Technology Unit Planning: Reporting
While this package is focussed on unit planning, reporting student achievement from a unit of work is also a key consideration. Reporting from a single unit of work is normally geared around identifying next steps for student learning and generally has two key audiences – students and other teachers. Reporting to caregivers may also happen at unit level, but in most cases this is more likely to happen in terms of reporting achievement in terms of the technology programme.
While reporting strategies and formats may vary across schools – the information reported should be evidence based, focussed on learning in technology, and helpful in supporting students in progressing this learning in the future. To ensure manageability, teachers should ideally collate a set of rich evidence that will provide for all reporting requirements. Some aspects to think about when reporting to different audiences are:
Reporting to Students
Ongoing formative assessment and informal reporting back to students to provide feedback/feed-forward information during unit delivery should be a key focus of teacher interactions with students as they support their learning experiences. This aspect of reporting is critical in scaffolding student learning. This can be done through such things as 1-1 discussions, class discussions, notes in the student workbooks or portfolios, teacher record books etc. In the Toys and Games unit, Tash used a range of assessment strategies to interact formatively with the students and gain evidence for the level of achievement each student was reaching as the unit progressed. Her decision to divide the students into two groups reflected her understandings that some of the students were more likely to achieve success if they focussed on modifying an existing toy rather than focussing on developing a new toy from scratch.
End of unit summative reporting is also important for students to serve as learning milestones for student and teacher reflection. Students require specific feedback if they are to be involved in establishing where they need to go to next in their learning in technology. Teachers should provide this more formal report to students in a way that clearly links to the predetermined (and any negotiated) learning outcomes for the unit. This can be done through evaluative comments throughout student workbooks or portfolios and/or a unit report provided to the student as a separate document. In the Sunsafe unit the assessment criteria developed provided Sally with a tool that allowed for such effective reporting. An example of an assessment rubric to be used by students and teachers is provided in Doug's Personalised Pen and Phone/iPod units.
Reporting to Teachers
Reporting to teachers should provide comprehensive information on individual student technology understandings/competencies within a class, as well as an overview of the class. This information is critical for subsequent unit development. Manageability of this information can be maintained through the effective use of codes and appropriate jargon as long as all teachers are working from a common understanding. The Indicators of Progression can be useful tools in establishing a common understanding of achievement at different levels of the New Zealand Curriculum alongside interclass teacher moderation of assessment judgements on student achievement. Reporting on individual student achievement should be against the leveled technology achievement objectives. A two (as in the Sunsafe unit) or three way within-level differentiation is often seen as useful by teachers to give clear guidance as to the next steps required to support individual student learning. The overall class report should indicate the range of levels exhibited by the students within the class and should also report the range of student achievement in terms of the context driven learning outcomes.
Reporting to Caregivers
Reporting to caregivers in many schools involves half yearly reporting on several units of work as reported against the learning outcomes of the unit/s covered to date and yearly reporting on learning within the technology programme as a whole. Reporting to caregivers needs to employ appropriate language and provision of a cover sheet to explain technology is often a good idea while caregivers are still coming to terms with technology as a new learning area.