‘the tech’ but can we challenge ourselves not to hide in front of our PPT slides, tablets and media. The face to face interaction bit is crucial.

Also, we need more people to take up the mantle of organising informal teacher events, whether they be TeachMeets, Pedagoos or something else. These can be in pubs, coffee shops, schools or someone’s living room. I’m not sure the example of large chat show style events with TV production values are really within everyone’s grasp.

But that’s just my opinion. There really are no rules. Please come along, you’ve be very welcome. Follow this link to sign up: https://tmscot.wordpress.com/2016/03/15/teachmeet-glasgow/ 

The post TeachMeet Glasgow (unplugged) in six steps appeared first on Through The Windae.

Adjustment⤴

from @ Fearghal Kelly

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So, as previously mentioned, I haven’t often reflected on this sort of thing on my blog…but once again I feel the urge to do so. I had an accident years ago in which I badly damaged my ankle…as a result I’ve been undergoing a series of fusion operations in the past few years to deal with the osteoarthritis which had developed.

During the first operation they fused one joint, which left me with quite a lot of mobility still, but I was still in a fair amount of pain as there were other arthritic joints in there. This time, they fused three further joints in the same ankle which seems to have dealt with the arthritis, but left me with significantly decreased mobility. Of course, they told me this in advance…but it’s only really beginning to sink in properly now.

An example of this was last Thursday. I was lucky that as part of my current role I got to attend an excellent and inspiring conference in Glasgow…but attending this event brought my disability to my own attention in a number of ways. For starters, I took the train, which I won’t be rushing to do again. Three trains in one day means having three separate awkward conversations with people sitting in priority seats who don’t need to be. And there’s the feeling of the crowds streaming past me on the platform as I inch my way along a distance which now feels enormous. The venue for the conference itself was great, but the spaces for refreshments and networking were, as they always are, seatless…which means retiring back to the conference room on my own. Even little things like having to choose between a coffee or a cookie, as one of my hands is occupied by a crutch, are a pain!

It was a great conference, but attending it highlighted so many differences between how I am now compared to how I was. Thankfully, my school are being hugely supportive with managing my return to the classroom next month…I think perhaps I need to do more still to manage my own mental transition to this new reality.

As part of this, I really need to be careful with what I commit to – especially the organisation of events. I need to stop organising TeachMeets and Pedagoo events by myself as they’re just dreadful for me physically…if I struggle this much with attending a conference, organising one would be even worse!

With this in mind, I was thinking maybe it would be good to partner up with the organisation of a TeachMeet at some point as mentioned in my previous post? We could have a TeachMeet on the regrowth of TeachMeet? People could present for 7 or 2 minutes on either the benefits of TeachMeet to them, or with ideas for how to regrow the TeachMeet movement in Scotland? It would preferable to me if the event could be in the Edinburgh area. I would be helping with the online and organisation stuff, while whoever volunteered would have to take on the venue and all of that sort of thing. It would be even better if you were someone who had never organised this sort of thing, but were keen to with support…drop me an email if this is you.

TeachMeetScot⤴

from @ Fearghal Kelly

As part of my current role I’ve had the privilege of driving (& flying) around the country and speaking to hundreds of Scotland’s teachers about teacher leadership and what is needed for it to be developed. A common theme that is coming up regularly is the need for more opportunities for classroom teachers to network and share practice. A conversation with someone earlier this week got me to thinking, we used to do that a lot more when we were organising many more TeachMeets than we currently are – hence the tweet above.

That’s not to say there aren’t any TeachMeets happening in Scotland, there are of course, but they used to occur much more frequently. This I feel is a real shame, especially given that TeachMeet originated in Scotland!

So, what could be getting in the way of more TeachMeets being organised? For me, I think the TeachMeet PBWorks site is a barrier to many. It’s now overwhelmed by TeachMeets outwith Scotland, and it’s not straightforward for people to use if they’re not familiar with Wikis – hence the rise of the use of EventBrite in the organisation of TeachMeets. I personally prefer to use Google Forms as this avoids the Wiki problem without going down the ‘Ticket’ route – but I can see why people do.

