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Assessment and e-Learning

An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher explains how she combines e-Learning tools in her assessments to allow her students to achieve to their potential through the use of YouTube channels to film oral language assessments. This means that students are able to film their assessments without the time pressure or time constraints of timetabled classes as an example of ubiquitous learning.



The tools that we use in terms of recording the students, whether it’s assessments or learning activities, so they can reflect on how they did in things like interactions, or if they’re doing speeches or even if they’re just discussing different parts of a learning task. And so this helps us, you know, have a dialogue about where they think they could improve, teacher feedback to students and also students reflecting on themselves and their progress, it’s really good when we record the students at the beginning of a task, even though they may be reluctant to be recorded, and then they are able to look at how they have progressed by the time they are being assessed. And they are able to realize how far they have actually come in terms of learning.

Our faculty are looking at implementing the “My Portfolio” app for our students because for Samoan language and they and other languages there are a lot of assessments where they have to submit portfolios such as writing and interactions. We were introduced to this app and we feel it would be a great way for us to manage this a bit better but also for students to create and develop their portfolios in a way where they can do it off-site, in class, and are able to have the freedom to do it in an environment where they feel more comfortable. Students learn in different ways, not necessarily just Pasifika students, but students, different students learn in different ways, they process things in different ways, so it makes sense that they would be comfortable to be assessed or to submit their assessments through different formats.  And as long as we’re keeping within the standards, and their requirements, we have to be creative as teachers to look at different ways that students can submit things. And for them, as long as they are able to demonstrate that they have the skills, being creative in terms of whether they submit their contribution to a debate, or whether it’s something to do in terms of a cultural custom, so those things that I guess, enable students to have the freedom, to demonstrate that they have the knowledge and skills for a particular standard.

We’ve started to use more of YouTube and we’ve just recently found out how great that tool is in terms of how the flexibility for storage and also it gives the students the autonomy to be able to record at any time. So by having these types of tools and even their own devices, they are then able to in even their own time or even in an environment that’s a bit more comfortable for them, they can feel more at ease to demonstrate or to be assessed and to even be able to reflect on some of their actual assessments. And some of their answers are some of the best answers that we can’t always capture when they’re in a formal situation.

Great learning comes from discussions with the students where they can question things to do with their own life they don’t quite understand and their parents may not be able to explain to them, mannerisms, our customs, just lifestyle. One of the interesting issue that comes up with our school, with being a girl’s school is that the girl question a lot of the expectations and the roles between genders. SO as a young Samoan woman growing up in new Zealand and living in a Samoan family and environment there are a lot of issues that will come up with things that they will question and it’s really great to have that kind of dialogue in the classroom and they really appreciate it but also they feel comfortable and safe in that environment to question different issues or even different expectations in their lives.