Chapter 5 Assessment
5.2 Modes of Assessment
5.2.1 Student learning in the TE KLA includes:
the development of manipulative skills in handling tools and equipment in using various materials and in constructing systems;
the ability to observe safety measures when using tools, equipment and machines;
the ability to apply concepts and principles in the design and realisation process when formulating technological solutions;
the ability to use the language of technology appropriately, as well as visual forms of presentation for communicating ideas effectively;
the development of generic skills, and positive values and attitudes;
the understanding of the concepts and principles involved in the knowledge contexts;
the ability to apply concepts and principles in both actual and hypothetical situations;
the development of awareness of the impact of technology on the individual, family, society and environment; and
the ability to integrate various learning elements of the TE curriculum to process, interpret and solve complex issues related to technology.
Different assessment modes could be adopted to assess the various aspects of student learning listed above.
In this Guide, e-assessment is included to facilitate the assessment process for technological activities. In addition, different assessment purposes, i.e. assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment as learning are also introduced to enhance TE teachers’ assessment literacy. Teachers can use different assessment modes and strategies to address different levels of performance and embrace learner diversity.
5.2.2 In line with the nature of technology learning which is authentic, purposeful and holistic, some common modes of assessment used by TE teachers in drawing up their assessment plans are suggested below:
project work assessment
assessing essential manipulative skills
assessing knowledge and concepts
5.2.3 Project Work Assessment
In project work assessment, students are given a loosely defined problem and requested to produce a final deliverable which could be a real artefact or a working model of a system.
Example 26 Project Work Assessment – Light Source Theme:
The torch is a useful tool for working in the dark.
Project work assessment:
Students are given the task of designing and making the concept model for a new torch that is not yet available in the market. The torch is expected to be used in leisure activities, at work or as an emergency light. It should provide sufficient light intensity and be battery-powered.
To be successful, students need to identify a real purpose for their torch by conducting a market research. The final concept model needs to be practical and of a high quality of finishing.
Example 27 Project Work Assessment – Improving Our Community Theme:
Every citizen in the community can suggest ways to improve the environment.
Project work assessment:
Students are given the task of choosing a public location and deciding how it could be improved. They design with the aid of the Computer Aided Design (CAD) software and make a model to illustrate their proposal.
To be successful, students have to formulate a design brief to address the community needs and work out a proposal accordingly. They also have to present their ideas in a class critique. The evaluation of the design should be conducted from the users’ perspectives, and include aesthetic, economic, social, environmental and technological considerations.
Example 28 Project Work Assessment – Software for an Information Kiosk for Your School
It is always difficult for visitors to locate different areas of the school. Some visitors are
“fact-finders” and just want to locate a particular room such as library and art room. Some visitors such as parents may wish to explore more information about the school.
Project work assessment:
Students are required to design an interactive information kiosk to be placed at the school entrance. A user-friendly and logical interface and foolproof inputs are desired. The system may be developed using web-based software, presentation or authoring software, or any other software as appropriate. Students should not include too much information and have to prioritise the information to be displayed. A clear site map or information flow diagram should be designed.
5.2.4 The focus of project work assessment is on the process as well as the product.
Students would be assessed on their abilities to:
specify the requirements for the solution;
understand and analyse the problems at hand with sensitivity;
search and identify relevant information;
make the necessary deductions;
solve the problems with originality;
plan the actual production of the artefacts in the form of a finished product or prototype;
experiment with the proposal and make necessary adjustments;
produce and construct the final solution;
evaluate the solution against the specifications;
communicate the process and product effectively, accurately and confidently through verbal, written and graphical communication; and
organise, co-ordinate with and solicit support from others for the project.
5.2.5 In general, students are requested to submit a portfolio of their studies, which includes the documentary samples of their work with comments and suggestions from teachers and peers, their own reflections and final products with annotations.
Illustrative examples of project work assessment are available in Examples 26, 27 and 28 of this Guide.
