Basic Competency Assessment comprises three components, namely TSA, STAR (upgraded version of Student Assessment) and Web-based Learning and Teaching Support (WLTS).
"STAR" is an online assessment repository, capable of assessing through a computer system the performance* of participating students, and generating instant assessment reports for teachers’ reference. Student Assessment has been upgraded to the STAR platform (http://star.hkedcity.net), which can be accessed through the website of Hong Kong Education City. It will start to be available from Friday, 30 September 2016 to allow users to explore this new platform.
*Except Writing and Speaking in Chinese and English Languages
In 2000, the Education Commission proposed to introduce Basic Competency Assessments in its report entitled "Learning for Life. Learning through Life" to better enhance the effectiveness of learning and teaching. TSA is one of the components of Basic Competency Assessments. TSA is an assessment on students’ basic competencies in Chinese Language, English Language and Mathematics upon completion of the three key learning stages (i.e. Primary 3, Primary 6 and Secondary 3 levels). Basic competencies form part of the curriculum and are embedded in schools’ everyday teaching and internal assessments. Students are expected to acquire the basic competencies in the three subjects in order to proceed effectively to the next key learning stage.
At the territory-wide level, TSA data enables the Government to review education policies and focused support provided for schools. An annual Territory-wide System Assessment Report gives an account of the overall performance of students participating in the assessment in a given year.
At the school level, TSA provides four types of school reports with different coverage for schools’ selection to serve the function of "assessment for learning". It helps teachers identify the overall strengths and weaknesses of students and formulate plans to improve the effectiveness of learning and teaching in light of the assessment data and their schools’ development needs. In general, after analysing students’ performance in TSA, schools will follow up through various measures, such as adjusting the teaching content, revamping the design of worksheets and assessments, and arranging after-school remedial programmes to cater for learner diversity.
All TSA items are uploaded onto the following websites:
"Web-based Learning and Teaching Support" is an online platform for the development of students’ basic competencies, providing ready-made learning activities and materials developed to address learning difficulties for teachers’ reference and use.
The Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy
Established in October 2014, the Coordinating Committee on Basic Competency Assessment and Assessment Literacy (the Committee) is tasked with recommending directions for the development of "Basic Competency Assessment" (including "Territory-wide System Assessment" (TSA) and "Student Assessment") as well as the enhancement of assessment literacy among schools.
Review of Basic Competency Assessment
The Education Bureau (EDB) announced in late October 2015 that the Committee would conduct a comprehensive review of the implementation of TSA. Two working groups have been set up under the Committee to conduct an in-depth study of the reporting and administration and the papers and question design of TSA respectively, with a view to recommending short, medium and long-term improvement measures. The Committee submitted to EDB the Report on Review of the Territory-wide System Assessment in February 2016.
2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3)
The Committee submitted the report on the review of the arrangements of the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) and the 2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3) (Tryout Study) in December 2016.
Based on the recommendations by the Committee, the 2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3) should be implemented as a tryout arrangement in order to obtain views on the adjusted assessment papers and question design together with the different formats of reporting. The outcome of the 2016 Tryout Study would be appropriately adopted for enhancement of the 2017 assessment arrangement. Please click here for details.
2017 Basic Competency Assessment Research Study (2017 Research Study)
The EDB announced in January 2017 the introduction of the 2017 Research Study, extending the new initiatives for enhancement under the 2016 Tryout Study to all primary schools in the territory in 2017 with a view to collecting more comprehensive feedback. The new initiatives for enhancement included improving assessment papers and question design, enhancing school reports, strengthening diversified professional support measures and including a questionnaire survey on learning attitude and motivation. All public sector primary schools (i.e. more than 470 schools) and more than 20 private primary schools participated in the 2017 Research Study. Details are set out in the Report on Review of the Primary 3 Territory-wide System Assessment 2015-17.
Arrangements for the 2020 Territory-wide System Assessment
Having assessed the developments of the novel coronavirus epidemic, gauging the views of the school sector and making reference to the previous experiences in handling epidemics, the Education Bureau (EDB) has decided to suspend the Territory-wide System Assessment (including all oral and written assessments), which is originally scheduled to be held from April to June of the current school year. Considering the setting of all questions of the Territory-wide System Assessment has basically been completed, the EDB will discuss with the school sector on how to make good use of the assessment materials set against the related Basic Competencies, allowing both schools and the EDB to better understand how the class suspension due to the epidemic as well as various arrangements on “suspending classes without suspending learning” have affected students’ learning. It enables schools to focally address the area students warrant support in future with a view to enhancing assessment for learning.
Update on TSA
2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3) and 2017 Basic Competency Assessment Research Study
2016 Tryout Study (Primary 3) Sharing of school experience
Quality Primary Education Seminar
Introduction to TSA