RaPAL

Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Rebecca Woolley

Connected Assessment

Alternatives to a timed test for adult mathematics/numeracy

Rebecca Woolley, University of Bolton

This workshop will share some early results from my PhD research which set out to develop and evaluate an alternative model for summative assessment for adult mathematics and numeracy. The aim was to develop something different from the traditional timed examination that most adults are required to undertake to achieve a
qualification in mathematics/numeracy. The ‘connected assessment’ model developed took the form of a short course called ‘Making Connections’ which ran over a few weeks.

Features of the Connected Assessment model;

• a choice of assessment tasks
• learners developing their own assessment tasks to reflect their preferences
and interests
• an extended period of time for assessment to take place over several
sessions/weeks
• no arbitrary time limit for individual assessment tasks
• ‘open book’ assessment reducing the need for memorisation
• collaboration between learners on some tasks
• gathering a wide range of ‘evidence’ not just written work
• use of technology to support assessment.

The workshop incorporates presentation outlining the aims of the research and a brief overview of the methodology used along with some preliminary results and findings. I will then share some of the work completed by the adult
mathematics learners involved in the study and lead a discussion on the approaches used in the ‘Making Connections’ model. I have created a ‘Teacher Pack’ and presentation that outlines the approaches used and includes some ideas and resources. Participants will get the chance to try out some of these activities as part of the workshop and will get a copy of the teacher pack to take away with them. If time allows there will be an opportunity for participants to discuss the approaches and how they could use or adapt these for their own classes.

Further references:
Woolley, R. (2017) ‘Assessment fast or slow? Why we need a new model of ‘connected assessment’ for adult
numeracy.’ RaPAL vol 92 pp24-31.

‘Making Connections’ presentation

‘Making Connections’ Teacher Pack

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