5.3 Assessment Objectives
The assessment objectives for individual Applied Learning subject should be closely aligned with its curriculum framework and the broad learning outcomes presented in earlier chapters of this Guide.
Specifically, the assessment objectives of an Applied Learning subject should cover each of the five curriculum pillars stipulated in the curriculum framework:
Values & Attitudes
5.4 Assessment of Student Learning
Assessment of student learning in Applied Learning is subject-based and normally conducted by course tutors. Its fairness, objectivity and reliability rely on course tutors’ professional judgement based on common assessment criteria and standards outlined in the assessment framework and specified in course documents.
Given the authentic nature of Applied Learning and that student learning is not limited to a defined body of knowledge and skills related to the course context, students’ learning process as well as their reflection should carry appropriate weighting in the assessment design.
To this end, it is recommended that assessment tasks be designed so that they can assess a wide range of student learning, from reflecting the achievement of expected learning outcomes to demonstrating the ability to transfer skills acquired to a new context. These include assessment tasks such as written tests, project assessments and video-taped presentations, which can be easily traced back, as well as tasks that require students to demonstrate competency during the learning process, for example, the ability to go about problem-solving in a sensible way, or engage meaningfully in group discussion or class assignment.
The following guiding principles can be used for designing the assessment tasks:
aligning the assessment tasks with the learning objectives
catering for the full range of student ability
tracking progress over time
providing timely and encouraging feedback
making reference to students’ own school context and daily life situations
making reference to current progress in student learning
providing opportunities for peer and self-assessment
using assessment information to provide feedback
Common Assessment Tasks constitute a core part in the assessment framework for each Applied Learning subject in order to facilitate comparability of assessment results across different classes of the same Applied Learning subject. Common Assessment Tasks can be formative or summative. Such Common Assessment Tasks are to be developed by the course provider and administered mainly by course tutors. It is recommended that the evidence produced by Common Assessment Tasks be more objective in nature so that it can easily be traced back for reviewing. With quality assurance mechanism in place, the results of Common Assessment Tasks can be used to adjust or moderate internally the students’ results in other assessment tasks.
5.5 Moderation of Assessment
The aggregated results of all candidates in the same Applied Learning subject are used to determine the attainment level of the subject and subsequently that of this particular group of candidates.
In order to ensure the consistency of assessment standards, Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority is responsible for the moderation of assessment results.
In general, the moderation process involves the reviewing of subject assessment results and selected samples of candidates’ work in assessment by a moderation panel. In this process, assessment criteria, achievement standards and adherence to the assessment framework are taken into consideration. Feedback, based on commonly understood expectations, is given to course providers at various stages of the assessment and moderation process to assist course tutors with and/or reassure them on their judgements.
5.6 Standards and Reporting of Results
The assessment results of Applied Learning subjects are recorded in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE). For the 2012 to 2017 HKDSE Examinations, candidates’ performance is reported in two levels:
‘Attained’ and ‘Attained with Distinction’. Effective from the 2018 HKDSE Examination, the reporting of candidates’ performance is refined to ‘Attained’,
‘Attained with Distinction (I)’ and ‘Attained with Distinction (II)’.
A set of written descriptors is developed for the ‘Attained’ level that describes what a typical candidate of a particular Applied Learning subject performing at this level is able to do. The principle behind these descriptors is that they describe what typical candidates can do, not what they cannot do. These
precisely to individuals, whose performance within an Applied Learning subject may vary. Samples of students’ work at the ‘Attained’ level may be used to illustrate the standards expected of them. These samples, when used together with the written descriptors, illustrate the standards expected.
Regarding the levels of ‘Attained with Distinction’ (2012 to 2017 HKDSE Examinations), and ‘Attained with Distinction (I)’ and ‘Attained with Distinction (II)’ (effective from the 2018 HKDSE Examination), the award is comparable with Category A subjects of the HKDSE Examination, using statistical method.
2012 to 2017 HKDSE Examinations
Performance of ‘Attained with Distinction’ is comparable to Level 3 or above of Category A subjects of the HKDSE Examination.
Effective from the 2018 HKDSE Examination
Performance of ‘Attained with Distinction (I)’ is comparable to Level 3 while
‘Attained with Distinction (II)’ is comparable to Level 4 or above of Category A subjects of the HKDSE Examination.
Overview on Quality Assurance of Applied Learning
The Curriculum Development Institute, Education Bureau oversees the institutionalisation of the quality assurance mechanism of Applied Learning.
Courses should fulfill the requirements set for the quality assurance process.
Goals: to ensure that
1. courses are developed according to the specified design principles;
2. the curriculum is delivered as designed; and
3. the learning outcomes of students can meet the set standards.