Guidance on the principles of language accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments : research background
Dahlia Janan, and Wray, David, 1950- (2012) Guidance on the principles of language accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments : research background. Coventry: Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation..
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This review accompanies the document, which describes the principles which should guide the development of clear assessment questions. The purpose of the review is to present and discuss in detail the research underpinning these principles. It begins from the standpoint that National Curriculum assessments, indeed any assessments, should be:
- appropriate to the age of the pupils
- an effective measure of their abilities, skills and concept development
- fair to all irrespective of gender, language, religion, ethnic or social origin or disability. (Ofqual, 2011)
The Regulatory Framework for National Assessments: National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage (Ofqual, 2011) sets out a number of common criteria which apply to all aspects of the development and implementation of National Assessments. One of these criteria refers to the need for assessment procedures to minimise bias: “The assessment should minimise bias, differentiating only on the basis of each learner’s ability to meet National Curriculum requirements” (Section 5.39, page 16). The Framework goes on to argue that: “Minimising bias is about ensuring that an assessment does not produce unreasonably adverse outcomes for particular groups of learners” (Annex 1, page 29). This criterion reinforces the guiding principle that any form of assessment should provide information about the knowledge and understanding of relevant content material. That is to say that the means through which this knowledge and understanding is examined, the design of the assessment and the language used should as far as possible be transparent, and should not influence adversely the performance of those being assessed.
There is clearly a large number of ways in which any given assessment task can be presented and in which questions can be asked. Some of these ways will make the task more accessible – that is, easier to complete successfully – and some will get in the way of successful completion. Section 26 of the Fair Access by Design (Ofqual, 2010) document lists a number of guiding principles for improving the accessibility of assessment questions, although the research basis for these principles is not made completely clear in that document. The aim of the current review is to examine the research background more closely in order to provide a more substantial basis for a renewed set of principles to underpin the concept of language accessibility.
In the review, each section will be prefaced by a statement of the principles outlined in Guidance on the Principles of Language Accessibility in National Curriculum Assessments and then the research evidence underpinning these principles will be reviewed.
|Subjects:||L Education > LC Special aspects of education|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute of Education ( -2013)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||High schools -- Great Britain -- Examinations, Elementary schools -- Great Britain -- Examinations, Examinations -- Questions, Examinations -- Language|
|Publisher:||Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Official Date:||September 2012|
|Number of Pages:||62|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
Abedi, J., Kao, J., Leon, S., Mastergeorge, A., Sullivan, L., Herman, J. and Pope, R. (2010) Accessibility of Segmented Reading Comprehension Passages for Students with Disabilities. Applied Measurement in Education, 23: 2, 168–186.
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