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This topic discusses the types of assessment when teaching stories to young learners: portfolio,
aural-oral assessment and written assessment.
By the end of this session, you will be able to:

identify and recognize suitable materials to be included in different types of portfolios;

compile a checklist to assess a portfolio for story telling with young learners in an ESL

design suitable aural-oral and written assessments/evaluation for selected stories







8.4 Introduction.
When teaching stories to young learners, we need to know at least the following types of
assessment: portfolio, aural-oral assessment and written assessment.


A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits the student's efforts, progress,
and achievements in one or more areas of the curriculum. The collection must include the

Student participation in selecting contents.

Criteria for selection.

Criteria for judging merits.

Evidence of a student's self-reflection.

It should represent a collection of students' best work or best efforts, student-selected samples
of work experiences related to outcomes being assessed, and documents according growth and
development toward mastering identified outcomes.
a) The benefits and shortcomings of using portfolios as assessment.
Portfolio assessment provides a body of student workessentially, a portfoliothat can be
used to appraise student performance over time. Portfolio assessment ranges from
portfolios that demonstrate the students best work to an expanded student record that
holds a full representation of the students work, from math equations to essays on
literature. There has been some confusion in the field as to who the portfolio is being kept
for. For example, in some cases, student portfolios serve as a replacement for the high
school diploma or transcript.
The disadvantage of portfolios is that theyre not as quick and easy to evaluate, plus theyre
hard to rank, as with a grade or score. Because portfolios are qualitative, many employers
find them difficult to use as a determinant of a candidates skills. Often, employers would
rather see a quantitative demonstration of a students best skills and work.

Some schools create portfolios that serve as a representative sample of a students work,
showing the range of performance and experience. Such records usually hold far more
information than employers need. Other schools want to use portfolios as an assessment
tool to provide an alternative to standardized or teacher testing.

Portfolios are scarcely a new concept, but renewed interest, fueled by the portfolio's
perceived promise for both improving assessment and motivating and involving students in
their own learning, has recently increased their visibility and use. The definition of a portfolio
varies some, but there seems to be a general consensus that a portfolio is a purposeful
collection of student work that tells the story of student achievement or growth. (Portfolios
are not folders of all the work a student does.) Within this limited definition there are portfolio
systems that: promote student self-assessment and control of learning; support student-led
parent conferences; select students into special programs; certify student competence;
grant alternative credit; demonstrate to employers certain skills and abilities; build student
self-confidence; and evaluate curriculum and instruction.
Because there is no single correct way to "do" portfolios, and because they appear to be
used for so many things, developing a portfolio system can spell confusion and stress, much
coming from not realizing that portfolios are a means to an end and not an end in
themselves. More specifically, confusion occurs to the extent there is lack of clarity on: (a)
the purpose to be served by the portfolio, and (b) the specific skills to be developed or
assessed by the portfolio.
It is important to keep in mind that there are really only two basic reasons for doing
portfolios--assessment or instruction. Assessment uses relate to keeping track of what
students know and can do. Instructional uses relate to promoting learning--students learn
something from assembling the portfolio.
The perceived benefits for assessment are that the collection of multiple samples of student
work over time enables us to

get a broader, more in-depth look at what students know and can do;


base assessment on more "authentic" work;


have a supplement or alternative to report cards and standardized tests; and


have a better way to communicate student progress to parents.

Large-scale assessment (assessment outside of and across classrooms) tends to focus on

reasons (a) and (b). Teachers tend to like portfolios for reasons (c) and (d). We will look at
three common assessment uses of portfolios and then discuss some assessment issues.
Assessment uses of portfolios, especially large-scale, high-stakes uses (for example, high
school graduation), are not without controversy. Some of these issues are:
(1) What is the extent to which we need to "standardize" the portfolio process, content, and
performance criteria so that results are comparable?;
(2) Is it feasible to accurately and consistently assess student skills through portfolios?
Won't this be costly? (Rand Corporation's 1992 study of the Vermont portfolio system
provides an intriguing analysis of this issue.);
(3) How do we get teacher buy-in? After all, teachers will be responsible for making sure
that portfolios get assembled properly; and
(4) Will the conclusions we draw about students from their portfolios be valid? The work
may not really be the students' best, or may be someone else's entirely. There are, as yet,
no definitive answers to these questions, although many fear that high-stakes uses of
portfolios will destroy their instructional usefulness.

