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Focus on assignments

KNOWLEDGE is not just confined to what is learnt in the classroom as students these days have information at their fingertips with the advent of technology, says South Australian Certificate of Education board chief executive Dr Paul Kilvert

“Increasingly, there is a need for students to be able to make sense of the mass of information available to them,” says Dr Kilvert.

Kilvert: Students have to learn how to evaluate information

“Students have to learn how to evaluate the information. It is important that they know what to accept and what to reject,” he adds.

To put it succinctly, it is imperative that students are capable of analysing and evaluating information as these are the very skills that prepare them well for their studies in university.

Dr Kilvert stresses that students need to develop those skills while they are still in school.

“Worldwide, employers are looking for people who can solve problems. They need to be able to take in the information, analyse it and find a solution to the problem,” says Dr Kilvert.

He points out that the nature of the assessment tasks in the South Austalian Matriculation (SAM) programme with a lot of emphasis on projects and hands-on assigments, require students to demonstrate their own interpretation and evaluation of the information they receive.

“It is not enough if students just download information from the web and reproduce them in their essays and presentations. It is better if students can demonstrate their knowledge in other ways,” says Dr Kilvert.

Since the revamp of its format last year, the new SAM model is shifting its weightage to 70% college-based assessment and 30% on final examinations. Previously, 50% of the assessment was based on coursework and the other 50% on external examinations.

“The extra emphasis given to continuous assessment in the new SAM model reinforces the knowledge and skills students learn over a period of time,” says Dr Kilvert.



By KANG SOON CHEN educate@thestar.com


Source: The STAR Home Education Sunday March 4, 2012
Tags: assessment, education
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