Assessors will undergo careful training in the use of the guidelines, which will usually take at least three to four days before they can be expected to reach high levels of consistency. Part of this training will be based on entries from the field test, which have been selected as ‘benchmarks’ reflecting different levels of performance.
Assessors will be carefully trained to use these evaluation guides in two stages. In the first stage, assessors will be trained to note and record the evidence they see as relevant to the purpose of the portfolio task before making any judgements. This process is deliberately designed to prevent assessors moving too quickly into the second stage, the judgement stage, before they have carefully considered all the evidence presented as a whole.
Assessors will read through each application, noting relevant evidence for each criterion on an assessment record form. As they read through the written commentary and view the evidence in the student work samples or video clips, and in the artefacts, assessors are trained to step back at each stage, and ask themselves, 'Even though this teacher’s approach may not be the way I would have done it in my school, nevertheless, does it still meet the standard?' They are also asked to keep in mind that evidence for one criterion may be found under another section of the portfolio entry.
Assessors will be given careful training in bias control. This will enable them to identify the biases they may be bringing to the assessment process and how to set them aside.
In the second stage of the evaluation process, the judgement stage, assessors will be trained to review the entry as a whole and to judge the extent to which it provides clear evidence that the teacher has carried out the portfolio task and meets the relevant standards.
As part of the second stage, assessors will be trained in the key characteristics of accomplished teaching, which call for evidence that the entry demonstrates strong coherence between its sections. Assessors are asked to look for clear links between the sections in the entry. For example, clear links between knowledge of students and where they are at, setting goals for their learning, selecting appropriate learning activities, assessing their learning, and plans for future teaching.