Activity 1
1. List the benefits and shortcomings of using portfolios as assessment
in Malaysian primary education.

b) Types of portfolios and their characteristics or contents.

There are many different types of portfolios, each of which can serve one or more
specific purposes as part of an overall school or classroom assessment program. The
following is a list of the types most often cited in the literature:

Documentation Portfolio: This type is also know as the "working" portfolio.

Specifically, this approach involves a collection of work over time showing growth
and improvement reflecting students' learning of identified outcomes. The
documentation portfolio can include everything from brainstorming activities to drafts
to finished products. The collection becomes meaningful when specific items are

selected out to focus on particular educational experiences or goals. It can include

the bet and weakest of student work.

Process Portfolio: This approach documents all facets or phases of the learning
process. They are particularly useful in documenting students' overall learning
process. It can show how students integrate specific knowledge or skills and
progress towards both basic and advanced mastery. Additionally, the process
portfolio inevitably emphasizes students' reflection upon their learning process,
including the use of reflective journals, think logs, and related forms of metacognitive

Showcase Portfolio: This type of portfolio is best used for summative evaluation of
students' mastery of key curriculum outcomes. It should include students' very best
work, determined through a combination of student and teacher selection. Only
completed work should be included. In addition, this type of portfolio is especially
compatible with audio-visual artifact development,



videotapes, and electronic records of students' completed work. The showcase

portfolio should also include written analysis and reflections by the student upon the
decision-making process(es) used to determine which works are included.
c) Criteria used in assessing portfolio.
According to Paulson, Paulson and Meyer, (1991, p. 63): "Portfolios offer a way of
assessing student learning that is different than traditional methods. Portfolio assessment
provides the teacher and students an opportunity to observe students in a broader context:
taking risks, developing creative solutions, and learning to make judgments about their own
In order for thoughtful evaluation to take place, teachers must have multiple scoring
strategies to evaluate students' progress. Criteria for a finished portfolio might include
several of the following:










comprehension, metacognitive reflection, and productive habits of mind).

Growth and development in relationship to key curriculum expectancies and


Understanding and application of key processes.

Completeness, correctness, and appropriateness of products and processes

presented in the portfolio.

Diversity of entries (e.g., use of multiple formats to demonstrate achievement of

designated performance standards).

It is especially important for teachers and students to work together to prioritize those criteria
that will be used as a basis for assessing and evaluating student progress, both formatively
(i.e., throughout an instructional time period) and summartively (i.e., as part of a culminating
project, activity, or related assessment to determine the extent to which identified curricular
expectancies, indicators, and standards have been achieved).
As the school year progresses, students and teacher can work together to identify especially
significant or important artifacts and processes to be captured in the portfolio. Additionally,
they can work collaboratively to determine grades or scores to be assigned. Rubrics, rules,
and scoring keys can be designed for a variety of portfolio components. In addition, letter
grades might also be assigned, where appropriate. Finally, some for of oral discussion or
investigation should be included as part of the summative evaluation process. This
component should involve the student, teacher, and if possible, a panel of reviewers in a
thoughtful exploration of the portfolio components, students' decision-making and evaluation
processes related to artifact selection, and other relevant issues.

Activity 2
Based on the sample given in Appendix 1, create a set of
criteria for evaluating students portfolio.


Aural-oral assessment

Oral assessment, where the student is required to speak in a foreign language, could be
replaced or augmented by written assessment. Aural assessment, where the student is required

to listen to spoken language and then answer questions, could be done via a lipspeaker, but this
may not be suitable for all students. These modifications to oral or aural language assessment
may actually alter the purpose of the assessment and this may affect the attainment of learning
outcomes. The implications of this should be carefully considered by programme leaders.

a) Different techniques in aural-oral assessment.

Oral assessment is one of the oldest forms of assessing students. It can take a number of
forms, such as an interview, involving questions and answers (ie. a thesis defence), a
mock-up of a real-life scenario (ie. a doctor-patient discussion and diagnosis for medical
students, or a court defence for law students) or a presentation in front of peers.
There are a number of advantages to interspersing oral assessments into your classroom.

It can reflect real world situations that students may have to deal with after
graduation, particularly in fields where discussions with friends is common.

The meaning of the questions that are being asked can be clarified to avoid being

It is easier to divine who has read the textbook from who understands the textbook
with an in depth questioning.

It is more difficult to cheat on these tests or plagiarise from other students.

Of course, no assessment method is perfect. There are a few cautions to keep in mind
when considering whether to use oral assessment.

