Capturing evidence of pupils’ progress: How have things changed in today’s schools?

SPONSORED: Fujitsu, a leading IT provider, explains how digital technology is helping schools transform the way they capture evidence of pupils’ progress

As part of a focus on capturing evidence of pupils’ progress, today’s schools are encouraging pupils to engage more strongly with their learning. But what impact is this having on children and how can advancements in digital technology play a role?

As part of the Third Millennium Learning Award for schools (run by Naace, the national association for all those interested in technology in education), nearly 100 schools submitted two videos which detailed their rationale for the practices they had adopted, and an insight into how these were developed. With that in mind, at Fujitsu we decided to commission a project with Naace in order to report on these schools’ views and practices and explain why capturing evidence of progress is important for staff and pupils alike.

The importance of measuring progress and achievement 

As achievement does not come without progress, and progress should also be related to levels of achievement, it is equally important for schools to measure both.

The schools that took part in our project were able to resolve this issue of balance by focusing on the process of learning and how young people learn best, as well as creating a school-wide culture of high expectations and high standards of behaviour for learning. 

As a result of our White Paper findings, we can determine that capturing evidence of progress is part of what is known as ‘the virtuous spiral’. By enabling students to play an active role in their learning, they boost their understanding of the progress they need to meet their targets. Furthermore, as they build confidence and self esteem they take a greater role in leading both their own learning and that of their peers, which in turn reinforces the positive feedback they initially receive from teachers.

How progress has been measured

The achievements of both young people and their schools are central to school accountability systems around the world. Historically, accountability measures for schools and pupils have focused mainly on achievement rather than progress; for example, with test scores being recorded in the teacher’s ‘markbook’. In many of today’s schools this practice continues, and formal assessments of pupils’ achievement are often still reported. 

Furthermore, the schools that we studied have developed a process that pupils can follow to make progress in their learning, where they are encouraged to see and reflect on their current capabilities and also understand their shortfalls. As a result, the schools have found that pupils’ positive attitudes to learning and the higher engagement in learning activities are increased through the learning itself, rather than by any external incentive, reward or future promise of success. 

Capturing evidence of progress in today’s digital world

By using the digital environment to display pupil’s work, schools have enabled the key underpinning of the ‘virtuous spiral’ of improvement.

In addition, the experiences of the schools that we worked with clearly demonstrates that technology enables them to radically increase the volume of progress evidence that is captured, as well as allow the ways that it is utilised to be expanded – something that Fujitsu scanners can help with. For example, a student’s work can be captured throughout the term as part of an ‘academic audit trail’, and Fujitsu’s overhead scanner, SV600, allows previously ‘unscannable’ work such as portfolios, 3D pieces of work and other art and design projects to also be captured electronically.

To understand how Fujitsu scanners can aid evidence-capture in your school, please visit http://emea.fujitsu.com/scanners-in-education, call us on +44 (0) 208 5734444 or email scannersales@uk.fujitsu.com

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