iCompute’s Computing Assessment Tests and Tasks – designed to complement our comprehensive Primary Computing Schemes of Work and existing assessment toolkit – is out now.
Developed by our author – a computer scientist and primary computer science master teacher – the tasks and tests support schools in accurately assessing attainment, pupil progress and target setting in primary computing.
For each iCompute unit for each year, we have produced an associated end of unit online diagnostic test and an end of unit assessment project. Diagnostic testing assists progression planning and helps identify gaps and/or misconceptions. The end of unit assessment projects enable teachers to check skills in computing and computational thinking. The provided answers and assessment guidance informs assessment judgements and can be fed into our interactive digital pupil progress trackers.
Our diagnostic tests match the National Curriculum for Computing at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. They are divided into iCompute units and are intended for use following each unit to assess pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills.
Our interactive, fun, quizzes are played online and bring a gamification aspect to assessment. Aside from being a powerful tool in measuring pupil progress, they also help increase engagement, motivation and encourage children to challenge themselves.
Forming part of our acclaimed primary computing schemes of work, our Tasks & Tests pack is available to buy from iCompute.
Further to my previous post on assessing primary computing I’ve been working on the primary computing assessment toolkit for iCompute. Along with the end of unit assessment guidance, new-look computing pupil progress trackers have been updated for each year group. This also now includes the Early Years Foundation Stage and revised P-Scales for computing to reflect the addition of our EYFS Computing pack and to support inclusion, computing and SEN.
Download a guide
We’ve also added a Quick Look Computing Skills Progression Grid to use alongside the other guidance and tools.
Computing Skills Progression
Out now is our whole-school primary computing assessment tests and tasks. Online diagnostic tests and end-of-unit assessment tasks that feed directly into our pupil progress trackers within the primary computing assessment toolkit.
Click to download a sample from our main website
Existing iCompute schools can access the full toolkit by logging in to our main website at www.icompute-uk.com Our Assessment Tests and Tasks pack will be an optional extra.
I’ve covered a number methods for primary computing assessment in this post but, as I’ve been creating some pupil/teacher resources for video screencasting using, free, OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), I thought I’d go over the screencasting part of it again here. You can download the pupil/teacher support card by clicking on the image in this post.
Potentially one of the most powerful tools for assessment in computing is engaging pupils in creating screencasts – recording computer screen video with audio narration. Research indicates that by making learning visual and documenting thinking – through screencasting – pupils more naturally engage in self-assessment. Even when recordings are made without any intended audience and in the absence of prompting, pupils automatically listen back to themselves, reflect, assess and adjust (Richards, 2014)
This promising tool could be used to further develop information technology and digital literacy skills whilst also engaging pupils in the assessment process by editing screencasts for an intended audience with audio and creating visual effects such as captioning. The screencasts could then be uploaded to individual or class blogs, using categories and tags mapped to the appropriate strand of the National Curriculum for Computing, as evidence of learning or saved as a video file for storage on file servers either at school or in the Cloud. Similarly, teachers could use screencasts to provide audio/visual pupil feedback by making recordings when reviewing work. The screencasts could be cross-referenced against a project and uploaded into the pupil’s e-Portfolio.
Click to Download
Richards, Reshan. One Best Thing. iBooks, 2014. eBook [Available here]
Download and use as a guide to primary programming skills progression with Scratch
Please note that children progress at different rates and this is intended as a guide only. iCompute’s whole-school primary computing scheme of work provides computing lesson plans that have built in differentiation, extension and enrichment activities to include, engage and challenge all pupils in primary computing.
Assessment presents particular challenges for computing and many schools have not yet addressed how to accurately assess pupil progress and provide evidence of it. Let’s see what David Brown, former HMI Ofsted’s National Lead for Computing, had to say about computing in schools.
Mr Brown’s message is overwhelmingly that of outcomes with no specific advice about how to achieve them. Having taught Computing in primary schools since 2013 and developed a comprehensive computing assessment toolkit for iCompute, I have found that the time required to cover the programmes of study for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is one hour of computing each week for Years 1-6, coupled with cross-curricular work to practise and consolidate skills in other subjects.
How to Assess Primary Computing – Summary
Evidence – Use e-Portfolios such as SeeSaw or maintain individual folders on the school network for each pupil to contain digital work
Teacher Feedback – Face-to-face or by using digital ‘marking’ strategies such as adding text comments in digital work or adding audio of your comments
Self/Peer – Blogging, Vlogging or Video Screencasting provides excellent opportunities for pupils to reflect on work
Diagnostic Testing – Creative online interactive quizzes (e.g. Kahoot) provide engaging opportunities to assess pupil understanding and bring a gamification aspect to assessment
Assessment Projects – Using end-of-unit open-ended project tasks allow pupils to demonstrate learning
Progress Tracking – Understanding where pupils are and planning next steps to meet age-related expectations