Some students are shy or nervous and have difficulty communicating knowledge
coherently in high stress situations, and this effect is often amplified when they
must speak directly to the examiner.

For students whose first language is not English, this may be more challenging
than a written test, where they have time to carefully consider how to phrase their

Depending on the size of the class and the length of the assessment, this can be a
time consuming process.

Should you decide that oral assessment can enhance your class, there are a few general
tips to keep in mind when planning and administering the test.

Prepare students in advance by explaining how the oral examination will work, and
if feasible, having practice exams in class so that the students are aware of what is
expected of them.

When questioning the students knowledge, the questions must be flexible

depending on the students answer. Some students may explain something in the
initial response that was part of your follow-up questions, or may not include a
relevant concept in their answer. You must use your best judgement and change
the questions as necessary to establish the understanding of each student.

Record each assessment as you go through them, so that you can review them
later if necessary, and can provide justification for students grades if asked.

Prepare a rubric, or marking guide of some kind in advance. This way, you can do
all the initial marking while the student is talking. You can change it later, but it
probably will not be necessary. This makes marking quick and simple.

Oral assessment can work well when combined with a written assessment. For
example, have students write a paper and then present on it.

Activity 3
1. Create an evaluation form to assess storytelling performance.
Present the form to the class. Get feedback from your friends
and lecturer and finalize your draft.
Keep a copy of the evaluation form- you may need use it in
activities in Chapter 9.


Written Assessment

Written assessment can include essays, assignments, reports, dissertations, diaries, portfolios
and workbooks. It may take place as course work or in an examination. There are many types of
written assessment, below are some of the examples:

a) Assignment
An assignment is an exercise carried out in response to a brief with specific guidelines as to
what should be included. An assignment is usually of short duration and/or may be carried
out over a specified period of time.
Assignments may take the form of a practical activity i.e. practical assignment or a research
activity/evaluation following investigation of a particular topic, for example, a written
assignment. An assignment should reflect a range of learning outcomes. A brief should be
devised for each assignment. The assignment brief should be clear and unambiguous.
The Assessor should ensure that the assignment brief:










Descriptor/Component Specification
is clear and unambiguous and contains all instructions required to complete the assignment
indicates the percentage weighting of the assignment
takes into account the availability of resources and/or materials required by the Learner
contains clear assessment criteria and associated marks
includes information regarding evidence and submission deadlines
A clear marking scheme including assessment criteria should also be devised that
highlights how the evidence is to be marked.

b) Portfolio (Collection of Work)

A Portfolio (Collection of Work) is a collection and/or selection of pieces of work produced by
the Learner over a period of time that demonstrates achievement of a range of learning

The Assessor devises guidelines and instructions for the Learner. Using these guidelines
provided by the Assessor the Learner compiles a collection of their own work. The collection
may be self-generated or may be generated in response to a particular brief or
tasks/activities devised by the Assessor.
Portfolio (Collection of Work) is particularly suitable for assessment of Learners at Levels 1,
2 and 3.
The Assessor should ensure that the Learner is provided with:
a clear and unambiguous brief and instructions that reflect the range of learning
outcomes being assessed
guidelines on the extent and range of evidence a Learner is expected to compile
guidelines on format and presentation of the evidence in the collection
assessment criteria
weighting of the portfolio in the context of the total assessment of the award
relevant information on resources and/or materials required
A clear marking scheme including assessment criteria should also be devised that indicates
how the evidence is to be marked.
In deciding the number of pieces of evidence a Learner will produce for inclusion in the
Portfolio(Collection of Work) the following should be considered by the Assessor:
what is included in the assessment section in the programme validation application form
or the module descriptor
the level of the award the Learner is hoping to achieve certification in- specific
information on the levels of knowledge,
the volume of the Major Award - at Level 1 the volume is small compared to the volume of the
award at Level 6. The number of pieces of evidence produced by the Learner for
assessment purposes should be proportionate to the volume of the award


There may be a large amount of coursework supporting learning (formative assessment)

produced by the Learner in the course of the programme. This work will allow the Learner
practice what s/he is learning and build confidence in knowledge, skill and competence but
will not be used for the purposes of assessment for certification.
The range of assessment work to evidence achievement of the learning outcomes from the
component specifications or module descriptor, accompanied by briefs and criteria, will
typically be much less and will be used for the purposes of achieving certification
(summative assessment.

