Using the DIGA Assessment Tool

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Using the Describe, Interpret, Generalise, Apply (DIGA) Assessment Tool

Assessment FOR, OF, and AS logo

Bayswater South Primary School

This tool was trialled at Bayswater South Primary School by Mark Willing and Andrea Dell'Orso with Years 3 and 4 at the Life Education Van.

We used this assessment tool:

  • enable students to reflect on what they learnt and enjoyed about the Life Education Van.

We used the tool in the following way:

The unit was based on a Life Education program incorporating awareness of medications and drug education. The tool was used at the end of the unit. Students were asked to think about what they had learned and the way they learned. We discussed the questions with the whole class. Students then wrote their answers in groups.

As teachers we used the tool to:

  • evaluate the unit
  • gauge effectiveness of the concepts covered
  • evaluate student learning.

We gathered some very useful information which showed how much the children learnt from the Life Education Van.

We could improve the usefulness of this tool by:

  • discussing areas of DIGA with children more thoroughly and posing more specific questions.
  • could also use different sections of this tool at different times.

You could use this tool to:

  • apply to most units of work, especially if more specific questions were posed. For example, after maths sessions, when the questions could be used during share time.

Sydenham- Hillside Primary School

This tool was trialled at Sydenham-Hillside Primary School by Christine Harris with Year 4 Behaviours program.

I used this assessment tool:

  • to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of a behaviour modification program. In this program I used an unusual and new approach to get the students to explore the real issues in their group, the effect of these issues and the ways they could work around and through these issues.

I used the tool in the following way:

A small group of 15 girls reviewed the session in our Year 4 Behaviour Program. I asked them how they felt about the talk and discussion. This tool provided the questions that enabled an in-depth exploration of what students had taken from a fairly emotional session. The questions prompted students to really consider their emotions and the knowledge they had taken from the session. I believe this was an effective tool for students to articulate the emotional language that students often have trouble articulating.

I could improve the usefulness of this tool by:

  • providing more opportunities for the students and myself to practice using this tool. It could also be put onto a grid or a table to enable older students to do it themselves.

You could use this tool:

  • for theme-related work or for exploration of a text. I believe this would be especially useful with male students, who often have trouble articulating their feelings and thoughts.

Western Heights College

This tool was trialled at Western Heights College by Ross Murray with Year 8 and 10 Science.

I used this assessment tool:

  • for student reflection and for my own feedback.

I used the tool in the following way:

I used it in both of my Science classes after completing a starter activity for a new unit of work. One class completed the DIGA with very little instruction. The other class had more instruction in how to use the tool and as a result they gave much better responses. The tool was very useful as an evaluation of the process we had undertaken in Science and as a way of determining the students' understanding of the topic. A DIGA is a source of rich data.

I could improve the usefulness of this tool by:

  • using the tool regularly and the students becoming more familiar with the concept and with thinking in this way. Discussing as a class how to use the tool before using it individually is also helpful.

You could use this tool:

  • as part of a portfolio.

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