Glossary of key terms – Evaluate, assess and to what extent

Stage 6 CAFS – this resource supports students to build their understanding of the glossary words 'evaluate, assess and to what extent'.

One in a series of CAFS glossary related resources.

This resource supports students to build their understanding of the glossary words and uses sample responses with guided support to show the language of the glossary of key terms to respond effectively to marking criteria.

Glossary of key terms – Evaluate, assess and to what extent'

Watch 'Glossary of key terms – Evaluate, assess and to what extent' (30:23).

Exploring the glossary terms 'evaluate, assess and to what extent'

Kate Rayner

Hi, everyone. Thanks for accessing this HSC Hub community and family studies support resource. I'm Kate Rayner, the Curriculum Support Advisor in the PDHPE secondary education team. This resource is a part of a suite of videos focused on building understanding around the New South Wales Education Standards Authority, Glossary of key words. This resource aims to take a deeper look at the glossary words and how they can be explicitly taught in the subject of Community and family studies. It focuses on the key words most commonly used in HSC examinations.

The CAFS glossary of keywords resources can be accessed and watched in any order. Each resource is designed to build an understanding of a single glossary word and it does this by breaking that word down, understanding how it can be represented in a marking criteria, and then using students' sample responses to demonstrate the language of the word. Each resource models a step by step approach to building understanding. It shows teachers a way the glossary words can be explicitly taught. Teachers may decide they want to use parts of this resource with students as a guided model with a series of classroom activities, allowing students to demonstrate their understanding of each glossary word and the language of the glossary word in responses.

This resource uses student sample responses or paragraphs to model the language of the glossary word and will do so in the context of community and family studies core content only. It's important to note though that the glossary of key words can be directly transferred to the option content as well.

Glossary of key words, what do they mean and how do I support my students to use them? The purpose behind the glossary is to help students better prepare for the HSC by showing them that certain keywords are used similarly in examination questions across different subjects they're studying. In classrooms, teachers of different subjects could use the glossary to help students to better understand what the exam question in their subject requires. Students should recognize a consistent approach of teachers of different subjects and get cues to how to approach exam questions.

When using keywords to construct questions, tasks, and marking criteria, it's helpful to ask what the use of the word in a particular question requires students to do. Keywords are best discussed with students in the context of questions, content and task they're working on rather than in isolation. Teachers must ensure that they do not use them in ways that conflict with their particular meaning within subjects. For example, a word like evaluate requires a different kind of response in mathematics to that from history. Account for in History requires a different response to that in CAFS. It's important to know where the similarities are and where the differences are. And talking to teachers across different KLA faculties will help to do this.

It's important to explain to students what the glossary of keywords are and why we need to respond to them. We can say the glossary of key words as a set of verbs and we know a verb is a doing word like skipping or hopping. So if I asked your students to do something like hop and then gave them the success criteria for it, such as move up and down off the ground continuously and on one foot, what would it look like? How confident do you think they would be to start hopping? How confident would you be to make a judgment on how well they achieved it? Do you think any of them would have skipped? Probably not, and that's because they know what hopping looks like and you gave them the success criteria to achieve it.

The glossary words can be seen in the exact same way. Stage four and five and the prelim course are for students to learn what the verb looks like and build understanding of criteria to achieve success when responding to them. The same way they could achieve success when they responded to the doing word hop. Therefore. the glossary of keywords is asking students to do something with the content. The content, the information that's learnt dictated by the syllabus doesn't change. How it's represented on paper does. It's important to know that the complexity of these words changes. It starts with something simple like identify which involves recall, moving in complexity to a word like explain where students use the skill of identifying multiple concepts and show the effect of these concepts on each other. To analyze where students are using the skill of identifying concepts, creating a relationship or effect between concepts and then thinking critically to demonstrate the impact of that relationship.

So when teaching these words, we can't just apply the glossary word as it sits with the content in the syllabus. Students should not be write learning responses. Teaching and learning activities are needed that offer the opportunity to think critically about the content to enable opinions to be formed and judgments to be made or to problem solve so that students would be thinking about impact of actions. This learning and thinking will help students apply these glossary words to any content.

In this CAFS glossary of key words resource, we will take a deeper look at the words, evaluate, assess and to what extent. This next section will model a step by step approach to building understanding for the words evaluate, assess and to what extent. It will show you a way these glossary words can be explicitly taught. This section is designed to be delivered direct to students. Teachers may choose to use this for their own learning or alternatively teachers may consider showing the video direct to their class as they unpack the glossary words together.

These words, evaluate, assess and to what extent all have similar meaning and the expectation will be to respond to questions using these words in a similar way. You will notice they all have the word judgment in their definition and students will need to make decisions based on the value of something. Therefore, they can decide whether something is valuable or not. It might be that they show advantages or disadvantages or make a statement on the benefit of impact or lack of impact. Therefore, you can see from this language that there needs to be a presentation of both sides of argument. And finally, a judgment has to be made.

These words are considered to be higher order and usually have higher mark values attached to them. This is because in order to make valid judgements, students go through a series of steps to make their case. The first is to identify the issue and provide detailed content knowledge to provide a background for the reader. Secondly, they present both sides of the argument. This usually contains examples and where there has been an impact. Stronger responses will show both sides of the argument therefore they're creating a discussion. These will usually show elements of critical thinking showing that impact can be both positive and negative depending on the situation. This is why identifying the issue and providing deep content knowledge of the issue is important because it creates a backstory for the judgment to be linked to. And finally, a valid judgment is made.

You can say that there are clear series of steps and you might also hear lower order and middle order glossary words building on each other to reach the highest order glossary words, evaluate, to what extent or assess. What I mean by this is in step one, you're required to use the skill of identify to identify the issue which will come from the question and we'll usually link to an area of content. To create understanding, to show you deep content knowledge, you should describe what the issue is.

