Collaborative Inquiry Project – Grades 1-12

Gathering Valid and Reliable Evidence to Determine a Grade - Rich Tasks

Project Overview

Educators in this project conducted collaborative inquiryto investigate the big question:
How can we gather valid and reliable evidence of learning to inform our professional judgement to determine a grade?   They developed specific, focussed inquiry questions related to the Theory of Action and are sharing the results of their ongoing professional learning on this site.

Project Theory of Action

If  we:

  • Plan and gather the information in a way that is triangulated and collected over time
  • Design rich tasks that are meaningful and aligned with the learning goals and success criteria
  • Take steps to ensure that students are partners in assessment
  • Reflect deeply on that evidence, if we use the evidence to inform our professional judgements about student learning

Then we can accurately and effectively communicate information about the learning (including determine a grade).

Board-Developed Inquiry Question Board-Developed Inquiry Question

How can the development and implementation of rich tasks and the collection of triangulated, valid and reliable evidence inform our evaluation of student learning?

- Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board

Reflecting on the Learning Reflecting on the Learning

Teacher Quotes

I no longer "cover" the curriculum. I teach the students as much of the curriculum as I can. I have hardly used a textbook this year at all, but feel that I have taught my students more this year than any other year. I pay more attention to the expectations so that I know what my learning goals will be.

I have also found that sometimes something that I planned would be too hard for them and I have been able to change it before assigning it. This also has helped me to actually see if the activity meets the requirements of the learning goal. Many times I planned an activity, but after doing the work myself, I realized that it didn't meet the learning goal and had to go back to the drawing board.

Evidence Evidence
Evidence - Teacher Transcript
Key Learnings Key Learnings
  • It is VERY important for teachers to DO the tasks before they assign them to the students in order to predict what responses the students may give and also to ensure that they align with the curriculum expectations and learning goal. By doing the tasks ourselves, we discovered if the task was too easy or too difficult and then this enabled us to generate effective questions we could ask the students to prompt their learning. We put the questions we were going to ask on a template we used to assess/observe the students.
  • Increased use of rich tasks. We developed success criteria that we follow in order to create and choose rich tasks.
  • Inquiry approach is used in classrooms on an on-going basis, rather than just "teaching curriculum." We are uncovering the curriculum through inquiry.
  • Different ways of assessing...not only using products anymore, use observations and conversations. These are reliable and valid evidence.
  • Provide MANY/MULTIPLE opportunities for students to practice and show a full range of their work/learning. Before we used to teach a unit and then give a unit test. The student's final mark was based heavily on the results of the final test.
  • Using "Learning Goals" and "Success Criteria" regularly and co-creating with students. It got to the point that the students would often ask "What is the success criteria?" whenever a task was given.
  • Ensure tasks allow for conversations between students and students, students and teacher.