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Administrative Procedure 361: Communicating Student Achievement - Appendix C

Effective Communication Practices

An effective reporting document: 

  • Promotes a student’s feelings of success and positive self-worth;
  • Encourages further student learning;
  • Promotes home-school communication;
  • Provides a context for judgments;
  • Is clearly understood by students and parents;
  • Provides information on student achievement and growth;
  • Is aligned to provincial curriculum standards;
  • Tells what individual students know and can do;
  • Ensures that the mark awarded is an accurate and current reflection of student learning;
  • Factors out elements not related to the curriculum, or not reflective of the student’s typical achievement level; and
  • Acknowledges actions that need to be taken by partners in learning—students, parents and teachers. 

An effective conference: 

  • Includes the students as an active participant;
  • Uses student products to demonstrate achievement and growth;
  • Focuses clearly on individual student learning and includes specific strategies for improvement;
  • Expands upon the information provided in the report card;
  • Engages all participants in discussing achievement and setting goals;
  • Includes a discussion of the successes and difficulties the student is experiencing;
  • Provides an opportunity for open and relevant sharing of information between participants;
  • Establishes an atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome to participate;
  • Provides information about curriculum;
  • Includes an action plan that is supportive of student learning; and
  • Ends on a positive note. 

An effective portfolio: 

  • Is a planned and organized collection of student work;
  • Tells detailed stories about a variety of student outcomes that would be otherwise difficult to document;
  • Includes self-reflections that describe the student as both a learner and an individual;
  • Serves as a guide for future learning by illustrating a student’s present level of achievement;
  • Includes a selection of items that are representative of curriculum outcomes and what the student knows and can do;
  • Includes the criteria against which the student work was judged;
  • Supports the assessment, evaluation and communication of student learning; and
  • Documents learning in a variety of ways—process, product, growth and achievement. 

(A Framework for Communicating Student Learning, Alberta Assessment Consortium, June 1999)