An evaluation study of the implementation of common tasks for assessment in English and maths
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The Department of Education introduced and piloted Common Tasks for Assessment (CTA) in order to assess the level of performance of learners at the end of compulsory education phase - General Education and Training (GET). All learners are assessed via the same tasks and criteria and then report performance on a common scale. The Unit for Assessment Technology and Educational Evaluation at the HSRC designed questionnaires and collected data from the school principals, Maths and English educators to determine, inter alia, the educators' reception of CTA, the validity of CTA scores, and the timing for implementing CTA
process. Although the process was well received data indicates that the implementation of CTA was rather ad hoc and rushed (unsystematised). At present a learner's final mark comprises of both a CTA and CASS contribution, 25% and 75% respectively. This distribution appears to be unbalanced, as the data indicates that some learners avoid taking CTA Section B exams (under controlled conditions) in view of relying on their CASS mark only to pass to the next grade. Finally, there isn't clarity on what the total CTA mark is. While some educators clearly expressed their marks in percentages, others have recorded the marks as a proportion of whatever scale in which the administration took place (e.g., 250 out of 400). From the synthesis of the evaluative information, this paper draws practical operational conclusions that can advice the DoE on better planning, development, implementation and
management of the CTA process.