The broader the focus of a particular assessment, the harder it gets to be sure about explicit claims we might want to make. An assessment task that is focussed on a specific area of interest provides more in-depth evidence to justify decisions about
- what the student can do now
- what their next learning needs might be.
ARB tasks are designed to probe what students are thinking as they complete the task. For example, a PAT test may indicate that a student or class is performing poorly with fractions. Working with ARB tasks on fractions during classroom time is likely to help pinpoint where students are having difficulties and what strategies they are using. Use the resource’s teacher notes (e.g., Working with students) to assist with analysing students' responses. Suggested Next steps can assist with making subsequent teaching and learning decisions. The tasks may also be used as one piece of evidence of a student having reached an element of a progression step. One advantage of the ARBs is that teachers have control over how they use the tasks.
- provide additional evidence that an aspect of a progression step has been reached
- confirm that an aspect of a progression step has not yet been understood/mastered
- provide further information for focussing next teaching.
- An ARB task should never be used by itself to decide whether a student has met a particular step on a progression. It provides one piece of evidence that the student is at the step.
- ARB tasks provide in depth information about an aspect of a progression step. They do not provide evidence of meeting all of the requirements of a particular step.
- ARB tasks rely on teachers analysing students' work. Moderation across classes, or between schools, ensures consistency of their judgements.
- Many ARB tasks have been assigned a difficulty band for each question. This provides an indication of how difficult the trial students found the task. It is not, however, relevant to the step on the progression itself.