Nothing is simple in 2021. Least of all education. For the second year in a row, Covid-19 has cancelled exams.
That doesn’t mean that GCSEs and A-Levels aren’t going ahead. They are. But final grades won’t be based on exam performance. After the algorithm debacle that plagued 2020’s GCSEs, the government has opted for a more laborious but less volatile system: teacher-assessed grades.
According to Ofqual, “For summer 2021, exam boards will ask exam centres to generate, for each subject, teacher assessed grades for their students. These grades should be based on a range of evidence completed as part of the course, including evidence produced in the coming months, which demonstrates the student’s performance on the subject content they have been taught.”
In theory, it’s a fair way to reach final grades. Perhaps even fairer than exams themselves. After all, a student’s teacher has a better idea of a student’s true capabilities than an anonymous examiner, and can make allowances for mitigating circumstances.
Problems arise, however, when it comes to evidencing learning.
Teacher-assessed grades must be supported by a hefty load of evidence. There’s a good reason for this: teacher bias is real. Whether consciously or unconsciously, teacher bias could have a big impact on a student’s final grade.
That’s why teachers have to provide evidence for their verdicts.
The problem is that compiling evidence is a big job.
Even under normal circumstances, gathering a portfolio of student coursework, achievements and so on would be a lot of work. Teachers in 2021 have even more on their plate, as they’re coming into it unexpectedly. They have to scrabble back through old records to find that all-important evidence. It piles a lot of pressure onto already stressed teachers.
However, as we’ve mentioned, this style of assessment does have a lot of advantages. It reduces exam stress, it stems from a nuanced understanding of students, and it is arguably more suited to a fast-changing modern world.
Is there a way we could use modern technology to reduce the burden and keep the benefits of teacher-assessed grading?
With Kinteract, there is.
Kinteract’s progress tracking system allows teachers to evidence learning as they go. Data entry is quick and easy, so teachers don’t need to worry about yet another daily task. In fact, when done consistently Kinteract’s reporting software drastically cuts teacher admin.
Kinteract’s progress trackers not only enable teachers to log student progress data. They also show emerging patterns. This can be incredibly useful when determining where students need extra support, or when encouraging burgeoning passions. Even the most dedicated teachers may miss the kind of subtle patterns that our AI is able to spot.
When it comes to evidencing learning and creating reports, all a teacher has to do is bring up Kinteract’s reporting dashboard. If they’ve been logging data consistently, everything they need will be right there, at the click of a single button.
Kinteract’s student portfolios are easily transferable from school to school, subject to subject, teacher to teacher. They therefore give a complete view of a student’s entire academic career.
Modern data technology gives us everything we need to evidence learning in a sophisticated and effective way that’s also super easy for teachers. With Kinteract, you really can have the best of both worlds.
In the post-pandemic world, it will be time to look at the benefits of the ways we worked during Lockdown. Exam-free (or exam-light) assessment has many benefits. And modern technology like Kinteract’s reporting tools can eradicate its drawbacks.
To find out more about what Kinteract can do for your school, book a demo today.