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Assessment
Digital Technologies

Advice on how to assess DT

The word assessment often conjures up the word 'test' as a synonym, but there are many different ways to assess learning. One of the tools that we provide in the example lessons is an example assessment rubric. A rubric is a set of graded statements that describe the depth of understanding that a learner demonstrates in any given task. It is important to remember that each assessment is a snapshot of the ongoing process of learning. When making judgements about learner levels of understanding, you should try to triangulate your data using assessment tasks, portfolios of evidence and observations of learners in action.

So what might an assessment rubric look like for the algorithm example given above? Firstly, we need to decide what we want to assess and then choose the best method to make the assessment. Below is an annotated example showing both the assessment descriptions and the thinking behind them. The rubric here is based on the SOLO Taxonomy, which is a great framework to measure the depth of learner understanding against a set of learning outcomes. There are many different rubric types you can choose, you will find different examples on this site – check out this one which uses 'Emerging, Developing, Proficient and Extending' as its framework. 

Whichever rubric scoring system you decide to use, ensure it focuses on learner progress and provides an opportunity for feedback to learners that goes beyond a simple numeric score. There is much research on effective feedback on a summative task and Dylan William suggests that comment-only feedback is the most effective, as learners otherwise only focus on a numeric score and do not heed the advice in the feedback.

While this section focuses on summative feedback, it is almost impossible to unravel summative feedback from formative assessment, something we will look at in the next section.

Quantity of knowledgeQuality of understanding
CriteriaPre-structuralUni-structuralMulti-structuralRelationalExtended abstract
AlgorithmNo algorithm shownAlgorithm only shows a limited number of instructions which are not linked

Algorithm has enough instructions to complete the task but not linked or not linked in the correct sequence

Algorithm has instructions linked in the correct sequence to achieve the task

Algorithm brings in prior learning and/or independent learning beyond the task and possibly includes variables, if statements or loops

FlowchartNo flowchart producedFlowchart only shows a limited number of instructions which are not linked

Flowchart has enough instructions to complete the task but not linked or not linked in the correct sequence

Flowchart has instructions linked in the correct sequence to achieve the taskFlowchart brings in prior learning and/or independent learning beyond the task and possibly includes variables, if statements or loops
VocabularyWhen describing algorithm, no specific vocabulary is usedThe terms algorithm or flowchart may be used as a general descriptionThe terms algorithm and flowchart are used as general descriptionsThe terms algorithm and flowchart are used confidently with specific reference to learner’s workSpecific vocabulary like decision, branching, variable is used, going beyond the set language.
Optional score01234