So, perhaps what would help would be a dedicated TeachMeet Scotland site? Perhaps along the lines of Australia’s version? teachmeet.scot maybe? The site could have a clear guide for how and why to organise a TeachMeet, it could have an organised structure for finding TeachMeets in your area and an open system for creating TeachMeet event pages with a way for teachers to sign up without the use of EventBrite.

What do you think?

If you’re not keen, why not? What would you do instead to help regrow the Scottish TeachMeet community?

If you think this is a good idea, how & who could do this? Perhaps it could be something Pedagoo could facilitate? The site could be hosted on a subdomain of pedagoo.org? pedagoo.org/tmscot perhaps? We could seek sponsorship to purchase teachmeet.scot and have that redirect? If you like the idea in principle but you’re not keen on it being a Pedagoo thing, what would you suggest instead? A separate site would be the obvious solution if you object to it being a Pedagoo thing, but that would bring extra cost and would therefore need extra sponsorship etc [I currently pay for all of Pedagoo’s hosting and domain name registration myself out of my own pocket, I’m not keen on increasing this expense!]

I’m just keen to explore ways of supporting the regrowth of the Scottish TeachMeet community and this is one idea I’ve had to help achieving this…I would welcome your thoughts on this possible approach, or possible alternative approaches!

Title: Life in Links: BETT 2016⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

Bonus link the CC0 image at the top of this post is from FindA.Photo which looks like a useful service that searches across a few other sites. Fré Sonneveld
viaUnsplash

Why we need to reform assessment⤴

from @ stuckwithphysics.co.uk

Following on from my post back in May 'Do Exams Pass Under CfE?', I have given the issues of assessment and certification some further consideration, which I outlined in my presentation at this year's Teachmeet SLF 'Breakout' event held at CitizenM, Glasgow back in September. This post is an attempt to summarise and explain the issues which cause me, and many other people in education, huge concern and why I believe assessment must be reformed.

As I outlined in 'Do Exams Pass Under CfE?', the system of assessment and certification has remained largely unchanged after the significant changes brought to the Scottish education system by Curriculum for Excellence. Course content may have been reworked in most subjects, with many now including an extended research and presentation task (assignment) which contributes a proportion of the final exam score, but the framework of unit tests and final exam remains at the heart of how students are assessed.

In many ways what has been put into place for the new CfE National 3-5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses, with the unit tests becoming more high-stakes than the NABs they replace - candidates receive only two opportunities to 'pass' these tests unless under 'exceptional circumstances', but cannot receive a grade for the final exam unless all course units have been passed.

In my own subject the old NAB unit assessments, where pupils had to achieve a score of 60% to pass, have been replaced by assessment which are broken down into two main parts -

  • 2.1 Knowledge & Understanding (KU) - which is broken down in to individual Key Areas described in the SQA arrangements documentation. To 'pass' this component students must respond correctly to at least half of the questions - i.e. if there are 14 questions, 7 must be answered correctly. If a student doesn't meet this requirement they can be reassessed, but they need only to attempt questions from Key Areas that they did not 'pass' in their first attempt. If they do not succeed at a second attempt, they have not met the minimum standard and cannot progress unless there are 'exceptional circumstances' which would allow a third attempt.
  • 2.2 Problem Solving (PS) - which is further broken down into four skills - Predicting, Selecting, Processing and Analysing. In these tasks student must correctly respond to at least half of each type of question in order to 'pass' that problems solving skill - i.e. if there are 6 processing questions, 3 must be answered correctly. Students who don't meet this requirement for each of the problem solving skills do not need to be reassessed, as other unit assessments will allow opportunities to demonstrate the same skills. Each skill need only be 'passed' on one occasion across each of the three unit assessments.

Teachers giving these assessments must record each students performance in terms of 'pass' or 'fail' not just for each unit, but for KU and each of the four PS skills for each unit. This applies to courses at all levels from National 3 to Advanced Higher. The collating and recording of students' progress through these assessments is both complex and time consuming. However, more is required both of students and teachers.

