APASO-III (Secondary) - Notes for Using APASO-III
- The targets of assessment are Secondary 1 to Secondary 6 students. It primarily measures the social and affective performance of all students or specific group of students at school. Special schools can administer APASO according to the nature of their students.
- Schools have to formulate clear assessment goals and select suitable scales or subscales on a need basis to collect the data relating to student performance in the social and affective areas.
- “Affective Development” is one of the “Key Performance Measures”, which consists of several subscales of APASO in different dimensions. Schools can collect relevant data according to their annual school self-evaluation.
- Schools should assign suitable teachers and working groups to coordinate the use of APASO and make use of school’s ESDA to carry out related assessment work so as to enhance work effectiveness and alleviate teachers’ workload.
- Details of APASO-III (Secondary) are available in the User Manual and it can be downloaded from schools’ ESDA.
- The assessment data only reflect students’ self-proclaimed perception and their experiences. The accuracy of the assessment results will be affected by the attitude of students in completing the questionnaire and the process of completing the questionnaire.
- The frequency of using the same scale should not be too intense. There should be at least a six-month interval or ideally a year before using the same assessment tool again.
- The number of assessment tools or assessment items to be used each time depends on the age, the ability and the ultimate purpose of using these assessment tools. It is suggested that, in each assessment, the maximum number of assessment items should range from 80 to 100 so that students will not be overloaded.
- Schools should not arrange a large number of students to complete the questionnaire in the same place. The assessment should be conducted within a class or within a group.
- Schools should arrange students to be assessed in a confidential and anonymous manner and they should ensure that students have ample time to complete the questionnaire. When completing the questionnaire, their seats should be separated from each other at a reasonable distance so that they can answer the questions in private. If students are asked to complete the questionnaire in the computer room, they should be given the option of free seating.
- Teachers should state the purpose of the questionnaire and explain to their students on how to answer the questions in a concise manner. Instructions given should be consistent. The introduction should not last more than 10 minutes.
- If necessary, for instance, in catering for students with difficulties in reading, teachers can read out the instructions for completing the questionnaire and they can read aloud the items as students progress through them.
- Students may have different perceptions towards social and affective domains at different key stages. The data can help schools understand the growing process of students and their needs.
- The relevant data are not an assessment of students’ standard and they do not represent students’ achievements. Schools should not analyse the data from a value-added perspective and they should not set their objective as surpassing the norm.
- Students’ social and affective performance are influenced by a number of factors such as the support service offered at school, the learning activities, family, age and gender. When interpreting the data, schools should analyse the data alongside other data and information at school for holistic consideration and, based on which, they can improve on their support services.
- There is not an absolute standard for the assessment data. Schools should not use the data to compare the effectiveness of different schools.
- When making a comparison with the norm data, schools should not delete certain categories of students such as the newly arrived children.
- Schools should compare their scores with the norm in a cautious manner. They should understand that some schools will have a lower score than the norm and some higher. Unless there is a big gap between their scores and the norm, schools’ concern should be placed on the cross-year changes of a particular group of students or the diffeences in scores among subscales.