The development of teacher assessment identity through participation in online moderation
Assessment in education : Principles, Policy & Practice
Teachers' professional conversations regarding the qualities evidenced in student work provide opportunities to develop a shared understanding of achievement standards. This research investigates social moderation conducted in a synchronous online mode as a specific form of professional conversation. The discussion considers the different factors that influenced these conversations which included the technologic medium of the meeting. The focus of the discussion is how participation in online
... ipation in online moderation can support teachers to develop an assessment identity as one who works within a standards-based assessment system. Qualitative data were gathered from middle school teachers from different year levels, in different curriculum areas, in diverse geographic locations, and in a range of sociocultural contexts within Queensland, Australia. Analysis of the data through a sociocultural lens of becoming (Lave and Wenger 1991) suggests that participation in online moderation, while challenging for teachers can also provide opportunities to construct and to negotiate an identity as an assessor of student work. Key words Moderation; professional judgement; standards-based assessment; teacher identity; sociocultural theories of learning raised in these articles are drawn together here by considering teacher-marked assessment of common assessment tasks as this is experienced by middle-school teachers involved in a new assessment context. The research examines teacher participation in the practice of standardsbased assessment as the teachers discuss and negotiate judgements made on student assessment tasks in the context of synchronous online moderation. The online medium provided an opportunity for teachers from diverse locations to gather. The connectivity of the meeting and the mediation of the online context as participants negotiated between the intended policy and their enacted practice were found to be important factors in the development of an assessor identity in the practice of standards-based assessment. The discussion focuses on the conflicts and uncertainties surrounding what it means to be a teacher in a new assessment context through a sociocultural lens of becoming (Lave and Wenger 1991). Context International debate regarding school-based assessment versus standardised examinations has been ongoing over the past two decades (Baird 2010). In a recent study, Collins, Reiss and Stobart (2010) found that even when education systems abolished standardised testing regimes, teacher practice was difficult to change and reliance was still placed on past papers for evidence of student learning. Furthermore, MacCann and Stanley (2010) found only a modest improvement in the reliability of school-based assessments compared with examination scores. Nevertheless, some education systems, such as those in England, are paying increasing attention to teacher-designed assessment based on achievement standards.