Smata: your ‘assessment for learning’ tool
If there is one question that all teachers ask, regardless of pedagogical approach, it’s this: ‘What do I do next?’
Knowing what to do next requires recognising what is happening, making inferences about quality, and responding to them. This is easy when students are all doing the same thing at the same time, in a similar way, but when there is learning variety answering it becomes much more difficult.
This is an assessment for learning process we’re talking about here. So what does the New Zealand Curriculum say about assessment? First, that it’s an ‘ongoing process’ that ‘involves the timely gathering, analysis, interpretation, and use of information’. This is not a process that happens a set times; instead, ‘Much of this evidence is “of the moment”‘, and as a consequence the analysis and interpretation of it ‘often take place in the mind of the teacher’ and leads to insights that ‘shape their actions’.
Smata is a tool for teachers that enables them to position assessment as a process that aligns with the intention of the New Zealand Curriculum. The ‘Add an observation’ function allows teachers to quickly and easily gather evidence as it occurs ‘of the moment’. The instant graphing of this evidence, and the ability to review it, supports teachers as they analyse and interpret it. As a result, their insights become more closely aligned and responsive to the potential for growth in their learners.
Answering the question, What do I do next? becomes easier with Smata.