In all courses except N3, students achieving passes in KU across each unit, and across each of the four PS skills must also complete two further tasks before they can sit the final exam -

  • Outcome 1 - practical experimental report. This tasks is broadly similar to the LO3 task in the old Higher course where students perform an experiment and write up a detailed report meeting criteria set by SQA. This task is broken down into a number of individual outcomes, each of which can be achieved in any number of different activities. Students need only achieve each individual outcome once across the whole course - these must also be recorded by the teacher.
  • Research task - The detailed requirements vary between courses, but in general this is an extended research task which is conducted by all students.
    • At N4, the 'Added Value Unit' (AVU), which is internally assessed, contains a number of individual criteria all of which must be met in order for the student to 'pass' the task and achieve a course award. Students may receive feedback from teachers to ensure all the criteria are met.
    • At N5, students conduct an 'Assignment'. This research task, which may or may not include experimental work, requires them to collate information as they progress through the task. At the end of the 'research phase' of the task, students are required to compile a report, including items demonstrating a variety of information processing and presentations skills 'under a strict degree of supervision'. The student can not be given any feedback on their report, which is sent to SQA for external assessment. The assignment report is given a mark out of 20 which counts towards the final grade.
    • At Higher, students complete the 'Researching Physics' half unit within the course. This is assessed internally by teachers against criteria set by SQA and must include evidence of both research and practical work conducted by the students. The Researching Physics unit can be used as the basis for the students' remaining assessment task - the 'Assignment'. As for the N5 assignment, students must compile a report 'under a degree of strict supervision' demonstrating a number of information processing and presentation skills, and no feedback can be given. The completed report is sent to the SQA for external assessment with the mark out of 20 counting towards the final grade.
    • At Advanced Higher the arrangements are similar to those for Higher, though pupils conduct extended practical work as part of their 'Investigation'. This is assessed both internally as a half unit, and externally through their investigation report which is compiled by the student through out the task. Students are allowed to be given feedback at all stages throughout this task.

Only when a student has successfully completed all of the internally assessed components of their course are they allowed to sit the final examination. At the end of all of this detailed and highly involved assessment the final grade awarded to the student will depend mostly on their performance in during the two to two-and-a-half hours spent in the examination hall, with no recognition at all of the tasks that have been successfully completed on the way.

Bearing in mind that students may be following as many as seven N5 courses, in which various other combinations of assessment tasks and arrangements may be in place, there is no doubt that the new CfE courses have significantly increased the burden of assessment on both students and teachers. This is clearly unsustainable and an alternative must be found.

In my next post, I will detail my proposals for reforming the process of assessment to reduce some of this burden and the certification of courses to allow greater recognition of the achievements students assessments throughout their courses.

Why we need to reform assessment⤴

from @ stuckwithphysics.co.uk

Following on from my post back in May 'Do Exams Pass Under CfE?', I have given the issues of assessment and certification some further consideration, which I outlined in my presentation at this year's Teachmeet SLF 'Breakout' event held at CitizenM, Glasgow back in September. This post is an attempt to summarise and explain the issues which cause me, and many other people in education, huge concern and why I believe assessment must be reformed.

As I outlined in 'Do Exams Pass Under CfE?', the system of assessment and certification has remained largely unchanged after the significant changes brought to the Scottish education system by Curriculum for Excellence. Course content may have been reworked in most subjects, with many now including an extended research and presentation task (assignment) which contributes a proportion of the final exam score, but the framework of unit tests and final exam remains at the heart of how students are assessed.

In many ways what has been put into place for the new CfE National 3-5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses, with the unit tests becoming more high-stakes than the NABs they replace - candidates receive only two opportunities to 'pass' these tests unless under 'exceptional circumstances', but cannot receive a grade for the final exam unless all course units have been passed.

In my own subject the old NAB unit assessments, where pupils had to achieve a score of 60% to pass, have been replaced by assessment which are broken down into two main parts -

  • 2.1 Knowledge & Understanding (KU) - which is broken down in to individual Key Areas described in the SQA arrangements documentation. To 'pass' this component students must respond correctly to at least half of the questions - i.e. if there are 14 questions, 7 must be answered correctly. If a student doesn't meet this requirement they can be reassessed, but they need only to attempt questions from Key Areas that they did not 'pass' in their first attempt. If they do not succeed at a second attempt, they have not met the minimum standard and cannot progress unless there are 'exceptional circumstances' which would allow a third attempt.
  • 2.2 Problem Solving (PS) - which is further broken down into four skills - Predicting, Selecting, Processing and Analysing. In these tasks student must correctly respond to at least half of each type of question in order to 'pass' that problems solving skill - i.e. if there are 6 processing questions, 3 must be answered correctly. Students who don't meet this requirement for each of the problem solving skills do not need to be reassessed, as other unit assessments will allow opportunities to demonstrate the same skills. Each skill need only be 'passed' on one occasion across each of the three unit assessments.

