Date
16 August 2020

Plan flexible assessment processes enabling students to demonstrate their understanding, knowledge, and skills

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Develop curriculum and systems that respond to all students’ aspirations’

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Identify hidden barriers

Identify hidden barriers

Use UDL principles to surface barriers that may impact on students’ ability to demonstrate their understanding.

The barrier of handwriting

The barrier of handwriting

A student with dyslexia describes how technology removes barriers to demonstrating his understanding.

Offer options and supports

Offer options and supports

Make supports and options available to everyone.

  • Where possible, set success criteria that enable students to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways.
  • Offer students a range of options for expressing ideas and demonstrating understanding – text, images, voice, video, animation or a combination of media.
  • Ensure that the means of showing understanding is not itself a barrier to success. For example, “to pass this assessment you have to speak in front of the class”.
  • If assessments require a written response, offer students tools and supports such as text-to-speech, word prediction, keyboard access for typing, graphic organisers, and planners.
  • Support students to break down tasks and manage their time so that they can complete assessments in the required time.
  • Offer extended time to complete tasks.

Effective assessment practices

Effective assessment practices

  • Offer a range of courses that provide for students aspirations, interests, abilities, and needs.
  • Ensure there is a transparent process for students to appeal assessment decisions.
  • Teachers have mentoring conversations with students and provide course guidance that gives transparent information about relevant assessment pathways.
  • Teachers provide students with pathways towards qualifications, certificates, and endorsements.

Consider students diverse needs

Consider students diverse needs

Ensure teachers provide equitable access for students who:

  • use special assessment conditions
  • have English as a second language
  • need support in literacy and/or numeracy
  • are gifted and talented or accelerated
  • need supported learning
  • arrive or leave during the year.

Source: NZQA: Effective practice in schools (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Using UDL to accurately assess student progress

Read time: 31 min

Publisher: ASCD

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Website

Effective practice in schools

Publisher: New Zealand Qualifications Authority

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Website

Special assessment conditions

Publisher: New Zealand Qualifications Authority

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Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Develop flexible systems to support all students”:

Return to the guide “Preparing students to leave school”

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