Assessment guidance for returning to the classroom

As students return to the classroom, teachers are encouraged to undertake assessment to inform their teaching and learning program. Teachers may need to revisit or amend existing assessment schedules and activities. 

Teachers should work with students to establish their experiences of remote and flexible learning, carefully pacing the use and mode of formative assessment and acknowledging that many teachers will already have plans in place.

Find out about expectations about Semester 1 F-10 student reporting

About assessments

Assessment is an ongoing process of:

  • gathering, analysing and interpreting evidence of student achievement and progress
  • reflecting on findings.

Effective teachers use student assessment data to evaluate the impact of their teaching on student learning. They then adapt their practices to meet the needs of all students.

Implementing formative assessments

As students settle back into their school routines, there are strategies and tools available to understand students’ experiences at home. Wherever possible, assessment should be engaging, purposeful and aligned to the teaching and learning program.

Examples of effective assessment strategies include:

  • strategic questioning – used with individuals, small groups or the whole class. Students answer well-thought-out, higher-order questions such as ‘why’ and ‘how’.
  • entry and exit slips – students respond to a question or prompt at the beginning and/or conclusion of learning.
  • think-pair-share – the teacher asks a question, and students write down their answers. Students then form pairs to discuss their responses.
  • mini whiteboards – students use a small whiteboard or laminated sheet to give an answer or show their working out or ideas.
  • quizzes and polls – there are many ways to run quizzes or polls, using online or class-based interactive activities. Students can also develop a quiz on a learning task for their peers.
  • photo and videos – taking photos or videos of students practicing a skill or displaying understanding of a topic.
  • self and peer assessments – students evaluate their own work and/or a peer’s work against success criteria and/or an assessment rubric. Students write two stars and a wish: two things they or their peer have achieved well and one area to improve or work on next.
  • round robin charts – each group of 4 – 5 students begin with a chart and some markers. The group records an answer to an open-ended question. Students have a set time to finish the chart then pass on to the next group. Once every group has worked on every chart, they discuss the responses.

Monitoring and recording

Teachers should remember to record all data and evidence collected in the assessment process, and any feedback provided. Using this evidence with current observations and judgements, teachers can record where each student’s learning is placed and set directions for future learning. This also allows for review and adjustments to curriculum plans.

Assessment requirements

Schools must ensure the ongoing assessment of each student’s performance, with assessment embedded in the school’s curriculum program. 

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority defines the requirements for the assessment of student performance. For more information, visit Guidelines to the Minimum Standards and Requirements for School Registration.

If results are obtained from standardised assessments, they must be supported with other evidence of a student’s learning. For example:

  • observation
  • work samples
  • teacher-developed tasks.

Resources and tools to support assessment

  • Formative Assessment – offers advice to teachers about developing formative assessment rubrics and putting formative assessments into practice in the classroom.
  • Insight Assessment Platform – online assessment tools aligned to the Victorian Curriculum, with several assessments that specifically cater for Foundation to Year 2. The platform supports high quality assessment practices and provides teachers with information to better target the student’s individual learning needs.
  • Education State Sample Assessment Programs – assessment tasks to support teachers assess critical and creative thinking.
  • Understand Assessment Design – advice on designing assessment that reveals student progress with learning.
  • Professional Practice Note No.6 - Formative Assessment – a short guide for teachers on effective formative assessment in the classroom.

Extra support

Schools are encouraged to link to their Regional School Improvement Teams through the Senior Education Improvement Leader (SEIL) for extra support with assessments.

Online assessment instruments can be useful as part of a broader assessment plan and where teachers are well supported to interpret the results. If schools do not have access to online assessment instruments in which they are interested, contact your SEIL to discuss available options.

More information

You can find more information about Semester 1 F-10 student reporting expectations on the teaching resources pages.