St Mary’s Catholic School in Tauranga trialled a system of online reporting using screencasting. They wanted a system that supported student self assessment and increased parents’ understanding and involvement in formative assessment.
"In our school, e-learning is part of effective cycles of reflection and assessment, involving the wider community. "
Teachers at St Mary’s wanted to change the way that they reported student achievement in writing. This decision was based on:
Staff decided to report to parents using an online "learning story". This story showcased a student’s written sample and included a recorded conversation between the teacher and student about the work. Parents were invited to leave comments.
They used screencasting software to capture screen images and create short videos of active computer screens, with or without sound recordings. It also allows users to share content using instant messaging, email, or social media.
The new reporting system was built on the understanding that effective assessment should support teaching and learning goals, and involve students.
"In reporting there is a need to consider how to create ‘student voice’ because students, as learners, know the most about their learning. Effective reporting systems will be ones where ‘student voice’ is an integral part of the reporting process."
"Students’ reflection on their own work, in their own voice, with their own intonations and expressions, conveys meaning in a manner which is simply not possible in written form."
Teachers scanned and uploaded students’ draft writing samples into a learning story template. Then they conducted and recorded learning conversations with students about their written work, capturing work samples and conversations. During the learning conversation, teachers allowed a dialogue to develop using preplanned questions to prompt the child’s reflective thoughts. These included questions such as:
Using screencasting as an assessment system was a successful strategy for improving assessment practice. It enabled information to be used for learning and also for partnerships with families. It encouraged students to reflect on their own learning processes.