Assessment Policy: 2012-2013 (from All about IB)
Introduction and Purpose:
The purpose of this document is to
- Communicate to all stakeholders in our IB community – administrators, teachers, students, and parents – the programmatic expectations for creating a program of academic rigor with appropriate support as required by IBO.
- Provide clear guidelines to all stakeholders by defining assessment expectations in the context of the Middle Years and Diploma Programs within Henrico County Public Schools.
- Establish clear responsibilities of all stakeholders.
This document draws its authority from the IBO MYP Coordinator’s Handbook (2009-10), the Handbook of Procedures for the Diploma Program (2009), Programme Standards and Practices (2005), Candidates with Special Assessment Needs (2007), The Middle Years Program: A Basis for Practice (2009), The Diploma Program: A Basis for Practice (2009), The Middle Years Program: From Principles to Practice (2008), The Diploma Program: From Principles to Practice (2009), the curriculum guides for each MYP and DP subject, and the HCPS curriculum guides. It was created in collaboration by teachers, administrators and parents from our IB sites.
IB stresses that the aim of assessment within the programs is that it should support curricular goals and encourage student learning. Learning is seen in the larger picture through the Learner Profile, building those characteristics which make good leaders, hard workers, great thinkers, and caring citizens. IB utilizes a broad spectrum of assessments to provide students opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities.
The Middle Years and Diploma Programs have formal assessments which contribute to final qualification for the Middle Years Certificate or the IB Diploma. The most formal variety of assessment is the external exam which is sent to an external examiner to be marked and scored. The IB exams given in May of the junior and senior year, the TOK essay, the World Literature essay, the Theatre Research Investigation, and the Extended Essay are examples of this sort of assessment.
For the Diploma, the external examinations provide the greatest structure and direction for each subject. There is a greater degree of reliability provided by standardized examination environment and external marking. The nature of the examination questions varies from paper to paper, from subject to subject. Objective tests comprising of sets of multiple choice questions are employed in the sciences. Short answer questions, structured and extended responses, essay questions, data-analysis questions, text-analysis questions and case-study questions are all used where appropriate.
The next level is the internal assessment which is judged by the teacher but is externally moderated by trained professionals. The Middle Years Program’s assessments are all internal. These activities may be projects, tests, essays, presentations, portfolios, group projects, demonstrations or practical exercises. Each subject has two to five types of tasks specified for each subject. Teachers are given a great deal of latitude in designing these tasks in order to elicit maximal performance in each student. All the Diploma Program subjects have internal assessments as well, which may be oral exercises, projects, portfolios, class presentations or practical laboratory work in the sciences, mathematical investigations, and artistic performances. These tasks are more prescribed than those of MYP, giving the student some choice in subject and treatment but not in scope. Internal assessments are important because they allow the teacher to evaluate the student in ways that a formal examination cannot.
Thus, because these summative instruments are the means by which students will be judged, it is the aim of our program to prepare our students for success in these summative tasks. Teachers have the responsibility to design and provide formative assessment structures and practices that break down the various assessments into skills, and to help students improve their understanding of what constitutes excellence and where their work stands in relation to this. The emphasis here, a key component of learning how to learn, is improving students’ judgment of their own strengths and weaknesses and then helping them develop strategies to improve.
IB courses are designed to encourage synthesis among subject areas rather than specialization of specific subject content. That is, they are created to foster higher level thinking and application of skills rather than merely recall large quantities of knowledge. Students are required to recall, adapt and apply knowledge and skills to new situations. The implications of what is taught in each course are therefore significant in the following ways:
- Every course has a knowledge component, an understanding component and an application component, all of which, if they are done well, fit seamlessly together.
- Skill development is to be constantly reinforced in a learning spiral. Once a skill is learned it must be reinforced by applications to new situations or material.
- Since the syllabus content of each course is substantial, it is vital that each course develop and reinforce excellent time management and study habits.
Awarding of IB Grades
IBO is the sole awarder of grades in the IB Program. Although teachers input internal assessment scores, those scores are subject to moderation. IB awards grades in each subject in which a student has work submitted for moderation and/or in which that student sits for IB exams. These grades are based on the subject specific rubrics and grading criteria which are available from subject area teachers. The final grades are numeric, 1-7, (1 as poorest and 7 as best), rather than letters as our school system uses. In the awarding of the MYP Certificate, the MYP Record of Achievement, the IB Diploma, or certification in Diploma level courses, students are assigned grades, which reflect the following descriptors.
