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A Look at the Standards For PME 826 Module 4 By: Neil Westcott

2.8 Communicate the Results Clearly and Accurately to Relevant Others

2.8.1 Identify appropriate parties who may legitimately receive test results.

There are many different parties who have an interest in gaining access to results of
large-scale assessments commissioned and carried out by various provincial, state and
national governments. As the introduction in the guidelines alludes to, the factors that
affect a countries ability to conduct assessments differ greatly, so control needs to be
exerted as much as possible to make sure the content of the tests themselves, and the
results, are safeguarded.

2.8.2 With the informed consent of the test takers, or their legal
representatives, produce written or oral reports for relevant interested

Large scale assessments can have a positive impact on parental involvement in

academics. (Abu-Alhija, 2007) It is important that results be communicated accurately
and clearly so that stakeholders understand what the data means and how it was

2.8.3 Ensure that the technical and linguistic levels of any reports are
appropriate for the level of understanding of the recipients.

It is crucial that all stakeholders are provided with access to information in a way that
they are able to understand and use.

Since various stakeholders, including parents, teachers and policymakers, are involved in education
reform, it is worth giving consideration to the interests and technical knowledge of each stakeholder group
and producing different reports based on the particular needs and interests of each, while supporting
discussions about realistic timelines and options for reforming practice and policy. (Tobin, Lietz, Nugroho,
Vivekanandan, Nyamkhuu, 2015)

2.8.4 Make clear that the test data represent just one source of information
and should always be considered in conjunction with other information.

There are many different types of education data and they all have a purpose. High-
performing schools use all available data in a systematic way. (van Barneveld, 2008)
Suggested types of important data include:

student achievement data in the form of teacher observations, examples of student

work, and formal and informal classroom assessments.

other student data such as homework completion, attendance figures and behavioural

contextual data such as socio-economic or linguistic background

A Look at the Standards For PME 826 Module 4 By: Neil Westcott

2.8.5 Explain how the importance of the test results should be weighted in
relation to other information about the people being assessed.

As stated above, large-scale assessment data should not be used in isolation. Bear in
mind that the local context should determine the extent to which any type of data is
weighted or valued. (van Barneveld, 2008)

2.8.6 Use a form and structure for a report that is appropriate to the context
of the assessment.

Communication builds public confidence in the program and increases community

involvement in education. (Ministry of Education, 2013)

2.8.7 When appropriate, provide decision-makers with information on how

results may be used to inform their decisions.

Test designers need to make sure that assessments are used for their designed
purpose. Decision-makers need to made aware of the dangers of using tests for other
purposes. (Anastasi, 1986)

2.8.8 Explain and support the use of test results used to classify people
into categories (e.g., for diagnostic purposes or for job selection).

While there are many different points that agree and disagree with the use of LSAs,
they continue to play a part in primary, secondary and post-secondary education. (Linn,
2001) Schools should continue to use this LSA data but not be wholly governed by it.
Would a item without it be better or more effective?

2.8.9 Include within written reports a clear summary, and when relevant,
specific recommendations.

The 2013 School Effectiveness framework highlights how important it is for

communication with parents to be relevant, timely and ongoing. Reporting results of
LSAs to parents should include ways that parents follow up on results and access
information to support their children moving forward.

2.8.10 Present oral feedback to test takers in a constructive and supportive


All stakeholders need to remember that the primary reason for assessment is to help
students improve. Feedback should target building strengths instead of identifying
A Look at the Standards For PME 826 Module 4 By: Neil Westcott


Abu-Alhija, F. N.. (2007). Large-Scale Testing: Benefits and Pitfalls. Studies in

Educational Evaluation 33, 50-68.

Anastasi, A.. (1986) Evolving Concepts of Test Validation. Annual Review of

Psychology. 37 (1), 1-16.

van Barneveld, C.. (2008). Using data to improve student achievement. What works?
Research Into Practice, August, 1-4.

Linn, R.. (2001) A century of standardized testing: Controversies and pendulum swings.
Educational Assessment. 7(1), 29-38.

Ministry of Education. (2013). School Effectiveness Framework: A Support for School

Improvement and Student Success. Ontario Ministry of Education. Toronto, ON.

Tobin, M., Lietz, P., Nugroho, D., Vivekanandan, R., and Nyamkhuu, T. (2015). Using
large-scale assessments of students learning to inform educational policy. Australian
Council for Educational Research. Camberwell, AU.