Teachers giving these assessments must record each students performance in terms of 'pass' or 'fail' not just for each unit, but for KU and each of the four PS skills for each unit. This applies to courses at all levels from National 3 to Advanced Higher. The collating and recording of students' progress through these assessments is both complex and time consuming. However, more is required both of students and teachers.

In all courses except N3, students achieving passes in KU across each unit, and across each of the four PS skills must also complete two further tasks before they can sit the final exam -

  • Outcome 1 - practical experimental report. This tasks is broadly similar to the LO3 task in the old Higher course where students perform an experiment and write up a detailed report meeting criteria set by SQA. This task is broken down into a number of individual outcomes, each of which can be achieved in any number of different activities. Students need only achieve each individual outcome once across the whole course - these must also be recorded by the teacher.
  • Research task - The detailed requirements vary between courses, but in general this is an extended research task which is conducted by all students.
    • At N4, the 'Added Value Unit' (AVU), which is internally assessed, contains a number of individual criteria all of which must be met in order for the student to 'pass' the task and achieve a course award. Students may receive feedback from teachers to ensure all the criteria are met.
    • At N5, students conduct an 'Assignment'. This research task, which may or may not include experimental work, requires them to collate information as they progress through the task. At the end of the 'research phase' of the task, students are required to compile a report, including items demonstrating a variety of information processing and presentations skills 'under a strict degree of supervision'. The student can not be given any feedback on their report, which is sent to SQA for external assessment. The assignment report is given a mark out of 20 which counts towards the final grade.
    • At Higher, students complete the 'Researching Physics' half unit within the course. This is assessed internally by teachers against criteria set by SQA and must include evidence of both research and practical work conducted by the students. The Researching Physics unit can be used as the basis for the students' remaining assessment task - the 'Assignment'. As for the N5 assignment, students must compile a report 'under a degree of strict supervision' demonstrating a number of information processing and presentation skills, and no feedback can be given. The completed report is sent to the SQA for external assessment with the mark out of 20 counting towards the final grade.
    • At Advanced Higher the arrangements are similar to those for Higher, though pupils conduct extended practical work as part of their 'Investigation'. This is assessed both internally as a half unit, and externally through their investigation report which is compiled by the student through out the task. Students are allowed to be given feedback at all stages throughout this task.

Only when a student has successfully completed all of the internally assessed components of their course are they allowed to sit the final examination. At the end of all of this detailed and highly involved assessment the final grade awarded to the student will depend mostly on their performance in during the two to two-and-a-half hours spent in the examination hall, with no recognition at all of the tasks that have been successfully completed on the way.

Bearing in mind that students may be following as many as seven N5 courses, in which various other combinations of assessment tasks and arrangements may be in place, there is no doubt that the new CfE courses have significantly increased the burden of assessment on both students and teachers. This is clearly unsustainable and an alternative must be found.

In my next post, I will detail my proposals for reforming the process of assessment to reduce some of this burden and the certification of courses to allow greater recognition of the achievements students assessments throughout their courses.

#TMSLF15 links and tweets⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

We had a good night at TeachMeet SLF 15

Here is some of the twitter stream: TMSLF15 (with images, tweets) Storify I tried to cut out re-tweets and duplication (but didn’t spend too much time on that).

The image view on twitter is nice: #tmslf15 hashtag on Twitter. As it highlights the amount of chat that went on in the breacout section.

We encouraged folk to post to the TMSLF15 Padlet about the ideas they discussed. I think the twitter stream is a bit richer.

Athole recorded a couple of periscopes, not sure how log they stay up: Mr M on Periscope: “#tmslf15” Mr M on Periscope: “Part 2 #tmslf15” This was well received by several virtual attendees.

We broadcast on Radio Edutalk, and I hope to edit the audio and post it soonish.

Here are some of the links extracted from twitter.

 

Image Credit Ian Stuart on Twitter.