The Platform is a formative assessment tool pitched at Year 9 and 10 students. There are two versions possible for this type of formative assessment work. You may like to begin with Version 1 in terms 1 and 2, and move to Version 2 in terms 3 and 4. Or you may choose to implement Version 1 in Year 9 and Version 2 in Year 10. As always, trust in your teacher intuition and knowledge of your cohort to adapt the materials and timing accordingly.
The Platform aims to create a temptation bundle where students become a member of a small group (2-4 students) to share videos that have interested them. They must write a minimum of 30 characters about each video and other members of the group must respond to at least one post per learning cycle. Unlike regular tasks though, the students are rewarded for the frequency of writing they do, rather than the quality. We want them to experiment with language here, to focus on communicating with others for a real purpose and to practice regularly vocabulary, grammar and script recognition.
The second version of this task is a whole class task where students share comments in a central book and online space about the videoclips or images that the teacher has identified for discussion. These comments are numbered, and a raffle is held each learning cycle to share small rewards eg comment 21 wins a Japanese lolly or gets to sit in the tatami space or choose who to sit next to for that week.
This task focuses on writing and reading skills whilst improving the learning culture and growth mindset of the class cohort.
Both of these formative assessment experiences are based on findings that active practice is more effective than passive learning. Students can spend years in our classrooms learning about Japanese but if they never put that learning into active practice, they haven’t been learning – they have merely experienced being taught. In this same line of thought, a university professor found that by marking his students on the quantity of work they produced as opposed to marking them on just a few select pieces of quality work resulted in one group making far greater learning gains than the other. Can you guess which group? The students in the quantity group outperformed the quality group because they had more opportunities to practice and were more likely to experiment and take risks in their work. There was less pressure associated with a single submission and less anxiety about producing perfection.
The Platform aims to provide a similar opportunity for students to practice regularly, experiment with language and to focus on communicating rather than striving for unnecessary levels of perfection.
What is Included in the Assessment Pack?
Each pack includes:
- Version 1 Student task booklet
- Version 1 Student comment slip template
- Teacher marking guidelines for Version 1 and 2
- Version 2 Student task booklet
- Suggested outcomes
- Version 2 peer feedback and self-reflection templates
The Platform formative assessment tool is available for purchase for $50. It can be modified and reused each year to suit your cohort. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.