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Monitoring, assessing, recording and reporting (marr)

Critically discuss the importance and purpose of monitoring, assessing, recording and reporting pupils’ progress.

Education is a vast area of obtaining and understanding knowledge, whether in schools or university levels, the criteria is to provide quality education to the students so as to develop in them, an understanding of things and to make them successful human beings. It is not just the responsibility of the students to learn well and work hard to attain good marks, in fact the responsibility lies with the teaching personal as well, to invoke high standard learning skills in each and every individual who projects to study.

Each child does not possess extra ordinary learning ability, therefore it is the teacher’s job to understand the psychology of his or her students and then teach accordingly. Various surveys were conducted by the Office for standards in education [2003], an example regarding the incorporation of the MARR strategy from the Pittville School where the pupils are required to design a log comprising of the skills they have addressed or will address to, the marks they secured and their self determined specific and related targets that they feel are mandatory for improvement.

The log helps in the self assessment of the pupils during their progress, helping them to improve and overcome their weaknesses successfully.

The learning process and its standards can be improved if the educators design a proper criterion of achievements unambiguous, monitoring and interacting with the students giving regular and diverse feedbacks regarding their learning developments. Decisive and authentic assessment is necessary to improve learning. Students must be informed of their achievements as well as their weaknesses through self and peer assessment. This can only be done if the students’ progress is monitored by the teachers throughout the study course [Assessing, Monitoring and Reporting, 2007].

A research conducted by the King’s College on the effectiveness of formative versus comprehensive evaluation asserts that Formative assessment is the best approach requiring the students to be analyzed by the teachers in order to identify the problems and help them surmount by positive advice. The results confirmed that the test results, instead of being used for competitive grading, should be used as guides to adjust the teaching and learning format. The students should be motivated and assisted by the educators to elevate their self- esteem by participating in self or peer- assessment through energetic participation by all students. The research concludes with declaring “Feedback to any pupil should be about the particular qualities of his or her work, with advice on what he or she can do to improve, and should avoid comparison with other pupils” [National Literacy Trust, 2007].

Various strategies are designed to evaluate and manage the student progress steadily in educational institutes, the MARR strategy, being adopted by a number of educational institutes is one which is quite successful since it is based on the Monitoring, Assessing, Recording and Reporting the progress of every student.

Monitoring is a succession of assessments prepared over a selected phase the rationale of which is to keep track and scrutinize the developments and limitations in the pupils individually. It helps to assess the escalation towards goals and stipulate directions so as to help and guide the pupils for their future. The daily judgment done by the teachers is the first step to evaluate the students’ abilities and their learning. It also acts as an arbitrator regarding the educators’ skills, as to how he or she is succeeding in getting the point across to a multiple range of minds. The monitoring is done through students’ individual or group presentations, observing the verbal and physical behaviors, use of skills and knowledge, a child’s participation in social events, practical works, extra curricular activities, communication of a child with his or her peers. A general comparison of the whole class with each other is needed to evaluate the standing of individual students.
Assessment is done by obtaining the information through monitoring and then judging the students’ learning process. It helps the learners to relate their present development to the end results, eulogize about the students’ achievements and also evaluates the efficiency of the teaching procedures as well as help to improvise them according the student’s learning level. These assessments help to validate whether the learners are attaining the desired curriculum objectives. The long term advantage of such assessments is that they produce an affluent substantiation of students’ propensities on the basis of all the achievements perceived annually. The examinations conducted at the end of the year are the final transcription of assessment and portrays the over all student performance contributing to the final evaluation in the classroom. Two different types of assessments are conducted in educational institutes, namely Formative Assessment and Summative Assessment. However, often the two are often confused to be the same. According to Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy [n.d.] the two are defined as:
“Formative Assessment is the evaluation teachers use to effectively monitor and then assess on the daily working of students. These statements are then used to compare with the planned outcome which in turn decides the percentage of success regarding the learning objectives. Formative Assessment though not officially recorded, is considered quite an important step in the daily teaching plans, since it helps to design the plan keeping in view the variable student knowledge echelons. The information derived from this type of assessment is changing constantly and creates a steady graph of the classrooms’ learning level.” (Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy, November 2006)

“Summative Assessment is the evaluation of selective fields of learning for example when examinations are conducted after each term ends. All the abilities of the child are critically reviewed in this evaluation along with his strengths, weaknesses and the development. It is usually presented in a formal verbal or written report to the parents or care takers of the pupil. SATs or the Standard Assessment Tasks are an example of Summative Assessments. The resultant data is also used to examine the individuals’ achievement level keeping in mind the other same age groups’ analysis.” (Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy, November 2006)