Minimal achievement in terms of the objectives.
Very limited achievement against all the objectives. The student has difficulty in understanding the required knowledge and skills and is unable to apply them fully in normal situations, even with support.
Limited achievement against most of the objectives, or clear difficulties in some areas. The student demonstrates a limited understanding of the required knowledge and skills and is only able to apply them fully in normal situations with support.
A good general understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them effectively in normal situations. There is occasional evidence of the skills of analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a variety of situations. The student generally shows evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation where appropriate and occasionally demonstrates originality and insight.
A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them in a wide variety of situations. Consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation is shown where appropriate. The student generally demonstrates originality and insight.
A consistent and thorough understanding of the required knowledge and skills, and the ability to apply them almost faultlessly in a wide variety of situations. Consistent evidence of analysis, synthesis and evaluation is shown where appropriate. The student consistently demonstrates originality and insight and always produces work of high quality.
For the MYP Certificate, nine subjects may accrue up to 63 total points. The Certificate is awarded with 36 points, with other more specific provisos not detailed here. The IB Diploma offers a possibility of 42 points, with 24 points sufficing for the award of the diploma, with other specific provisos not detailed here.
Middle Years Program Prescribed Subject Tasks for Moderation
- One essay (argumentative, persuasive or analytical piece of writing) of 500–1,000 words
- One piece of creative writing (for example, poetry, short story, dramatic scene, pastiche) of a maximum of 1,000 words ,plus an optional rationale of a maximum of 300 words
- One response to literature
- Response to literature option A: a written personal response,demonstrating the student’s ability to approach work in an independent fashion, of 500–1,000 words
- Response to literature option B: an oral personal response, demonstrating the student’s ability to approach work in an independent fashion, of 3–5 minutes in length. Only individual oral tasks (no group work) may be submitted.
- One writing assignment, produced under supervision in class, of at least:
- 200 words for language B standard (360 characters minimum for Chinese)
- 300 words for language B advanced (360 characters minimum for Chinese)
- Two reading comprehension exercises completed under supervision in class of an approximate total per task of:
- 750 words/characters for language B standard
- 1,000 words/characters for language B advanced. One of the texts must be of a literary nature Note: Reading comprehension texts used must also be of a difficulty appropriate to the designated level.
- An audio cassette or CD recording of an oral activity that must be 3–5 minutes in length, regardless of the level.
History, geography, humanities, economics
- A piece of extended writing (for example, essay, research paper, project) of approximately 700–1,200 words in length
- An end-of-unit or end-of-term test, including paragraph writing
- A piece of classwork or homework
Biology, chemistry, physics, sciences
- A scientific investigation designed independently by the student, including a hypothesis, suitable method for the collection of data, analysis of the data, and evaluation of the method and results
- An end-of-unit or end-of-term test requiring the application of scientific knowledge and understanding to solve problems in familiar and unfamiliar situations, and including evidence of evaluation of scientific information
- A piece of writing by the student, dealing with the application of science in society and its interaction with social, economic, political, environmental, cultural or ethical factors, of approximately 700–1,200 words in length. Note: Students will be expected to acknowledge the sources of information and document these appropriately.
Standard mathematics, extended mathematics
- A broad-based classroom test/examination composed of a range of questions and problems, in familiar and unfamiliar situations, covering at least three of the branches of the framework for mathematics, and which allows students to reach all levels of achievement
- A mathematical investigation, done under test conditions, where students are given the opportunity to recognize patterns, describe them as relationships or general rules, and justify or prove them
- A real-life problem where students are given the opportunity to apply mathematics to a real-life context, reflect upon and evaluate their findings
Dance, drama, film, music, visual arts
- Evidence of students’ achievement must be submitted from a unit of work that has been assessed using all four criteria. The appropriate outcomes for each criterion must be included:
- criterion A—evidence of work in which the student places his or her own work in the broader context of the art form studied
- criterion B—evidence of work that has reached a point of realization and process work that has contributed to this work, assessed as a whole
- criterion C—student reflection and personal evaluations that relate to his or her artistic processes and development at different stages of his or her work
- criterion D—comments by the teacher, and student if desired, relating to personal engagement, based on this unit of work.
