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Administering SIMS Assessment

In This Chapter

Introduction 73

Planning Considerations 73

The Assessment Definition Process 77
  1. Introduction

This chapter provides an overview for users who are responsible for setting up and defining assessments. These users include Assessment Co-ordinators who have the appropriate permissions required to utilise this advanced functionality.

It also discusses planning considerations and provides an overview of the assessment definition process. Specific instructions on how to carry out the individual functions, together with more detailed explanatory information, are provided in the relevant chapters.

If you are new to SIMS Assessment, it is recommended that you read the Overview section of Chapter 2: Entering and Reviewing Data using Marksheets and, if you are using an OMR to enter results, the OMR Sheets section and the Marking OMR Sheets section.

    1. Planning Considerations

With so many elements involved in preparing assessments, it is wise to spend time considering how you want to use SIMS Assessment to set up and manage your assessments:
        1. How do I Categorise Assessment Information?

Over a period of time, it is likely that there will be a great deal of assessment information stored in the module. In particular, there are likely to be a large number of aspects.

To make sure that such information is easy to find, it is possible to create Category Types, e.g. Year, Department or Subject, together with Categories, e.g. Year 7, Year 8, English, or Maths, to which aspects, templates and marksheets can be associated. This will allow you to filter the view in a browser according to a certain Category, e.g. display only Science aspects, or Year 7 marksheets, etc.

More Information:

Creating and Maintaining Categories on page 81
        1. What Sets of Valid Grades can be Used Consistently Throughout the School?

When recording the results of assessments, it is usually necessary to define what acceptable grades can be recorded. When recording results for a grade aspect, you must supply a list of acceptable grades to ensure consistency of data entry. This method makes sure that appropriate grades are used throughout your school. This is achieved by creating grade sets that contain a list of the grades that can be entered. The grade set can be associated with several aspects as required.

NOTE: You can only associate aspects with grade sets that you have created, i.e. not those that have been imported.

More Information:

Creating and Maintaining Grade Sets on page 85
        1. What can be Assessed? What Type of Result can be Recorded?

You can determine what is assessed and the type of result to be recorded by creating aspects. An aspect can be any assessable task or event and will have a Name, a Column Heading and a Type. The aspect type defines what is to be assessed and the type of result that should be recorded, such as a grade, a Mark, an Age or a Comment.

More Information:

Creating and Maintaining Aspects on page 91
        1. Can I Store a History of Results or a Single Result for an Assessment?

By default, SIMS Assessment maintains a history of assessment and therefore, each newly added result is appended to any existing result for the same pupil/student and the same aspect. This facility enables you to monitor performance over a period of time.

There are occasions when you want to store only one result for an assessment and any added result will overwrite an existing one. This is achieved by associating the aspect with a previously defined result set. For example, you might create result sets to record one-off examination assessments where only one result is required.

More Information:

Creating and Maintaining Result Sets on page 99
        1. What Results can be Entered?

Results are entered by one or both of the following methods:

Using marksheets – these display a group of pupil/students (listed in rows) and a set of aspects (displayed in columns). You must first create a template that defines the columns (aspects) that will appear in the resulting marksheet. By associating the template with one or more groups of pupil/students, you can create one marksheet for each Supervisor of that group, thus enabling the required results to be entered. Columns included in a template for the purpose of entering results are referred to as Data Entry columns.

Using an Optical Mark Reader — OMR sheets, consisting of pupil/students (listed in rows) and the possible results for an aspect (displayed in columns), are passed to teachers who mark the results in the sheet’s lozenges using an HB pencil. Before OMR sheets can be printed out and distributed for marking, you must first create one or more OMR templates. An OMR template defines the aspect to be included on a Marks or Age OMR sheet. (In the case of grade OMR sheets more than one aspect can be included.) By associating the OMR template with one or more groups of pupil/students, you create OMR sheets for each Supervisor of that group, enabling the required results to be entered. The marked sheets are then fed into the system through an OMR, after which they can be viewed and edited through existing marksheets or by creating new OMR templates and associated marksheets.

