If you’re a school leader already leveraging evidence-based assessments with Brightpath Writing to enhance student writing performance, you will be pleased to welcome the new assessment scale as a valuable and appreciated addition to your tool kit.

We are introducing a new, innovative extension to the available assessments: Response to Literature Teachers Ruler. With the new assessment scale, Brightpath Writing is more robust and more closely aligned with the literature strand of the Australian Curriculum than ever before. It is set to facilitate more effective evaluation of extended writing performances, deliver fuller teacher support and provide an extra opportunity to collect evidence of reading and writing of students.

Here’s everything you need to know about the extensive research behind it, what makes the Response to Literature Teachers Ruler unique and how you can make the most out of it.

What is the Response to Literature Teachers Ruler?

The newest assessment scale enables teachers to:

  • Assess both primary and secondary school students’ comprehension of a diverse range of literary texts, from short stories to novels.

  • Evaluate students’ abilities to express their text comprehension through writing.

  • Easily identify the areas of improvement a student should focus on.

  • Establish and deepen their understanding of literature.

  • Strengthen student critical and analytic skills.

In line with all other scales offered by Brightpath Writing, Response to Literature allows teachers to administer assessments and immediately access valuable student performance data as often as they wish, across Years 3 to 10. Furthermore, it follows Brightpath core principle: to enhance the indispensable teacher judgement rather than replace it. With Brightpath, the teacher is always in the driver’s seat.

The research behind the new scale

The Brightpath Teachers Rulers are always carefully researched and the newest assessment scale is no exception.

To ensure maximum accuracy, over 400 real Australian student performances on a diverse array of Australian Curriculum literary texts, from Oedipus Rex by Sophocles to Neil Gaiman’s Click, Clack the Rattlebag were collected from schools across Australia

Our expert teachers were tasked with comparing pairs of performances, using a sample of 280 performances and evaluating factors such as comprehension, interpretation, literary analysis, evidence use and other professional judgment criteria. They also assessed clarity, cohesion and adherence to writing conventions, including grammar and punctuation.

Their judgements were analysed to calibrate the scale, where positions indicate the performance quality degree.

The subsequent step involved selecting a subset of performances as exemplars, capturing typical features at various points on the scale. Lastly, the Brightpath performance descriptors and teaching points were derived from a detailed qualitative analysis of all 280 performances, identifying and describing key developmental features.

How to utilise the Response to Literature scale in your classroom?

By comparing a student’s performance to the calibrated exemplars and deciding which exemplar it is closest to, our newest scale will help you make a holistic, consistent and accurate judgement of your students’ reading and writing skills combined.

With the Response to Literature Teachers Ruler, your judgement will comprise:

  • the extent to which the student has comprehended the source text,

  • their ability to interpret and analyse the ideas in that text and their level of insight,

  • their analysis and understanding of literary devices,

  • the clarity and cohesion of the written exposition, including the student’s ability to explain their ideas and reasoning,

  • the extent to which the student adhered to the conventions of writing such as correct grammar, punctuation and spelling,

  • their use of evidence,

and any other factors you consider relevant based on your professional experience.

Where can you find the Response to Literature Teachers Ruler?

You can access the newest scale when you set up a new assessment. To do so:

  1. Log in to your Brightpath account.

  2. Select ‘Set up assessment’. From there, you will be taken to a series of steps.

  3. Proceed with steps 1 and 2: select your learning area, term and students.

  4. You can now select the ‘Response to Literature’ scale.

To find out more about the new assessment, download the Response to Literature Guide to Making Judgements and Administration Instructions from the Knowledge Base.

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