The tools you see on the site have been developed and tested for more than two years. During this time, at least 5 versions of each tool were developed. New versions were the result of testing the tools.

First of all, each tool was tested by the developers who tried to apply them to assessing the products of their own learners. This process was extremely important as it is ensured that the tool is not “theoretical” and it can work at least in the hands of those who have authored it.

The second step was to share the tools with a small team of teachers who are familiar with the approach but did not take part in the process of development. We asked the teachers to use the tools for assessing their learners and then share the results with us. In addition to sharing the actual assessment, the teachers also brought the materials they used and specific samples of students’ works. We also invited comments and took note of all the concerns.

The next step was testing the tools with a group of teachers who are not familiar with the approach. This was done as part of professional development events for teachers of maths, mother tongue and a foreign language we ran in two cities in Latvia. About 70 teachers took part in the workshops. The approach was similar to the previous step as here we also asked the teachers to provide us with all the contextual data such as materials they used, samples of students’ works and their own comments.

Finally, an important part of “testing” was the process of translation of the tools from one language to the other. We used three languages for testing (Latvian, Russian and English) and we often realised that the version in one of the languages “worked better”. This helped us reconsider the versions in the other languages and improve the tools as a result.

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