British Columbia is in the midst of implementing a renewed curriculum in grades K-12, along with changes to the provincial Reporting Order. These changes represent a fundamental shift in how we at North Okanagan-Shuswap School District design engaging learning environments, and how we communicate learning to students and parents (i.e. report cards).
All areas of learning in British Columbia’s renewed curriculum have been redesigned using a “Know-Do-Understand” (KDU) model to support a concept-based, competency-driven approach to learning. The learning standards – what all students are expected to know and be able to do – are the points of reference for determining our assessment practices and communication of student learning.
The content students should KNOW:
• Critical, factual knowledge for the understanding of topics.
The competencies student should DO:
• The skills, strategies and processes that students develop over time.
• Underpinning these curricular competencies are the core competencies that all students need to develop for success in life beyond school and with becoming educated citizens (communicating, thinking, and personal & social competencies).
The ‘Big Ideas’ students should UNDERSTAND:
• The transferable generalizations that endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.
Classroom assessment and reporting
Classroom assessment is an integral part of teaching and can provide meaningful information about student learning. Feedback from ongoing assessment in the classroom should be immediate and personal for each learner, providing guidance and better understandings.
Provincial assessments provide a snapshot of student performance to a selection of provincial standards and, over time, can help to monitor some key outcomes of B.C.’s education system.
Provincial assessment in B.C. includes the Foundation Skills Assessment at Grades 4 and 7, the graduation assessments in Literacy and Numeracy, and a graduating capstone project, also known as a culminating project, experience, or senior exhibition. B.C. students participate in a number of national and international assessments to help determine how our education system performs in relation to education systems nationally and from around the world.
The Reporting Process – A shift from report cards to communicating student learning
As educators continue to shift toward student-centered practices, such as Assessment For Learning, Play-Based Learning, Inquiry-Based Learning and Personalized Learning, both students and teachers are identifying a disconnect between these classroom practices and their experiences with reporting and report cards.
There is a desire from educators, students and parents for a greater alignment between educational practices and how student progress is communicated.School District 83 believes the primary purpose of assessment is to gather evidence and to provide information to improve student learning.
• is fair, transparent, meaningful and responsive to all learners
• focuses on all three components of the curriculum model – knowing, doing, understanding
• provides ongoing descriptive feedback to students
• is ongoing, timely, specific and embedded in day-to-day instruction
• provides varied and multiple opportunities for learners to demonstrate their learning
• involves students in their learning
• promotes development of student self-assessment and goal setting for next steps in learning
• communicates clearly to the learner and parents where the student is at, what they are working towards, and the ways that learning can be supported
Learning is a process and knowing where you are is more important than where you started or how long it took you to get there.
Communicating Student Learning (formally reporting)
School District 83 is firmly committed to effective practices for reporting and communicating student learning.
Communicating Student Learning:
• Is a shift to timely, meaningful, authentic and child-specific communication of learning
• provides meaningful descriptions, collections and/or demonstrations of student learning.
• informs students, parents and others what has been accomplished (based on standards or benchmarks) and the next steps in the learning process.
• involves curricular competencies, key areas of learning, and student self-assessment.
• provides personalized, child-specific feedback, including ways to support learning at school and at home.
Through multiple means and varied strategies, student learning is made visible, and successes are celebrated. In this process, new learning goals and targets are established and ways to support student learning are described.