 

Recording refers to the preparing of individual reports referring to each student’s progress as a performance data. It is an important step that helps to analyze the developments in the classroom and compare the various assessments at the end of the year to deduce the percentage of improvement in a child. Archives can be kept and referred to later, if need arises. The students can also benefit from this recorded progress by realizing their weak points and then working on them to improve. It is important to remember the purpose of recording while preparing the performance data; therefore it should be manageable and precise depending on the work produced by the pupils, informal notes and surveillance through out the classes are important to prepare a formal and accurate formal record. Test scores, quizzes and reading progress are all part of records and are systematically arranged in every student’s performance data which is updated annually, since they have a long term usage. This data is kept in a class assessment folder which is passed on to the next level to help the new teacher understand the individual needs of every child in the classroom and plan the course progression accurately. Often samples of work are included with the records, especially those that demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of the pupil.
Reporting is the final step in the MARR strategy, which is dependant on an effective communicative relationship between the teacher- students or teacher –parents regarding the information that is recorded after assessing and monitoring the students. If reporting is done in a comprehensible and open mode involving a reciprocated reverential partnership amid the educator and the learner, it in turns helps in improving the learning. The assessment files if managed effectively help the teacher to illustrate the point across to the parents. Parent and teacher conferences are the most imperative phase of reporting the student analysis to the caretakers. Every term must have a reporting event or the Parent Teacher meeting, so as to keep them updated about their child’s progress.
The MARR principle is used to adjust the teaching plans to meet the needs of individual pupils to secure the overall learning rate in the classroom. The success criteria should be shared with the students so that they can employ it to scrutinize their own accomplishments, giving them a sense of involvement in their personal development. The school performance data acts as a guide to design the success criteria, that is why the evaluation and assessment should be done with great competence since it is the foundation of every teachers’ planning, only then it will prove successful. Since each student has his or her own targets depending on their abilities and mental levels, therefore the progress track should be done with respect to separate needs. The same principle applies to the recording stage; it should be evaluative and capable of going with the temperament of education, identifying the progress as well as defining the next steps. The interaction of students, parents and teachers keeping in view the performance data is vital to ensure the target achievement of both students and teacher. According to the book Inspecting schools- Handbook for Inspecting Secondary Schools, 2003, “…assessment should provide the basis of informed teaching, helping pupils to overcome their difficulties and ensuring that teaching builds on what has been learned. It is also the means by which pupils understand what they have achieved and what they need to work on.” [Effective assessment principles and practice, 2007]

The MARR strategy is dependant on a number of factors and would be unsuccessful if they are not in order. For example:

If the Assessment is simply done as a formal completion of the school records and thus not utilized to review the performances of the learners.
If the student are not implicated in their personal assessments.
If the evaluation is not used to regulate the course outline according to the students’ progress.
The feedback does not encourage the pupils and instead is based on peer comparison.
The reports are designed to be descriptive and do not promote verbal or written interaction among parents and educating faculty.
If the records are not prepared to suit the varied student body in respective classes; the aim of MARR is lost.
The particular roles and responsibilities of the teacher and student should be clear, without effective communication the required results would not be possible.
Students’ progress regarding academics and personal attitudes is greatly affected after proper monitoring and support from the teachers, especially when verbal assistance is incorporated actively. In the Pittville School, in mathematics class, the teacher assisted students of grade 8 having varied abilities with mental multiplication and division.  The lesson was designed to test the recall abilities of 28 students through direct questions. The practice helped the teacher to gain insight of the students’ knowledge and grasping levels. The teacher used examples to demonstrate with student participation, new techniques for multiplication. Advanced students were given extension questions to engage in. The whole session was well planned and designed according to the individual needs of the pupils of the classroom. Proper planning is dependant on efficient monitoring of the students, since only then the educator can prepare a well planned learning activity [Office for standards in education [2003]. The interaction between a teacher and a student is necessary to commend the learner on his or her efforts and provide guidance to further improvise them in order to reach a higher level.

