Purpose of Assessment

Learner Competencies

What students are expected to know, understand, or be able to do at the end of a learning experience is called a learner outcome. And the ultimate Gearsoutcome is mastery of learner competencies.

A learner with these competencies is like a master chef who can cook with information.

But getting there requires cycles of instruction, coaching, practice, and assessment of a large number of skills. Cooking with information requires reading, writing and math skills, technology skill, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and a host of others.

And like mastery of any skill, whether motor mechanics, golfing or brain surgery, the journey from beginner to master is a long one.

Academic Learner Outcomes

Alberta Education Programs of Study outline learner outcomes by grade level and subject area.

Teachers begin with learner outcomes described in the program of study, review learner profiles for their class to assess needs, and design practical hands-on experiences that give students the knowledge and skill practice they need to reach the learner outcome.

Because students have varying learning preferences and because learning happens best when students want to learn, teachers may provide a range of experiences for students to choose from. If we go back to the cooking with information analogy, students get to choose something they would like to make, to eat and to share with family and friends.

Teachers assess progress throughout the learning, adapting instruction where needed and providing continual feedback to the student. Samples of student work are kept in a portfolio. Along the way, students may also be tested. It could be as simple as one question during a lesson, or a more comprehensive test.

But always, whether it is a formal test or ongoing observation, feedback and evaluation of student work, the intent is to inform the next steps needed on the learning journey for both student and teacher.

The academic achievement reporting on your child’s report card is designed to capture how close your child is to demonstrating full proficiency in the learner outcomes for their grade level and to facilitate a conversation of the next steps on the journey.

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