TASK project makes available for lower and upper secondary school teachers a methodology to assess Key Competences and to allow their certification with the model used by the schools.
TASK methodology is based on 4 mastery levels, and proposes real situations and authentic tasks reflecting the corresponding mastery level.
Competences’ descriptors are generated referring to European Référentiels (DIGCOMP: A Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe, Report EUR 26035 EN, for Digital Competence; CEFR – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment for linguistic competences).
TASK assessment procedure is the result of an adaptation to school context (lower and upper secondary school) of the assessment model created in a previous European Grundtvig project (Lifelong Learning Programme) to assess Key Competences in adult education: VINTAGE (Online tool for self eValuatIoN of key competences in adulT AGE – 527349-LLP-1-2012-1-IT-GRUNDTVIG-GMP).
Vintage model has been tested on more than 100 people in 5 European countries, has been validated by Leiden University and is characterized by the fact of being a authentic, self-reflective, proactive and context-anchored assessment methodology.
The authentic task
The performance and the observation of the execution of authentic tasks in real life situations are the basis of the TASK assessment procedure.
Authentic assessments ask students to analyze, synthesize and apply what they have learned in a substantial manner: this is the reason why the authentic evaluation fits so well with competence evaluation is that a competence is knowledge in action.
Authentic assessment includes a set of different tasks: making inquiries, writing, reviewing, debating, analyzing, collaborating, etc.; it verifies if the student is able to product artifacts, answers and action consciously, thoroughly and credibly.
Competences and areas
Since a competence is expressed by the performance of a complex behaviour, in order to observe a competence this is divided into sub-competences or areas.
For example The Key Competence one 1 “Communication in the mother tongue” is articulated in the following areas:
The areas of competences, in the TASK framework, are selected on the basis of the European Référentiels (eg. DIGCOMP: A Framework for Developing and Understanding Digital Competence in Europe, Report EUR 26035 EN, for the digital competence; CEFR – Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment for the linguistic competences, etc.).
Each area of a competence can be performed at different levels of mastery. According to the TASK framework the assessment is based on four mastery levels:
Level D – initial: the student, when guided, can perform simple tasks in known situations;
Level C – basic: the student can perform simple tasks also in unknown situations, showing a basic level of skills and knowledge applying rules and procedures.
Level B – intermediate: the student performs tasks and solves unknown problems, applying acquired knowledge and skills to new contexts.
Level A – advanced: the student performs complex tasks and solve complex problems, showing applying acquired knowledge and skills; express and supports his own opinions, takes decisions.
The quality of the performance
According to the TASK framework, in order to observe and evaluate the quality of the performance it is necessary to collect evidences (pictures, video, artefacts, products, exercises, etc.) of the performed real tasks. Some control questions guide the evaluation of the performance, these control questions are focused on four dimensions: efficacy, critical thinking, problem solving and management of feelings.
The assessment step by step
A competence is expressed through a complex and holistic behaviour. That is why the TASK assessment procedure starts from the general observation of the whole behaviour, corresponding to one of the four mastery levels, and just in a second stage shifts to the analytic observation of the performances in the single areas of sub competences. This analytic observation will allow checking if the mastery level initially assigned is suitable or not.
Step 1 – choice of the competence: the student is asked to choose the competence to be evaluated.
Step 2 – choice of the mastery level: the student is faced with four different situations, each one reflecting a different mastery level of the selected competence to be evaluated. S/he is asked to recognise him/herself in one of these proposed situations.
The mastery level chosen by the student reflects a first appraisal of a “tendency” to be checked through the assessment procedure in the next steps. At this stage the mastery level chosen by the student represents, metaphorically, a faded picture that will acquire clearer and focused outlines during the assessment procedure.
Step 3 – choice of the sub competence to be evaluated: for each sub areas of the selected competence the student is asked to perform an authentic task of a complexity correspondent to the selected mastery level.
Step 4 – authentic task execution: the teacher observes the student’s performance and collects evidences of the performed behaviour (pictures, video, artefacts, products, etc.). This collection will allow, both to the teacher and the student, to observe and re-observe the performance also in a second moment, and to evaluate the quality of the performance itself.
Step 5 – evaluation of the quality of the performance: a set of control questions, related to the efficacy, critical thinking, problem solving, management of feelings, guide the evaluation of the quality of the performance.
TASK project supplies teachers with a methodology for the assessment and certification of Key Competences. The teachers, acting an official and formal role, are decisive in the TASK evaluation procedure implementation.
The students’ role
According to the TASK methodology the student plays an active role. The student chose the mastery level to be faced with; together with the teacher is asked to observe and re-observe his/hers performance; guided by the teacher the student evaluates the quality of the performance. The process can involve just the teacher and the student, but also a little group of students or the whole class in a peer to peer evaluation procedure
The teachers’ role
The teacher applies the TASK procedure to observe, evacuate and certificate the students’ competences. An online tool, actually in progress, will support the teachers during the evaluation procedure, will offer a set of assessment items based on real tasks for each competence and sub area of competence, will provide a selection of indicators and descriptors useful to fill in the certification document, qualitative and quantitative feedbacks, suggestions to improve the quality of the performance of the student, a database (portfolio) to record the evidences collected in order to allow also a diachronic analysis of the performances.
Applying the procedure the teacher is asked to involve and guide the student in the choices necessary to fulfil the assessment procedure, inviting the student to reflect, to examine and comment the behaviours and the performances, analyzing the collected evidences, taking advantage of the control questions in order to reflect together on the quality of the performance.
When the process is completed the teacher can check and verify if the initial choice of the mastery level selected by the student was suitable or not, comment the results of the assessment with the student, highlight over or under estimation, give feedback to improve the quality of the performance.