Whatever strategy the teacher devises, it should be broadly defined and within the depths of students’ understanding and skills in the respective field. Observing the working of a child on class projects, written work, participation in specific skills or activities helps in estimating the echelon of achievement of a student. Encouraging the students to prepare a portfolio is also effective or written tests can also portray the individual understanding regarding the subject. It must be kept in mind however that observation always result into varied results since the young mind is always studying and absorbing new things. Constant monitoring in the classroom is needed for effective assessment, accurate recording and efficient reporting [Furniss, n.d.]. A number of schools surveyed by the Office for standards in education (Ofsted) depicted that the incorporation of monitoring and assessment resulted in higher percentage of success rate in the educational institutes. If the first two steps are carried out with efficiency and concern, the recording of performance data is always accurate; hence the reporting is done with confidence and attains almost all the desired goals of the teaching program. The final result is a content teaching staff and successful students helping to raise the bar of excellence in education.

 

Critically evaluate the quality, efficiency and usefulness to pupils of your MARR strategies.

Every student wants to be a model student, while every teacher wants to be the perfect teacher. Would a combination of both maybe called a perfect and healthy school? A healthy school is one where each and every student is provided guidance and they in return perform to the best of their abilities and assemble achievements. A commitment to enduring success can only be possible if the educators are focused in their responsibilities. Regular evaluation is an essential step in confirming the best results. Assessment of learning is often confused with assessment for learning, since the assessment of learning offers an evidence of the students’ achievements for the intention of judging the performance. Assessment for learning is basically for the teachers since it keeps the educator up to date concerning the learning process of the students and helps him or her to plan accordingly. As researched by the Office for standards in education [2003], Sacred Heart High School plans education not just according to Secondary Education Needs (SEN) but keeping in view the individual needs of its students. A number of targets are defined for each pupil, however if an person faces difficulty, the number of tasks are reduced to favor him or her plus further assistance is provided to the child to overcome the weakness and then fulfill the decided targets successfully.

The basic advantage is for the students, who can relate to the teachers’ set standards and calculate whether they meet them or not. It also provides them with ideas, to make themselves more adapt to the study techniques. Many researches have been conducted to verify the results of the MARR strategy, the same idea is identified in a literature review by Black and William [Assessment and monitoring arrangements, 2003]; it is evident from them all that the careful monitoring of students’ progression is indubitably linked with high standards of achievements. However these positive outcomes like the improvement in learning quality of students are only possible if the assessment is properly and efficiently carried out in the classroom. Integrating high quality formative assessment into everyday teaching and learning, definitely results into raising the level of student understanding levels.

Such approaches involve the pupils in the process thus motivate them to further utilize their meta- cognitive abilities, not only the students who are gifted and talented benefit by such stratagem but this is also successfully applicable to the other student who do not possess a bright learning ability. Target setting is encouraged in educational institutions thus allowing the learners to plan their own objectives to be reached in a selected period of time. These targets will be later judged by the in charge based on the skills, knowledge and thinking process involved preferably through the stipulation of external exams. The evaluation instills a feeling of success or to work harder in case of failure in an individual as well as self confidence and motivation to gain knowledge by clarifying what and how to learn. The feedback on the students’ endeavors further influences the choice of learning strategies through the use of self- monitoring skills, also developing the individuals’ capacity to retain and apply knowledge. The MARR process construes to verify the abilities of pupils and provides assistance to teachers and students alike in further developing themselves and coping with the present happenings [Assessment and monitoring arrangements, 2003].

It must be noted that the program should be adaptable to the learners’ individual needs and utilizes recent researches for devising the teaching processes. Encouraging the involvement of students in the educational institute increases confidence in the student body as well as the open appraisal of their achievements, for example the awarding of prizes to the high achievers. Gaining confidence through the guidance of instructors the students learn and practice decision making, promising success in their later life. Students should be encouraged for self assessment especially when they are given some assignment as well as multiple opportunities to discuss with the teacher and other students to analyze their progress themselves then compare with the teacher’s personal evaluation. According to the “How good is our school?” [2003] and the “School Review” [Wallis, 2005] the successful implication of the MARR stratagem pledges to:

·         Raise the achievement level in school

·         Stimulate the students by creating a learning environment

·         Improve the learning abilities as well as the pace of gaining and absorbing knowledge

·         Increase the communication between the teachers and students

·         Highlight a sense of responsibility in the students for self-regulating opinions and energetic participation in learning

·         Create a challenging and stimulating learning environment, increasing the interests and enthusiasm of the students securing positive future development

·         Enhanced understanding of knowledge in students

·         Increase in parents support in students’ education enabling them to work harder and appreciation for teachers

·         Better uniformity and thoroughness in the evaluation process as well as improved quality of teaching and learning.

·         Invoking better understanding of aims and targets in the classroom considering each individuals’ potential.