- A second judgment for each criterion must be provided. This can be from a second unit of work as above, or from discrete tasks. These might be tasks that were not part of a unit of work but were required for the student’s artistic development and were assessed using the assessment criteria
- The developmental workbook will contain evidence to support the above and teachers should help students to select the appropriate sections according to the work that is submitted
- Two pieces of written work that show the student’s use of physical education knowledge
- Video evidence of the student’s compositional and performance abilities, that is, the student performing their own composition (written evidence that demonstrates that the student actually composed the sequence (or which part of the composition they created if part of a group) must be included)
- Video evidence of the student’s performance in another physical activity
Computer technology, design technology, technology
- Two completed units of work, each of which:
- includes all the stages of the design cycle
- is organized in a design folder made up of five sections—one for each assessment criterion A–E (investigate, design, plan, create, evaluate)
- includes the product itself, or a visual representation (photographs or videos) if the product cannot be sent
- includes information about the student’s attitudes in technology throughout the unit of work (criterion F)
- The personal project itself and final product and/or photographs of final product
Diploma Program Internal Assessment Tasks, External Assessments and Exams:
Items with * reflect the most recent curriculum revisions, effective 2012.
Language A: English HL
- External Assessments:
- Written Examination, Papers 1 and 2
- *Written Assignment (Reflective statement and literary essay)
- Internal Assessments:
- Oral Presentation
- Oral Commentary
Language B: French or Spanish SL/HL
- External Assessments:
- Written Examination, Papers 1 and 2
- *Written Assignment (Intertextual reading with written and productive skills)
- Internal Assessment:
- Individual Oral
- *Interactive Oral Activity
- External Assessments:
- Written Examination, Papers 1, 2, and 3
- Internal Assessment
- Historical Investigation
Experimental Sciences: Biology SL or Chemistry SL/HL
- External Assessments:
- Written Examinations, Papers 1 , 2 and 3
- Internal Assessments:
- Group 4 project
- Investigations, laboratory work or practicals, and projects
Mathematics or Mathematical Studies SL
- External Assessments:
- Written Examinations, Papers 1 and 2
- Internal Assessment:
- Portfolio or Project
Arts or Electives:
- Psychology SL/HL
- External Assessments of Written Examinations, Papers 1 and 2 with an additional Paper 3 for HL
- Internal Assessment of Experimental Study
- Theatre Arts SL/HL
- External Assessments of Practical Performance Proposals and Research Investigations
- Internal Assessments of Theatre Performance and Production Presentation and Independent Project Portfolio
- Visual Arts HL
- External Assessment done by visiting examiner of Studio and Investigation work
- Internal Assessment of Investigation and Studio work
- Theory of Knowledge:
- External Assessment of the TOK Essay with yearly prescribed titles
- Internal Assessment of the TOK Presentation
Since the program spans grades 6-12, formative assessments are given in grades preceding those grades (grade 10 for MYP and grades 11 and 12 for DP) in which assessment is moderated. These assessment tasks are modified to be age and skill appropriate to provide the developing learner with an appropriate sequence of instruction. These tasks are shared with all teachers in each subject area. Middle Years teachers have access to Diploma exams to see the ultimate skills required in finishing the program, and Diploma teachers have firsthand knowledge of Middle Years curriculum and assessments in order to build student success.
