Focusing on the question set – an approach to improving pupils’ question analysis skills
- 1 Focusing on the question set – an approach to improving pupils’ question analysis skills
- 2 What is question analysis?
- 3 A worked example of question analysis
- 4 Assessment for Learning – linking questions to assessment objectives and mark schemes
- 5 Develop classroom use – some teaching strategies
Assessment for Learning – linking questions to assessment objectives and mark schemes
Assessment objectives and mark schemes are a key resource in supporting pupils’ understanding of what they are trying to achieve.
To help pupils recognise the standards they are aiming for, pupils need:
- to be shown ‘what a good answer looks like’
- to be told why it is considered ‘good’ and what specific features contributed to that judgement
- to be given some suggestions about what to do, or to include, in order to reach a similar standard.
See Pedagogy & Practice: Teaching & Learning in Secondary Schools, Unit 12: Assessment for Learning (DFES ref: 0435-2004 G) for a detailed look at the process
Useful classroom activities can support them, for example:
1. What makes a good answer?
Give pupils an exam question with one or more answers already written. Provide a few at A and A* grade as well as B and C. (It is good practice to gather examples of these from previous exams.) Give them the mark scheme and ask them to assess the work. Allow pupils to collaborate to compare their marking. Collect feedback from the group and discuss the implications.
2. What advice can be provided – Three stars and a wish
Following on from the activity above, ask pupils to give the writers of the questions some feedback. Let them read the assessment objectives for the exam question. They should try to offer three positive comments, and one suggestion or guidance for improvement.