The Quebec Minister of Education recently announced that there will be only two report cards for the 2020-2021 school year instead of three. We discussed it with Mélanie Ducharme, educational advisor in evaluation and responsible for the certification of studies at the CSS de Laval.
Mélanie Ducharme recalls that this announcement was greeted with relief by many teachers, since it will give them more time to devote to teaching. According to her, this occasion can also be an opportunity to strengthen ties with parents and offer constructive feedback before the publication of the first newsletter at the end of January.
Indeed, despite the cancellation of the newsletter at the end of November, teachers are required to provide parents with a first communication by November 20. They are also invited to hold the parent meetings that usually take place at this time of the year.
“Class observation, conversation, discussion, production, audio or video recording, all traces left by students become a pretext for giving feedback. This is the time to remember that it is not only the exams that are proof of everything to qualify the achievements of a student. It is possible to situate it in relation to expectations even if there has been no exam or official marks in a report, ”says Ms. Ducharme.
In preparation for the January newsletter
The educational advisor invites the school teams to review their expectations now based on the new newsletter production dates, as well as the terms and conditions surrounding them. For example, the skill set should be assessed in each of the two report cards. Also, the weighting of ministerial end-of-year exams has been revised downwards.
The new expectations as well as the related planning can be communicated to both students and parents afterwards. “Do not hesitate to make audio or video capsules to give explanations. These can be listened to in several ways to maximize understanding ”. Ms. Ducharme also suggests sharing descriptive grids on skills assessment.
Review the assessment
In any case, the current context is forcing the school community to review the traditional way of conceiving evaluation. “We don't have a choice to see it differently and to adapt,” she says. She also hopes that the current reorganization will lead to lasting changes in terms of evaluation and feedback.
We invite you to listen to Stéphanie Dionne's full interview with Mélanie Ducharme.
For other ways to proceed, see the "Evaluating distance education" module of the training. I teach remotely of TÉLUQ.