Formal and Informal assessment criteria can be tailored to identify the appropriate purposes regarding the curricular targets and recording them effectively for future reference. Teachers can utilize the evaluated data to determine the teaching plans to meet the individual needs of pupils in the classroom. Parents and teacher interaction becomes successful due to efficient and clear reporting techniques covering all aspects of personal and social development as well as the curricular eminence. Students with disabilities or those requiring special education can be properly attended by the thorough monitoring and assessment methods which in return may be used as guidelines to attain a fine progress with respect to the curricular targets fixed according to their mental capacities. Through assessment, their positive points can be highlighted and further worked upon to inculcate an appropriate understanding of the course. The work agenda is formulated keeping in view the data acquired through MARR, so that they are applicable to each and every student in the class in order to attain their full and vigorous participation and understanding. The target of the curricula is to intensify the learning process and furthermore achieve maximum growth of the classroom as a group. Varied targets and activities are planned to get in touch with every student [Healthy Schools, n.d.].

Students are encouraged to engage in their goals settings, therefore encouraging them to evaluate themselves through personal or peer assessment and developing their own learning plans thus facilitate them for improvement wherever it is required. The expectation bar is kept elevated vis-à-vis the achievement, attendance and social expectations of the students inducing a positive attitude in such features. Praising the achievements of each student is done for auxiliary motivation in other children too. This increase the students’ own expectations of themselves and encourages healthy competition among peers. The students own efforts along with the teachers’ assistance can help to accomplish the set goals. The MARR data can be used to direct the student to the right profession through in school career counseling.

Students are greatly benefited by the effective monitoring, assessment, recording and reporting throughout their learning years which mould them into successful individuals. It has been proven by various researches that MARR guarantees a healthy and knowledge rich environment cultivating the young minds, preparing them for the more technical and professional targets.
REFERENCES

Assessing, Monitoring and Reporting [11 September 2007] Department of Education, Tasmania, School Education Division [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://wwwfp.education.tas.gov.au/English/assessment.htm>
Formative assessment/assessment for learning National Literacy Trust [2007] [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/Database/assessment.html>
Effective assessment principles and practice [2007] Birmingham advisory and support service [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.bgfl.org/services.bgfl.org/services/assess/files/Effective%20Assessment.pdf>
Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy [n.d.] Eastchurch Church of England Primary School [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.eastchurch.kent.sch.uk/pages/policies/assessmentrandr.htm>
Assessment Policy [n.d] [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.oldhall.warrington.sch.uk/assessment1.htm>
Assessment and monitoring arrangements [October 2003] Course materials: Unit 3 section 3, Oxford Brookes University [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.brookes.ac.uk/…/rescon/cpdgifted/docs/unit3/3-3-assessmentandmonitoringarrangements2003.pdf>
Healthy Schools: Guidance for High School coordinators [n.d.] [accessed 25 January 2008] <www.wiredforhealth.gov.uk/PDF/GuidanceforHScoordinators.doc>
Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy [29 November 2006] Aldercar Community Language College [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.aldercar.derbyshire.sch.uk/…/Assessing%20Recording%20and%20Reporting%20Achievement%20Policy.pdf>
How good is our school? – Self-evaluation using quality indicators [2002] Edition incorporating the six-point scale [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.hmie.gov.uk/documents/publication/hgios-06.html>
Good assessment in secondary schools [March 2003] Office for standards in education [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/assets/3205.pdf>
Meeting Special Educational Needs in Bridgend ‘Secondary Education’ [2004] Education Leisure and community services- Bridgend County Borough Council: SEN series A Learning Society [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.bgfl.bridgend.gov.uk/SEN/SEN%20Policy%20Documents/SEN%20Series%2006.doc>
Elaine Furniss, Assessing Learning Achievement [n.d.] UNICEF New York [accessed 25 January 2008] <www.unicef.org/lifeskills/files/AssessingLearningAchievement.doc>
What Questions Should We Ask When Discussing Assessment? [n.d.] GAIN- Geographical association [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://www.geography.org.uk/download/AUgainassessment.pdf>
Alan Wallis, SCHOOL REVIEW [2005] Guidance notes for the use of volunteers and paid coaches in PE and school sport [accessed 25 January 2008] <http://npess.northumberland.gov.uk/Risk%20Assessment/Guidance%20Notes%20for%20PE%20and1B.doc>
First Placement Guidance for Student Co-Ordinators [February 2006-7] University of Leeds [accessed 25 January 2008] <www.education.leeds.ac.uk/current_students/files/46.doc>

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