Design of Assessment Instruments for Applied Learning Subjects in Hong Kong

Design of Assessment Instruments for Applied Learning Subjects in Hong Kong

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Design of Assessment Instruments for Applied Learning Subjects in Hong Kong

The first Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination will be administered in 2012 to assess the achievement of senior secondary school graduates. Besides four core subjects (Chinese Language, English Language, Mathematics and Liberal Studies), Hong Kong students are free to take two to four elective subjects. These elective subjects include traditional subjects as well as career-oriented and competency-based Applied Learning (ApL) subjects. There are a total of 30 ApL subjects, which will be offered for the first time in September 2010. The diversity of these 30 subjects in terms of context, curriculum design and objectives posts difficult problems to assessment. How will these subjects be graded? How can they be compared? Are the assessment tasks reliable and valid? How will the standards be maintained? All sorts of queries and problems have emerged. Since the results of ApL subjects will be certified in the HKDSE, the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) has to face the challenge of devising appropriate assessment instruments to measure the performance of students taking different ApL subjects. The standards of the subjects need to be comparable. A combination of different assessment methods and approaches has to be ,employed effectively in assessing students’, achievement.

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