Development of the Teacher Assessment Resources for Monitoring and Improving Instruction (TARMII) system: technical report
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The development of the Teacher Assessment Resources for Monitoring and Improving Instruction (TARMII) system is developmentally linked to the Assessment Resource Banks (ARBs). The TARMII system while computer-based, ARBs were developed as manual assessment resources. Both the ARBs and TARMII are aligned to the National Curriculum Statement for English FAL and Mathematics are aimed at supporting teachers to enhance the teaching and learning process. The TARMII system comprises a database of assessment items and computer software that runs the database. It is a tool designed to support teacher carry out classroom assessment to determine what learners know and can do, and to utilise the learner performance information to design corrective measures of interventions. Consultations with stakeholders took place before the development of the assessment items database and the computer software. It comprised conducting workshops or meetings with DBE national and provincial officials, the districts and schools. The main aim of these consultations was to pave the road for the other processes of TARMII development. The development of English FAL and Mathematics assessment items for Grades 4, 5 and 6 was done with the assistance of local teachers of the respective learning areas or subjects. The items iv were piloted in selected schools across the country to obtain the necessary item information. They were then uploaded into a prototype of the system. The development of the system prototype marked an important stage in the development of the ICT component of TARMII. From the prototype various modules were added till a full system was developed. To ensure its proper functionality and relevance to the teachers' expectations, the TARMII system was constantly taken out to schools to obtain feedback from teachers. This iterative process of development meant that the system developers were regularly consulted. Through these consultations developers were informed about the challenges that were experienced with the system and were requested to make modifications to the system. This iterative process of development was exemplified with the conduct of the field trials with a fully functional TARMII system. Of particular importance is that even with the current repackaging of the National Curriculum Statement into the Curriculum Assessment Policy Statement, the TARMII system will remain relevant. This system should also assist teachers in meeting some of the goals stipulated in the Ministry of Basic Educations Action Plan to 2014.