c) Formative assessment: informing learning

Formative assessment is part of that ongoing dialogue between Learners and Tutors about
the quality of work; it is the part of the learning process where a cycle of feedback results in
Learners coming to understand when a piece of work is fit for purpose and good. It informs
learning and teaching and is sometimes called assessment for learning. Formative
assessment feedback is frequently oral, and is a natural part of ongoing coursework. It
provides the groundwork for knowing when a Learner is ready to move on or perhaps
undertake a summative assessment task.
Sometimes within different programmes Learners and Tutors set aside some time to
consider how learning is going and whether Learners are happy with the progress they are
making. Formative assessment is not for the purpose of achieving an award.
d) Summative assessment- summing up learning
Summative assessment judges evidence of learning against the standards for an award; it is
carried out at the point where Learners have had sufficient opportunity to learn what is to be
assessed. For each piece of summative assessment evidence, there are clearly set out
briefs and criteria. It results in evidence that may be judged for the purposes of achieving an

Summative assessment activities are always planned. Assessment activities may pull
together and reconfigure the learning from a range of pieces of coursework or may directly

require a selection of coursework, or may build on previous coursework. However evidence

for summative assessment presented as a Portfolio(Collection of Work) is not the same as
the compilation of all the work completed by the Learner while participating in the
e) Examination
An examination provides a means of assessing a Learners ability to recall and apply
knowledge, skills and understanding within a set period of time and under clearly specified
Examinations are a form of assessment which normally require a fixed timeframe and a
sight unseen question paper and range of questions. The assessment instrument for
examinations is the examination paper i.e. questions or tasks devised for the Learner.
Examinations may be:
practical; assessing specified practical skills demonstrated in a set period of time under
restricted conditions
interview Style; assessing learning through verbal questioning, one-to-one or in a group
aural; assessing listening and interpretation skills
theory-based; assessing the Learners ability to recall, apply, recognise and understand
concepts and theory. This may require responses to a range of question types, for
example, multiple-choice, short answer, structured or essay. These questions may be
answered in different media for example in writing or orally
When devising an examination the Assessor should ensure that:
questions or tasks reflect the learning outcomes as outlined in the component
specification/ module descriptor
instructions are clear and unambiguous
examinations have a cover page outlining details such as; date, duration, choice and
number of questions
confidentiality is maintained during preparation and handling of examination documents

groups of Learners being assessed at different times are provided with different
examination questions
specific resources or equipment required are available and in good working order
the allocation and weighting of marks is clear to the Learner
the Learner is aware of the weighting of the examination in relation to the award
Learners are given a quiet environment in which to complete the examination
A clear marking scheme and outline solution should also be devised that highlights how
specific marks are to be allocated.

Theory Based Examination

Theory based examinations may be used to assess the ability of the Learner to
recall, apply and understand specific theory and knowledge.
Theory based examinations may comprise a range of question types such as:
short answer questions require a response of limited length and may take a
number of forms. Some short answer questions may seek specific words or
phrases in the response
structured questions are divided into a number of related parts and generally









understanding of a topic. Structured questions may also seek evidence of

cognitive skills such as ability to discuss, compare, analyse, evaluate, translate
or solve an issue, problem or topic
essay type questions, like structured questions require the Learner to
demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a topic. Essay type
questions usually focus on one particular area of knowledge and seek evidence
of cognitive skills such as ability to discuss, compare, analyse, evaluate,
translate or solve an issue, problem or topic










comprehension, application, analysis, problem solving and evaluation. As

multiple choice questions are not open-ended, they are not useful in assessing
communication skills such as the ability to organise and express information
and to write fluently and quickly

Practical Examinations

Practical examinations are generally used where a set period of time is allocated to
the Learner to demonstrate his/her practical knowledge, skills or competency.
To ensure that the Learner is adequately prepared for a practical examination they
should be provided with a set of instructions outlining:
the location and duration of the exam (the duration will depend on the nature of
the task)
details of the learning outcomes that will be assessed and/or instructions to
carry out the assessment
materials and/or equipment that the Learner is required to have or that will be
allocation of marks

