Hello everyone and isn't the weather lovely today (assuming you're reading this on either a) Friday, May 7th, or b) a lovely day)! Before I begin with this week's post, I just was want to mention that I was contacted by a lovely reader called Amelia, who, after reading my post about creating digital escape rooms, suggested an improvement to my QR Code generator of choice.
Having tried out her suggestion, I can honestly say that it is now my new favourite place to generate free custom QR codes. There are a lot more free tools to choose from - I had a play around with the frames but ended up going without - and you can change the colour of the QR code (the preview will even warn you if the contrast will be an issue when applied). For free! So if that sort of this is interesting to you (and if you've read or tried any of my digital escape rooms, then it should be!), have a look at www.websiteplanet.com.
Back to this week...
Today's post is a continuation of my previous entry so, while you can probably get along just fine with only reading this one, it might be better contextually to give part one a read first.
Before I get into the remaining five types of bias and my rationale for not using teacher judgment alone as an assessment guide, there has been an update in the word of assessment guidance!
Cath Jadhav, the Director of Standards and Comparability at Ofqual, who previously worked for the AQA and AEB exam boards, has said that, following submission of grades, "exam boards will review all grades as part of their quality assurance." [1 - emphasis added]. Correct me if I'm wrong but is this not simply moderation? A lot of people are very upset about this. The chief executive of the TEAL multi-academy trust called it a "waste of time"  and the chief executive of Advantage Schools said there was no point in submitting teacher-assessed grades beyond allowing Ofqual to look like they were "doing something."  Further arguments against this moderation are that it flies in the face of Gavin Williams promising to "trust teachers" . But does it?
No-one is saying that Williams no longer trusts teachers, indeed, if that were the case, then exams would surely be reinstated. Instead, I think this is a case of trying to keep everybody happy. And let's not forget, the number one reason for assessment in schools is to hold schools accountable for progress . Is it truly unreasonable to ask for some evidence to back up any claims of achievement that schools submit? Without some degree of moderation, there is no scope to:
- ensure that measures are put in place to address any nationwide gaps caused by the pandemic
- curtail any grade inflation (it'll happen - schools are now a commercial enterprise and looking good is necessary to attract 'clients')
- prove how well the children have done
- Girls are better at English than boys.
- Boys are better at maths than girls.
- Biology is more of a female subject.
- Girls are more empathetic.
- Boys are not so good at talking and discussion.
- Girls chat too much.
- Child X's parents were no good at maths, so it's no wonder child x is struggling.
- They never do their homework.
- Mind you, have you seen their parents? It's not surprising that...
The Halo Effect
The Horns Effect
The Contrast Effect
I wasn't sure if it was right or not, and if you didn't argue for it, then I knew it would be wrong. But if you really argued for it, then I knew it would be right.
I think that's the goal. Knowing that the level of education, and therefore the level of ongoing support and challenge, that we give a child is accurate enough to withstand arguments to the contrary. That's what we don't have at the moment.
Anyway, I've written about three different endings to this post and I have to get it published before the end of the week so I had better stop here. Thanks for reading, if you have. Thanks for reading last week's part one, if you did. And thanks for recommending my blog to people, if you do! I've been writing for around almost two years now and I am always humbled when I see that people are taking time out of their busy day to read my musings.
A massive shout-out to everyone reading in Hong Kong, the USA and Indonesia - I had no idea I was being read by people who are so far away from me! And to everyone who reads either regularly or semi-regularly, if you have anything you would like me to look into, or explain, or review, anything at all to do with the world of education, please get in touch. I would love to hear from you.
One more thing...
My new website is live! It's still a little rough around the edges and my team and I are refining things as we go but it is live for all the world to see. Check it out for yourself at www.igniteeducation.co.uk. My free resources will be migrating over there soon (for the time being, they are still over at Carl's Learning Place); you can book me for some private teaching, either individually or as part of a small group (live or via the web) and my books will make there way there as well very soon. Exciting times!
Thanks again and I wish you many 'cautious hugs'* from next week!
*In the UK, from May 17th the government have approved larger social gatherings and condoned 'cautious hugging' , I'm not just being weird.
References used in this post:
 &  https://schoolsweek.co.uk/gcse-and-a-levels-ofqual-reveals-quality-assurance-evidence-requirements/
 Carl Metzgar. "Confirmation Bias: A Ubiquitous Phenomenon in Many Guises." Professional Safety 58.9 (2013): 44. Web.
Julie A. Nelson (2014) The power of stereotyping and confirmation bias to overwhelm accurate assessment: the case of economics, gender, and risk aversion, Journal of Economic Methodology, 21:3, 211-231, DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2014.939691To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1350178X.2014.939691Published online: 06 Aug 2014.Submit your article to this journal Article views: 2581View related articles View Crossmark data citing articles: 22 View citing articles