More Information:

Creating and Maintaining Marksheets on page 167

Entering Data using an OMR on page 51
        1. What existing results can be displayed?

There will be many occasions when you wish to display existing results in a marksheet, either separately, or in addition to Data Entry columns. Existing results can be displayed in one of two ways. You can include a Data Entry column for an aspect that already contains results. The latest result is displayed but this information can be overtyped.

You can include Data Review columns which are read-only and can be set up to display results within a specific date range, from a specific result set or simply the most recent result.

It is therefore possible to include columns listing existing results either separately from or in conjunction with Data Entry columns.
        1. Are there any results that cannot be edited?

There will be occasions when you wish to display the most recent results, but you do not want these results to be edited. This is achieved using Data Review columns that display historic results that are read-only.
        1. How do I produce Individual Reports?

Individual reports are designed in, and use the formatting functionality of, Microsoft® Word. You can also insert graphs and group results into Individual Reports.

More Information:

Individual Reports on page 173
        1. Can I perform any calculations on the results entered or displayed?

It is possible to include columns in templates/marksheets that will contain the result of a calculation based on existing results. For example, you can include a column that calculates the mean of three other columns displayed in the same marksheet. The calculated results can be provided for information purposes only or can be saved with the appropriate aspect when the marksheet is saved. Calculations are achieved by adding Formula Columns to the template definition.

More Information:

Adding Formula Columns on page 132
        1. Which pupil/students should appear on the Marksheets or OMR sheets?

You determine which pupil/students will appear in marksheets and OMR sheets by associating a previously defined marksheet or OMR template with a group of pupil/students. Each pupil/student within the chosen group is listed as a row in the resulting marksheet or OMR sheet.
        1. Who will complete the Marksheet?

By default, one marksheet is produced for each Supervisor of each group associated with the selected template. The group Supervisor can enter the results in the marksheet using SIMS Assessment or you can distribute blank printed copies of the marksheet for the Supervisor to manually complete. The completed marksheets can then be collated and entered in batches by a user with appropriate permissions (i.e. a user with an Assessment Operator or Assessment Co-ordinator role).

There are some circumstances where a class is shared and therefore more than one person is able to complete the marksheet. It is highly unlikely that these people will try to complete the marksheet at exactly the same time, but appropriate error messages will appear if conflicting data is entered.

More Information:

Creating and Maintaining Marksheets on page 167
        1. When do the Marksheets need to be completed?

This will vary according to your requirements but you can advise those completing the marksheets when you need them to be completed by entering text in the Notes field of the required template. These notes will appear on each marksheet associated with the template.
        1. How do I know when the Marksheets have been completed?

Each user completing a marksheet should select the Data Entry Complete for this Marksheet check box on the marksheet when they have finished entering results. Once saved, the Completed check box on the Marksheets panel of the Template Details page is automatically selected for that marksheet, to advise you that it has been completed. It is also possible for a user to subsequently deselect the check box on the marksheet, if they need to carry out further edits. This change is reflected on the Marksheets panel of the Template Details form.
        1. Can I delete completed Marksheets?

Yes you can. This is something that should be done on a regular basis as a matter of good housekeeping. Marksheets are merely the mechanism for entering results. The results themselves are stored with the aspect and therefore, once the marksheet has been marked as complete, you can delete the marksheet. If necessary, the marksheet can be recreated using the same template if it still exists, or by creating a new template.

More Information:

Deleting Marksheets on page 171
        1. Can I import and export assessment information?

Yes you can. Capita SIMS provides aspects and templates that can be imported into the module. You can import/export aspects, templates and results (with any associated result sets). This will allow you to import definitions created by your LA for example. It will also enable you to share assessment definitions with other establishments/colleagues.

More Information:

Importing and Exporting on page 219
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