As we continue the focus on school based assessment, this month we examine the role of the teacher.
Educators generally agree that the teacher is in the best position to assess the student. Teachers are therefore very critical to the SBA process and have some key roles to play. Apart from guiding students with appropriate topic selection and developing detailed criteria for assessing the selected tasks, teachers also:
ensure the task selected for the SBA activity is related to given syllabus objectives. This task should fit into the normal work being done in the class;
- provide quality feedback to the students on their work and allow them to revise their SBA based on the feedback;
- manage the SBA as part and parcel of the teaching and learning process;
- understand what SBA tasks are to be done and how they are to be done;
- give students adequate opportunities to practice similar tasks;
- mark practical work according to SBA standards;
- be aware of the criteria being used in assessment; and
- assess assignments competently.
The significance of teachers’ involvement in SBAs is highlighted in the comments made by students from some schools in the region when asked for feedback about their teacher’s involvement with their SBAs:
- “Teachers gave constructive criticism.”
- “Teachers paid attention to detail.”
- “The teacher kept nudging us towards quality.”
- “The teacher kept encouraging us to do well in the practical.”
- “The teacher’s passion was contagious.”