Learners' competencies in new forms of assessment: A case study

Rodwell, Lynn
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This small-scale case study researches the importance of analysing the mathematics competencies assessed by a selection of tasks developed for a portfolio in Grade 9 during 2003. The tasks are analysed according to the cognitive demand placed on the learners, plus their open-ended versus closed nature. This research reveals that the weaker ability learners experience a greater apparent benefit, compared to the stronger ability mathematics learners. Although there are other mathematical competencies assessed in this research report, those of ‘thinking and reasoning mathematically’ and ‘representing and explaining mathematical entities’ are most problematic, compared to the more traditional competencies of ‘memorisation’ and ‘manipulation of mathematical symbols and formalisms’. Assessing the tasks from the perspective of mathematical competencies, may serve to provide an alternative framework for analysing the appropriateness or not of tasks used in the development of portfolios and thus improve the practises of mathematics teachers in general.
Student Number : 8607167P - MSc research report - School of Education - Faculty of Science
mathematics, competencies, assessment