School-based Assessment (SBA) in Hong Kong

2:02 pm Blogroll, Hong Kong Education

School Based Assesment

School-based Assessment (SBA)

SBA (School-based Assessment) refers to assessments administered in schools and marked by the students’ own teachers with the marks counting towards their public assessment results. SBA will be implemented for all 24 subjects of the new senior secondary assessment by 2014, although for some of the core subjects, SBA will be fully implemented in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) examinations in 2012.

SBA has been implemented in subjects (some since 1978) where teachers assess students’ performance in specific areas, for example, the laboratory work of Chemistry and Biology and reading programmes of Chinese Language and Culture.

The primary rationale for SBA is to improve the validity of assessments, where certain components of some curricula cannot be readily assessed within the context of a one-off public examination. Subject teachers are no doubt in the best position to obtain assessments based on student performance over an extended period of time, which provides a more reliable assessment of the student. SBA can also help reduce the pressure of one-off examinations for students and the dependence on the result of these, which may not always provide the most reliable indication of the actual abilities of students.

The weighting of the SBA component varies from subject to subject, and while these are still under consideration by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA), they currently range from a minimum of 15% to as high as 50% for more practical subjects like Visual Arts. The mode of SBA can take the form of coursework, assessment tasks, extended essays, project work and practical tasks (especially for science subjects).

To help teachers and students understand the rationale behind SBA, assessment guidelines are given by the HKEAA for each subject with the aims of SBA for each of these clearly explained. Guidelines are also issued by the HKEAA so that teachers are clear about how marking and assessment should be carried out.

The HKEAA play a role in ensuring that there is uniformity in the marking standard among all schools and that assessments made by teachers are fair. Administrative guidelines are issued to teachers to ensure SBA is implemented fairly and there are regular meetings and training courses for different subject teachers to enhance teachers’ knowledge on assessment.

Parents should always advocate for their child and must be proactive and take all necessary steps to make sure their child receives appropriate services for their learning disability.




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