The first activity, 'Assessment Tea Party', seeks to promote initial
discussion about the major issues which will arise during the workshop.
It also helps to provide a framework for evaluation at the end of the
workshop in which participants will be invited to review what they have
- Form participants into two concentric circles of even numbers with
the inside circle facing outwards and the outside circle facing inwards.
Each participant in the outside circle should stand facing a person
in the inside circle to form a discussion pair. Explain that each pair
represents a couple of guests at a tea party.
- Distribute a copy of Resource 1 to
each participant, drawing attention to the unfinished statements.
- Give each discussion pair one minute to discuss 'Unfinished Statement 1'
on Resource 1. Call 'stop' or blow a whistle when the minute is
- Now ask people in the outside circle to move one place to the left
so that each person is facing a new partner in the inside circle. Give
the new discussion pairs one minute to discuss 'Unfinished Statement 2'
on Resource 1. Call 'stop' when the minute is
up and motion for the outside circle to move again a place to the left
to form new discussion pairs.
- Continue this process, giving one minute for the discussion of each
successive statement, until all have been addressed.
- To debrief the activity, explain that the tea party discussions have
introduced most of the key issues of the workshop and relate directly
to the workshop objectives. Points to look for in the debriefing include
participants' different views on:
- the nature of assessment;
- the role of assessment;
- individual experiences of assessment; and
- the context of coastal and marine studies in assessment.
- Show OHT 1 to provide an overview of
the two themes of the workshop.
- Explain that the tea party discussion will be conducted again at the
end of the workshop as a review and evaluation activity.
Theme A- The What and Why of Assessment
2. Clarifying Definitions of Assessment
The aim of this activity is to encourage participants to refine their ideas
about assessing learning in coastal and marine studies. Definitions are
not important in themselves, but may help participants to broaden their
concepts of assessment.
- Divide participants into groups of 4-5 and ask each person to
give a one or two sentence statement of his or her views, hopes or concerns
about assessment in coastal and marine studies, to the rest of the group.
- Ask each group to select one statement that they all agree with and
to report this to the large group. Record them on an OHT, whiteboard
- Distribute a copy of Resource 2
to each participant. This contains a list of other teachers' views about
assessment. Ask participants to comment by identify the one(s) which
are (i) most similar to the class list of statements, (ii) most different
from theirs, and (iii) most pertinent to assessment in coastal and marine
studies. Discuss each comment on Resource 2 by asking, 'Who agrees
that it was relevant to coastal and marine studies and why?'
- Direct attention to OHT 2 which provides
a definition of assessment and note the difference between assessment
and evaluation using the information provided in Reading 1.
3. Changing Attitudes To Assessment
- Ask participants to continue working in their groups. Start the activity
by distributing and asking participants to read Resource 3
which contains two contrasting general views about assessment.
- Show OHT 3 and discuss the following
- What are the views of John Holt (written in 1969)?
- What do you think is the reasoning behind his views?
- In what ways do his views have relevance for coastal and marine
- In a whole group discussion, contrast the views of John Holt with
the more recent ideas put forward by Murphy and Torrance in 1988
by discussing the final three questions on OHT 3.
- What are the views of Murphy and Torrance and how do they differ
from those of Holt?
- What is the reasoning behind Murphy and Torrance's views?
- What has happened in education systems in recent years which may
have led to this change? Think about the impact of the changing
socio-economic fortunes on education. What implications does/will
this have on your education system and, consequently, for coastal
and marine studies?
- Conclude by summarising why teachers of coastal and marine studies
should be concerned with assessment.
Note to facilitators: Reading 2
provides an overview of the topic as a whole and can be provided to participants
at this point if you wish.
4. The Purposes of Assessment for Coastal and Marine
The purpose of this activity is to help participants realise the value of
assessment for learning in coastal and marine studies as opposed to its
often traditional focus as a tool for certification.
- Arrange participants into groups of 4-5 people and give each
group a copy of Resource 4. Show OHT 4
with a copy of the questions, and ask groups to answer the questions
- Why should coastal and marine studies educators want to assess
learning? List as many reasons as you can.
- Compare your list with that in Resource 4.
In what ways, if any, does it differ?
- How could you classify the various purposes of assessment shown
in Resource 4?
- Debrief by explaining the need to compare and contrast purposes of
assessment as a vehicle for:
- selection, control and accountability; and
- feedback to students to aid learning.
- Facilitators might like to discuss with the group some tensions which
arise between these two perspectives at this point.
5. Formative and Summative Assessment
The aim of this activity is to focus attention on assessment which supports
and encourages learning as opposed to assessment which only provides a final
check on what has been learned. This is important in coastal and marine
studies because of the focus on the transformative effects we seek in students'
levels of awareness, their attitudes and their actions and potential.
- Distribute Resource 5 and Resource 6. Ask participants to work in their
small groups to read the two descriptions of assessment and answer the
questions in Resource 5.
- Debrief by developing an OHT or whiteboard summary of the differences,
and explore the question of why we need to be aware of both formative
and summative modes of assessment in coastal and marine studies.
Theme B: The How of Assessment
6. Different Methods of Assessment
This activity presents a sample of the wide range of assessment tasks that
are available and provides participants with an opportunity to consider
which ones are suitable for particular aspects of learning.
7. Assessment that Meets the Objectives
of Coastal and Marine Studies
In this activity participants work in small groups to identify how the
various methods they have discussed in the previous activity meet the
objectives of coastal and marine studies.
- Handout Resource 9 and ask participants to work in pairs
to put 'yes', 'no' or 'maybe' in the boxes to show whether each method
meets the various knowledge, awareness, skills, attitudes and action
components of coastal and marine studies.
The workshop concludes with a second tea party (Activity 1). This helps participants to review
what they have learnt in the workshop.
- Using a fresh set of copies of Resource 1, if needed, and the same process
as for the tea party (Activity 1),
ask participants to 'revisit' each question and discuss how (or if)
their understandings of the related issues have changed or developed
as a result of the workshop activities.
- As well as helping participants to review their professional development
through this evaluation activity, this will help the workshop leader
gain insight into the success of the workshop in achieving its aims