Assessment and curriculum are interconnected. Provincial exams and classroom assessments are being redesigned to align with new curriculum content.
Equally importantly, our new provincial graduation exams will align not only with new curriculum, but with research on best practice, which highlights student centered and personalized ways of learning.
Exams will continue to be rigorous and based on learning standards evaluating student achievement, core competencies, essential learning and literacy and math skills. However, more flexibility will be introduced into the assessment process wherever possible.
Changes to assessment
Grades 10 – 12
Students will complete two provincial exams focused on literacy and math skills, instead of five provincial exams.
Provincial exams for Science 10, Social Studies 11, Language Arts 10 and Math 10 will no longer be used. Classroom assessments will be used instead.
Currently, this school year and next, there are no changes to the Language Arts 12 provincial exams and equivalents. Exams will run as scheduled, aligned with the current curriculum – not the new curriculum.
A new provincial math skills (numeracy) exam will be introduced in the 2017/18 school year. A new provincial literacy exam will be introduced in the 2018/2019 school year.
The emphasis in these new exams will be on demonstration and application of learning through different means. There will be a greater focus on classroom assessment that is flexible and personalized, and give educators greater flexibility to decide how and when students are assessed.
Much has been learnt about assessment in recent years, through research and consultation. B.C.’s education system will reflect this greater understanding of the potential of assessment, and fundamentally rethink the relationships between curriculum, assessment practices and learning.
Consultations with parents, teachers and students will continue, allowing time for curriculum to be used, and assessments to be refined.
New Provincial Assessment – Grade 4 and Grade 7
Since the spring of 2015, a working group of teachers, administrators and measurement experts have been examining potential changes to B.C.’s elementary assessment program (currently the FSAs).
Teams from the BC Teachers’ Federation, the Federation of Independent Schools Association, and the First Nations Education Steering Committee have been working since December 2015 to develop new assessment items for field review and field testing, based on directions from the working group. These items are now available for field-testing. Learn more about the new Foundation Skills Assessment.
Principles of Quality Assessment
The following principles provide a foundation for the development of classroom assessment, evaluation and communication of student learning. These principles are intended to provide teachers with guidance for classroom assessment that aligns with the redesigned curricula.
is fair, transparent, meaningful and responsive to all learners
focuses on all three components of the curriculum model – knowing, doing, understanding
provides ongoing descriptive feedback to students
is ongoing, timely, specific, and embedded in day to day instruction
provides varied and multiple opportunities for learners to demonstrate their learning
involves student in their learning
promotes development of student self-assessment and goal setting for next steps in learning
allows for a collection of student work to be gathered over time to provide a full profile of the learner and learning
communicates clearly to the learner and parents where the student is, what they are working towards and the ways that learning can be supported
Throughout the learning process, teachers and students intentionally gather evidence to inform teaching and learning. The teacher creates rich tasks, engages with the students in setting criteria, establishes exemplars, and leverages the power of questioning to allow for ongoing, timely, descriptive feedback to the student. This process assists students in moving forward toward their learning targets and goals. Students are encouraged to reflect and self-assess to build important meta-cognitive skills. Personalization lends itself to assessment as learning, where students participate in the setting of criteria and the design of inquiries, and self- and peer-assessment.
Teachers document student learning over time using collections of student work and demonstrations to create a profile of his or her strengths, areas of growth, and areas for further development. Students, teachers, and parents, use criteria and rubrics to determine the standards met and the level of performance attained. Through multiple means and varied strategies, the students learning is made visible, and their successes celebrated. In this process, new learning goals and targets are established and ways to support the students learning described.