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Assessment Practice and Student Learning

  • Philosophy Statement:

    We believe we can support your child’s learning and success with strong instructional assessment practices. Our assessment policy describes what we know to be best assessment practices based on current research and understanding of how students learn.

    The purpose of assessment is to gather information about your child’s progress in order to improve teaching and learning. Our learning community connects students with teachers, providing choice, flexibility, and authentic learning experiences in a variety of delivery formats. The parent partnership is an important part of this relationship.

    Assessment provides students, parents and teachers with an accurate picture of your child’s understanding of the curriculum. These assessments will help inform teachers, students and parents about what learning needs to come next and informs the teachers about learning strategies that will help your child learn best. Assessment helps the teacher determine the next step in learning. Reporting provides students and parents with an accurate evaluation of your child’s understanding and performance of key learning objectives in the curriculum.

  • In supporting and implementing strong assessment practices, teachers will

    • provide a high level of instruction and facilitate an engaging learning community for your child
    • communicate course work plans for all courses
    • provide an overview of the assessment plan and how marks are determined
    • provide appropriate opportunities for students to demonstrate learning, using a variety of formative and summative assessments.
    • maintain thorough and accurate records detailing student achievement and challenges.
    • use a variety of assessment tools to reach a summative grade.
    • communicate school/student information, progress and achievement using one or more of the following:course outlines
    1. synchronous contact
    2. phone contact
    3. interim/term progress reports
    4. face to face contact
    5. celebrations of learning
    6. parent teacher meetings
    • report on the level of your child’s understanding and performance of the curricular learning objectives
    • program at an appropriate instructional level for all students
    • evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs based on assessment data.
  • Assessment Practices

    The purpose of assessment is to gather information about your child’s progress in order to improve your child’s learning. Information related to assessment is communicated in a clear manner to students and parents. Based on meaningful and clear assessment practices, your child will be:

    • engaged and empowered in his or her learning..
    • provided with supported learning opportunities.
    • actively participating in the assessment of his or her work.  Assessment tasks provide your child with information that he or she can use for self-reflection and self-evaluation.  Based on our research, students progress successfully with their learning when they feel  ownership for their learning.
  • Standards Based Grading

    Teachers will use a variety of strategies to assess your child. Three primary methods of assessment used include:

    • formative assessment (Assessment for Learning) activities,
    • summative assessment (Assessment of Learning) activities, and
    • self and peer assessment (Assessment as Learning) activities.
  • Formative Assessment

    Formative Assessment refers to those learning activities which help inform the teacher about your child’s understanding of the curriculum

    • Formative assessment may include practice exams, pre-tests, pop quizzes, projects, homework assignments, or in-class activities.
    • Formative assessment may contribute to the mark in the course.
    • Formative assessment may happen either on-line or face to face.
    • weighted 0 and informs teacher professional judgement (recency, consistency and sufficiency)
  • Summative Assessment

    Summative Assessment refers to those learning activities designed to collect information about your child’s progress at the end of a period of instruction for grading purposes.

    • Summative assessment may include performance tasks, quizzes, exams, selected assignments, midterm exams and final exams.
    • Summative assessment may happen either on-line or face to face.
    • Your child’s achievement of the stated learning outcomes through summative assessments is the primary basis for grading.
    • Your child is expected to write all final exams and diplomas as instructed by the teacher.
    • weighted 100 (professional judgement regarding recency and mastery will be used where cumulative grading is not appropriate)
  • Self and Peer Assessment

    Self and Peer Assessment refers to those learning activities designed for your child to reflect on his or her own progress or learn from feedback provided by his or her peers.

    • Self and peer assessment may include self checks, self evaluation using rubrics, peer evaluation using rubrics, feedback on forums, through elive and through the social learning network.
    • Achievement gleaned from these activities may be used as part of your child’s grade or to improve his or her understanding of the curricular objectives.
    • Self and peer assessment may happen either on-line or face to face.
  • Reporting:

    The following descriptors used in student reports refers to the quality of student performance and demonstration of understanding of the essential learning outcomes as outlined for the course in the Alberta Program of Studies

    Letter                   Percentages                     Descriptors
    A 100-80 Work meets the standard of excellence
    B 79-65 Work exceeds the acceptable standard
    C 64-50 Work meets acceptable standard
    D 49-0 Work does not meet the acceptable standard

    Reporting provides you and your child with an evaluation of student performance in relation to the goals and objectives of the Alberta Program of Studies.