5.2.6 Task-based Assessment
Task-based assessment is generally referred to as a purposeful, contextualised and authentic assessment. The use of a well-defined task is more likely to elicit the use of specific skills and knowledge on which teachers can provide feedback. Task-based assessment may be particularly applicable in the TE curriculum which emphasises authentic and hands-on activities.
5.2.7 To enable teachers to set the assessment criteria to inform learning and teaching, a framework of assessment task specifications needs to be worked out. Major components of the framework are listed below:
Purpose of assessment
Duration of task
Input format and characteristics (e.g. channel, form, rubrics and text prompt)
Expected response format and characteristics (e.g. channel, form and length)
Scoring procedures and marking schemes
Procedures (e.g. pre-task, while-task and post-task activities)
Example 29 Task-based Assessment
Task: Writing a letter to obtain product information Level: Secondary 3
Time: 40 minutes Situation:
In a Design and Technology lesson, students are asked to design a magazine rack.
They are given the task of preparing a letter to be sent to various companies to obtain information about relevant products.
The purpose of the writing task is to assess students’ business communication skills, including their competence in understanding the function of some commonly used business documents, using the given information and applying word processing skills to produce a document to achieve a given purpose. The task input is in the form of written instructions. The assessment may focus on students’ performance in organising and presenting the information, and in using accurate and appropriate language in the letter.
5.2.8 Assessing Essential Manipulative Skills
In the technology learning process, it is important to ensure that students understand and observe safety measures, and master the required manipulative skills.
5.2.9 A variety of instruments can be used to assess students’ manipulative skills, including:
asking students to perform a simple task and observing what happens; and
asking students to carry out project work.
Example 30 Assessing Essential Manipulative Skills
In developing the manipulative skills of sawing and chiseling, it is important for the teachers to provide immediate feedback to students regarding correct body co-ordination and appropriate safety habits when performing the cutting action. The teacher can use an observation checklist to collect evidence of students’ learning of various skills such as holding tools, fixing work pieces, applying a striking force and working safely, and then provide feedback to students on their unsatisfactory practices.
In the exercise on a meal planning, teachers’ observation of students’ performance in the oral presentation, worksheets, peer evaluation and self-reflections can be used to assess students’
competence including manipulative skills such as:
co-operating with team members in completing the task;
communicating and presenting ideas effectively;
developing food products, planning and preparing meals for meeting different dietary needs;
using a variety of food preparation skills in preparing food products/meals;
organising and presenting information and ideas systematically; and
justifying ideas and suggestions.
5.2.10 Assessing Knowledge and Concepts
Understanding of technological knowledge and concepts is important for students to further their studies in technology-related fields.
5.2.11 In most cases, the assessment of students’ understanding of technological knowledge and concepts could be done through projects or tasks. On some occasions, teachers may consider using structured assessment tasks such as paper-and-pencil tests, presentations and group discussions.
e-Assessment can be described as the use of IT to facilitate any assessment activities.
Some of these activities may include on-screen testing, computer-aided marking and use of e-portfolios in summative and formative assessments.
5.2.13 One of the key benefits of e-assessment is the immediate feedback and results given to students, either by the assessors or an automated marking process. Flexibility in allowing students to take the assessments anytime and anywhere also leads to greater student engagement.
Example 31 Use of e-Portfolio
To assess students’ progress and ability in ICT practical skills such as office automation and multimedia editing software, students can make use of an e-portfolio to capture and showcase their work done in computer classes (e.g.
electronic posters and multimedia presentation). Teachers will be able to monitor students’ behaviour and learning progress with feedback given electronically. This portfolio can also be used as record of learning evidence to highlight students’
achievements and improvements made throughout the course.
5.2.14 Modes of assessment suggested here are by no means exhaustive. Teachers have to understand that adopting a combination of assessment modes enables them to build up a comprehensive picture of students’ achievements.
5.2.15 Assessment criteria should be set for different modes of assessment. It can be further used to understand the standard and level of students’ achievements. The weightings of the assessment criteria set for each assessment task would let students know the foci of their learning such as projects and exercises.