Evidence Group 1 – Modified CAT

Original Common Assessment Task

Modified Task

This set of evidence is based around a modified assessment task for a student in year 9. It demonstrates a number of standards; 1.1: Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students, 1.2: Understand how students learn, 1.4: Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, 1.5: Differentiate teaching to meet the specific needs of students across the full range of abilities, 1.6: Strategies to support full participation of students with disability, 2.1: Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area, 2.3: Curriculum, assessment and reporting, 3.1: Establish challenging learning goals, 3.6: Evaluate and improve teaching programs, 5.3: Make consistent and Comparable judgments, 5.4: Interpret Student Data.

In June 2016 all year 9 students were to complete a common assessment task as a part of the Geography unit on Food Security. Students researched their chosen essay topic over a number of weeks before writing an essay in class over two lessons; the HaSS faculty then met to discuss and modify the essays.

Early on in the term, I identified one student (Student T) in particular who would likely struggle with this task as he has Dyslexia and ongoing attendance issues. I consulted with my supervisor on what possible options I had available, considering this was a common assessment task for all of year 9, and I suggested an alternative in which I could assess Student T verbally. As the student struggles to write down information, and was strong verbally in class, assessing him verbally as an alternative was the best option to help him succeed in this task.

Throughout the process of modifying the task for Student T, I sought advice and guidance from the Aboriginal Education Officer, to check in about his contact with Student T, and whether or not they had discussed the task during their sessions together. The advice I was given was to verbally assess Student T, which helped to solidify my plans for the modified task.

The moderation process across the year group confirmed that I was marking at a consistent standard. As a faculty we identified the standard skills and required evidence to identify within the work. I used this to help form the basis of the adjusted marking rubric, and planned to use this to guide the conversation with Student T.

Unfortunately Student T refused to complete the task. He had worked with the Indigenous Education Officer in researching for the task, but was too overwhelmed to sit down and talk through the task with me. As Student T has had little success in his assessments before, his general response to the pressure of assignments has been to shut down and lash out. I did not want to further upset him as his wellbeing and a positive attitude towards school was a higher priority.

The following term, when the next common assessment task was handed out, I supported Student T more closely in the lead up to the task. With ongoing encouragement and positive reinforcement, Student T succeeded in meeting the standard grade for the assessment; something that he had not completed in my class before. This was a very proud moment for me.

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