Assessing Computing: The Need for a Manual Override Option

Assessing Computing: The Need for a Manual Override Option

When I was crazy about film-making as a teenager (see I was a teenage geek) I never liked using fully automated cameras. Yes, they were convenient, and they saved you the bother of having to think too much, and the results were passable. But they left no room for exercising one’s professional judgement. Using a camera with a manual override button enabled you to find out what the camera “thought” the aperture and other settings should be, and then use them as a basis for your own decision.

Progress is not always -- or even usually -- smooth, and you should be able to tweak your assessment system to reflect that fact

I was reminded of all this when I attended the Bett show last week. Assessment systems are being built into all sorts of applications now, and rightly so. All the ones I looked at have been aligned to National Curriculum criteria, and save the teacher a great deal of typing. But no assessment system should save the teacher having to think, which is why I always asked: “Can you move the suggested ‘Level’ up or down based on your own professional judgement and knowledge of the pupil?”

It seems to me that this is a fundamental requirement, though not the only one. You can read my views on other prerequisites of any assessment system here:

The 6 Fundamental Computing Assessment Scheme Questions

If you attended Bett and saw some interesting things, please consider writing about them for the next edition of Digital Education (see below). Contact me for further details.

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Terry Freedman is an independent educational ICT consultant with over 35 years of experience in education. He publishes the ICT in Education website and the newsletter “Digital Education."