    Teachers evaluate and assess your child’s level of understanding of Alberta curricular outcomes. Cumulative marks will be used in conjunction with teacher professional judgment to reflect your child’s ongoing and final achievement in courses. Teacher professional judgement will be exercised to evaluate and triangulate evidence of student learning based on

    • recency
    • sufficiency
    • consistency
    • validity

    of student’s level of performance.

  • Student Intervention Measures

    If your child falls behind with his or her learning or requires help in ensuring academic success,  teachers will intervene to support student to success:

    • meet with the student online or face to face
    • involve other academic partners if the student is enrolled in one of Palliser’s brick and mortar schools
    • One or more phone calls/emails to the home to discuss with parents and your child about progress and/or attendance concerns. Attendance is measured by attending to learning through the timely submission of assessments and regular communication with teachers Teachers will explore with the family strategies to help your child be successful. This may include
    • program adjustments,
    • reduction of online course load,
    • literacy interventions,
    • wrap around services to support student to success.
  • Plagiarism and Cheating

    Teachers will instruct our students on the appropriate strategies for citing sources, writing footnotes and bibliographies. This instruction forms part of the Getting Online (GO) orientation course. Teachers will refer to the APA or MLA style guide and you will be taught age and grade appropriate proper citation and referencing techniques and given guidelines to follow for quoting and sourcing another person’s work. Should students not follow the referencing guidelines for their grade and subjects, teachers will work with students to understand how to present work that requires referencing techniques. Instruction will identify strategies to avoid plagiarism (copying the work of another individual and inferring that it is the student’s own work) . Students will learn how to reference materials borrowed from the Internet, (for example, copying and pasting text or photographs from internet sites. 

    Post secondary institutions take this violation very seriously and student discipline includes expulsion from the university. See this page at the University of Alberta.

    Teachers use strategies to identify cheating, plagiarism, copying, or gaining access to answers for a test or assignment in a way that does not reflect the student’s own understanding of the concept. Should this behavior persist parents will be notified and consequences will be assigned by the teacher in conjunction with the school administration. A mark will be awarded when an alternative assignment or test is completed by the student. A record of the incident will be kept and repeat offences will be dealt with by the administration:

    1st offence: Students at Palliser Beyond Borders receive instruction about academic integrity in our Getting Online orientation. We will follow up with the student to understand what is considered to be plagiarism and how the student can properly cite works to ensure that they are not presenting research as their own, but rather giving reference to the material by, footnotes and including materials in quotes. Message reinforced: Copying another student's’ answers, copying from the Internet are considered plagiarism and do not represent academic integrity.

    2nd offence: a letter will be sent home asking for parent support to stop the behavior. Plagiarism will be reported on progress reports and becomes part of the student record. 

    3rd offence: student loses privileges of working with us as a self paced, home based learner.  The student will be required to do the entire course on site while in the presence of a teacher at one of our four Outreach sites: Coaldale, Picture Butte, Vulcan or Calgary. If this does not prove to be satisfactory to the student, her or she will be removed from our course.

    Plagiarism or cheating on an exam with result in an invalidation of the exam and an assessment of zero. 

    Plagiarism will be reported on the student progress report. 

    Alberta Education has very strict policies about cheating and plagiarism as outlined in these documents. (page 8). Students risk having their transcripts annotated with notes about the plagiarism, having their transcripts frozen so that universities are alerted to plagiarism and being denied re-writes for a year. Palliser Beyond Borders takes these offenses just as seriously. 

     

     

  • Marks Appeal Process

    Students and/or parents may appeal a teacher’s decision in the assessment process using the following steps:

    • Your child may arrange to speak with the teacher
    • If your child is not satisfied with the discussion, the student and parent(s) can arrange to speak with the teacher at a time that is convenient for all parties.
    • If there is no resolution, the parent can appeal to the principal by outlining the concerns in writing. The principal will contact the parent and may arrange for a meeting to discuss the concern. The principal will review the situation, attempt to seek resolution and if necessary will make a decision regarding the assessment of your child’s learning.
  • Research references

International students give our kids and the larger community an insight into their culture and their backgrounds. Through Palliser Beyond Borders international program, we can bring the world to southern Alberta, and many benefits flow both ways.

Colleen Dietz, Board Chair,

View other Palliser Regional Schools school websites

www.pallisersd.ab.ca