Aural Examinations

Aural examinations may be used where listening skills and competencies are being
assessed; for example in language modules/components. To ensure that Learners
are adequately prepared for an aural examination, they should be provided with a set
of instructions, generally in writing outlining:
the title, location and duration of the examination
details of the learning outcomes being assessed
how the examination will proceed, for example Learners may have a set period
of time to read text prior to commencement and the tape may be played a set
number of times
details on dictionaries or other reference materials Learners may use

allocation of marks
Preparing an Audiotape
When devising a practical examination the Assessor may be required to prepare
material for use by the Learner e.g. an Audiotape. When preparing this type of
material the Assessor should ensure that:
adequate instructions and information is provided for Learners
an introduction is included with each task with clear instructions regarding the
requirement of the separate elements/tasks
individual tasks are clearly identified by number
a slight pause is left between each task and clear unambiguous diction, tone
and pace is used

Interview-Style Examinations

When using an interview-style examination the Assessor should ensure that:

the full range of potential questions devised are clear and unambiguous and are
based on a range of learning outcomes
the Learner is aware of the outcomes being assessed and how marks are
open questions that require a detailed answer and provide an opportunity for the
Learner to demonstrate their knowledge of the topic(s) are used
the interview adheres to a similar format and length for each Learner
the answer to a question is not prompted by the question or sequenced in a way
that one question provides the answer to the following one
supplementary questioning is used to understand why a Learner has done a
task in a specific way. This may also be used to ensure reliability of Learner


Learner Record

A learner record is the Learners self-reported and self-reflective record in which he/she
describes specific learning experiences, activities, responses and skills acquired.
The record may take a number of forms: it can be a structured logbook, a diary, a selective
record of events or experiences over a period of time, a learning journal, a lab notebook or a
For example a lab notebook could record specific tasks or activities carried out and the
analytical results obtained by the Learner. Sketchbooks may contain Learners original
drawings, paintings or sketches and can provide evidence of the process of reaching a
finished art, craft or design piece.
When using a learner record the Assessor should ensure that:
the Learner has a clear brief or set of instructions on the format of the record and is aware
of what details should be included
the brief is based on a range of learning outcomes
the Learner is aware of any requirements on the presentation of the Learner record e.g.
a process for maintaining and updating the record is agreed with the Learner
g) Project
A project is a response to a brief devised by the Assessor. The project is usually carried out
over a period of time specified as part of the brief. Projects may involve research, require
investigation of a topic, issue or problem or may involve a process such as a design task, a
performance or practical activity or production of an artefact or event.
The assessment instrument for a project is the Project brief. This is the specific brief or
instruction to the Learner. The brief for the project should reflect a range of learning

Projects enable Learners to demonstrate achievement of a range of learning outcomes

which includes: understanding and application of concepts, use of research and information,
the ability to design and evaluate, the ability to produce or construct.
The Assessor should ensure that the project brief:
reflects a range of learning outcomes
is clear and unambiguous
indicates the percentage weighting of the project
takes into account availability of resources and/or materials that will be required by
Learners such as access to research sources
includes notice of agreed deadline for submission of evidence
includes relevant information such as; requirements for presentation of the project,
guidelines on group or collaborative work
A clear marking scheme including assessment criteria should also be devised that highlights
how the evidence is to be marked.
h) Skills Demonstration
A skills demonstration is used to assess a wide range of practical based learning outcomes.
An Assessor must devise a brief or set of instructions or tasks for Learners.
Sufficient Learner evidence must be made available from the skills demonstration
internal verification and external authentication this may include:
product/outcome of the tasks where applicable, for example, computer print out
photographic or video evidence of Learner completing the task
Learner account of task
Assessor verification


A skills demonstration may take place in the workplace, in a live environment or in a











descriptor/component specification. In some specific cases the demonstration must take

place in a real/live environment.

Activity 4
1. Create an evaluation form for a story writing

Tutorial Task:
1. Discuss how aural-oral and written assessment can
be part of a portfolio for storytelling for young learners.

Covington, Michael A. (2004). What Should Grades Means. University of Georgia.
Retrieved on July 8 2013 from
Paulson, F.L. Paulson, P.R. and Meyer, CA. (1991, February). "What Makes a Portfolio a
Portfolio?" Educational Leadership, pp. 60-63.
Pinter, Annamaria (2006). Teaching Young Language Learners. Oxford University Press.
Definition of aural-oral. Retrieved on July 8 2013 from
Wickham, Ruth (2013).Types of Assessment. Brighton Education.

Appendix 1


Student ID. NO.


Title of




OK / N


1. time requirements
2. 100 words minimum
3. voice command and
4. proper posturing
5. eye contact with audience
6. self-confidence
7. proper intonation patterns
8. originality
9. story appropriate for level

Prepared by:
Rohaida Binti A Rahmat
IPG Kampus Kota Bharu.