Looking into the Future

During the Verification Panel Day Teachers across Queensland met to examine Queensland Year 12s’ folios of work to assess their relative evaluations for comparative accuracy across the state. The training of Panel Members is an issue that the QCAA has addressed, for 2020. Accuracy of assessment is a vital part of the school education program, although it is in its final year. The new ATAR system for Year 12 2020, will have assessment that is centrally ‘verified’ by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA), located in Brisbane. Local District Panels will not exist in 2020, and assessor verifiers, called ‘Confirmers’ will work from Brisbane. Their role is defined by QCAA: “Confirmation is the quality assurance process that examines the accuracy and consistency of Teachers’ judgments about students’ responses to summative internal assessment instruments. QCAA assessors (confirmation) play a key role in ensuring fair and reliable results for students.” Centralising the checking of students’ grades is designed to strengthen the accuracy of student evaluation of their assessments. In other words, a fairer, clearer system. Our School has found that communication with QCAA personnel has been effective, as Teachers learn the best ways to work in the new system, such as the new centralised software. This is a big step forward for Queensland school education. At our Verification, ‘Student Free’ Day held on Monday, our staff was engaged in looking into the future of students’ education, with Dr Jamie Dorrington. We looked at how new technology is adding speed and complexity for learning. The task for Teachers and schools is the management of the new media where people must communicate and research online, not with Encyclopaedia Britannica (or the like) volumes. Instead of turning volumes, young people are sent information electronically that is known to be of interest to them. If they haven’t received what they want, they easily locate how to do, whatever it is, in a video clip (such as in Youtube). They learn much more, much more quickly, and they know much more (your children have probably told you that many times), but it is different knowledge. The pace of change is astronomic, and schools must help students with the initial building blocks of communications, using the codes in literacy and in numeracy, that we learnt at school; but greater complexity means more complex communications and research methods; choices of media to be utilised; and greater creative opportunities for combining ideas and content from the complex research. It is a brave new world. Of course my future will include retirement plans as I conclude at CCPS after seven years. The future is to be lived and will bring many new things that are worth waiting for…these are exciting learning times ahead for all. Dr Dirk Wellham – Principal

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