Roles and Responsibilities:
It is the responsibility of administrators, counselors, and coordinators
- To communicate with students and parents the expectations of the program
- To provide supporting information about the nature of subject assessments to parents and students
- To provide a calendar of assessment due dates and the exam schedule at the Diploma level
- To monitor teacher-designed instruction, pacing and assessment to ensure it is in line with IB and HCPS curriculum outcomes
- To monitor the workload in each grade level to ensure that students have ample notification and time to excel
- Monitor and provide instruction for purposes of revision of major assessments such as but not limited to the Personal Project, the Extended Essay and the TOK, World Literature, and Theatre essays
- Collect data from each teacher as to how students are progressing and assist teachers in interpreting that data to inform instruction
- To provide guidance in the selection of course alternatives as well as level (HL or SL) as will meet student program needs
It is the responsibility of the teacher to provide students, at the beginning of each course, with a course syllabus which contains the following:
- The course content as dictated by IB
- The nature of the summative assessments required by IB
- The relative weight of these assessments for the student’s achievement of the aims of the course
- A breakdown of the skills and a direction of the sequence of instruction required to be successful and the progression in which they will be taught and reinforced
- The nature of the formative assessment tasks that will provide skill growth
- The rubrics by which all formative and summative assessments are judged by IB and by the teacher
- A chart that demonstrates how the rubric scores are to be converted to percentage grades for the HCPS grade
- A large-scale calendar which shows when major skills will be assessed and when IB assessments are due in the course of the year
- Teacher expectations as to deadlines, due dates, make up, assignment format, assignment turn in procedures, academic honesty, and treatment of late work
Teachers will cooperate in the maintenance of an electronic test/assessment calendar on Google Calendar with the following conditions to moderate student workload:
- It will be the responsibility of each teacher to post ALL tests and major assignments. Teachers are recommended to maintain a Wiki space, a blog or use School Space.
- No more than two major assignments, assessments or tests can be due on any given day
- Grade level Team Leaders will be responsible for monitoring grade level calendars to ensure compliance
- Minor assignments such as quizzes and homework are not subject to regulation on the calendar
- If a student has a test scheduled that is not on the calendar and that puts the test/major assignment load over two, the student may opt to take the test or turn in the assignment at a later date, determined in conjunction with the teacher, student and coordinator.
- Circumstances beyond the control of the faculty, such as unannounced assemblies or snow days, may force changes without sufficient advance notice for re-planning. If that circumstance means that a student has an overload, the student, teacher, and coordinator will work out a reasonable plan.
- Because our program is in the context of a public school, occasions may arise, particularly at the end of the nine weeks marking period, in which students may also have county mandated SOL preparatory tests. We cannot regulate these tests.
- For the purposes of this regulation, tests and major assignments are defined and clarified as follows:
- A test is an evaluative instrument which is summative rather than formative. If the instrument requires the student to revisit material covered over a number of weeks and review it for the production of an end product that emulates in some way the IB assessment/exam.
- A major assignment for the purposes of this policy will be considered any assignment that is summative rather than formative such as an essay, project, oral presentation, or other vehicle by which the student demonstrates an end product.
- A quiz is an instrument intended to evaluate whether a student has done adequate preparation over a short period of time in the course of regular study.
- Examples of the difference between a test and a quiz:
- A quiz is an intermediary assessment that allows a teacher to determine whether students are grasping the material as it progresses in order to re-teach or reinforce concepts. A vocabulary quiz may be used to determine whether students have learned the words’ definitions from a week’s word list. A test would require that those words be used correctly in context and applied to new situations.
- A reading quiz over content of ten chapters in a novel, for example, is a minor assignment if the reading has been assigned over several class periods and the quiz follows the completion of the last chapter or two.
- Example of the difference between homework and a project :
- 10 math problems assigned to practice a skill is homework and is not subject to regulation.
- An oral presentation designed to show the relationships between three previously taught math concepts is a project and is regulated.
Teachers will also be expected to collect, report, and utilize data in the following manner:
- Report to students and parents on student progress using School Space, HCPSLink as well as modes of personal communication
- Post grades in a timely manner on HCPSLink
- Design instruction to review , remediate or differentiate for additional instruction
- Reflect on the effectiveness of instruction and on assessment instruments
It is the responsibility of the student to
- Observe all regulations and criteria in the production of assessments or the taking of examinations, meaning to behave ethically as outlined in the Code of Academic Honesty
- Participate in the formative assessments to grow in concept, skill, and knowledge strength
- Reflect on progress for improvement
- Meet all internal deadlines as prescribed by the teacher and the school
- Seek help when the student does not understand a concept, skill or background knowledge
- Attend class regularly to receive the benefit of instruction and practice
- Be organized with materials and assignments ready for class and keep an assignment calendar by monitoring the grade level Google Calendar and his/her teachers’ assignment calendars
- Bring into the classroom a willingness to grow in the Learner Profile
This policy will be under review with input from teachers, parents, students, and administrators with the incorporation of all new IB revisions as they occur, or at least every five years.