The next step requires students to create a discussion for the reader. This has done through the presentation of both sides of the argument such as the positives and negatives which will allow you to form a valid opinion and therefore your judgment. If you were to make a judgment without showing how you created that judgment, it would be seen as a weaker response.

Why is it important that we respond to the glossary word? I've used the online program wordle to create the visual representation you can see on screen. The visual represents a summary of the language from the marking criteria for the top marks of all the questions that you use the glossary words, evaluate, assess and to what extent from the last five years of New South Wales HSC CAFS examinations, the words that showed the characteristics from the top marks at the marking criteria were directly copied and pasted from the NESA examination packs into Wordle. For every time a word is repeated, the word within the Wordle increases in size. Therefore the larger the word, the more common it was seen in the marking criteria.

From the image on screen, it can be seen that ‘judgements’ is the most common word from these criteria proving that to form a judgment is what these glossary words are asking you to do. There are three key ideas that are really jumping out to me when I look at this image. The first one relates to a student's ability to show their ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ of the content. This language is seen in a larger text all of equal size, demonstrating ‘extensive’ ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’. Therefore it is essential that students build their argument and create their judgements around deep understanding of content knowledge.

The second key idea relates to students making judgements seen in the largest of all the words ‘judgments’. The third key idea for me relates to the second largest font size in dark blue. This is the word ‘valid’. Judgements must be seen as valid. Judgements can only be valid if they backed up by the support of content knowledge and a strong argument with realistic and clear examples to support.

The smaller language around these keywords is interesting because this is where in the syllabus, the evaluate, assess and to what extent questions have come from to date. For example, on screen, you can see smaller words like ‘research’, ‘parents’, ‘social’, ‘legislation’, ‘case studies’, ‘services’, ‘gender’, ‘expectations’, indicating that questions using these glossary words are being used to address content from all three cores from the syllabus.

Finally, this Wordle was created from every marking criteria using these words. You'll also notice language from each of the three options. Words like ‘individuals’, ‘entitlements’, ‘emerging technologies’, ‘government’, ‘environment’, ‘aged’, ‘wellbeing’. This represents the content from all three options, family and societal interactions, social impact of technology and individuals and work. Words like evaluate, assess and to what extent are commonly thought to be seen in the 15 mark extended response question. However, it has been proven above that students might be asked to form opinions and make judgements on other areas of content, such as core content and lower mark values of allocated. Students must think about how they respond to these words.

If you can show that you have the skills of identify, describe, to create a discussion, students who perform well will then be able to build on that themselves and apply the skills of critical thinking to form valid opinions and judgments to any course content.

In our next section, we'll use a set of classroom activities which can be used in a range of ways as individual tasks for students to work through. These are also available as word documents for download on the HSC hub. Teachers may choose to use this section for their own learning or use the activities with the class. In this instance, teachers may consider showing the video direct to their class as they unpack the glossary words and work through each activity together.

The following slides show three samples. The first is a full script and the following two are single paragraphs that respond directly to evaluate, assess, or to what extent questions. These can be printed and worked on individually or pulled apart as a class. However, due to the broad nature of the content, where examples of different to what you've been taught in class, seek clarification from your teacher. When reading through, they see if you can identify and highlight to create a visual of the language within the text that shows the formation of a judgment. Write these words on a post it note and create a word bank for yourself or if in class, create a word bank for your classroom. Know that the judgment language is different to the content specific language.

When you're reading and pulling apart these samples to find the judgment, note where the judgment sits in the paragraph. Things to consider, how often is there judgment made and where are they made? Are they isolated sentence of judgment or are they conjoined? How does the judgment sit around the content? Has the issue within each sample been unpacked? Have both sides of the argument being developed? How does the judgment link to the content? These are all important things to consider when you're responding to questions like this. If you can see how these are modelled in the samples, you could take this modelling and apply it to your own future responses.

Use the sample script below to find the judgment language for the question, 'Assess how sampling contributes to reliable and valid data'. Six marks.

[See resource booklet]

How did you go? On screen, you'll see the exact same script as the previous slide. However, I will draw your attention to the dark red writing. It shows all the judgment language. You'll notice that there are many judgments made throughout the response. And this has because of the amount of content, the question is asking for judgements on. For a response like this, you would be expected to identify the issue and, in this case, the sampling process, create a discussion on how effective sampling can support reliable and valid data collection. And when both sides of the argument have been shown, opinions need to be formed and a clear judgment needs to be made.

The course content and the dash points that sit underneath the sampling, learn about dot point, are method size and group. Judgments can be made on how each contribute to reliable and valid data. This content comes from core one research methodology. And this question is worth six marks. The marks allocated will influence the response. The red writing shows judgment throughout. A strong judgment statement has been made to begin with and the first paragraph breaks that down to validate this judgment. However, judgment is not just at the beginning of the paragraph or tacked onto the end. The content knowledge sits around the judgment proving and supporting the judgment that has been made.

The type of judgment language that has been used are examples of values-based judgment because of the definition of the glossary word, 'assess' to make a judgment on the value or outcome. Therefore, the red writing in this response includes words such as ‘most valid’, ‘is essential’, ‘will be highly invalid’, ‘lowest credibility’, ‘increasing the probability’ and ‘increasing the opportunity of’. Each of these judgments has created the link between the sample method or group and the collection of reliable and valid data.

You'll also notice blue writing in the sample answer. This is language linking the two different sides of the issue. In this case where the sampling will lead to reliable and valid data collection or unreliable and invalid data collection. Therefore, creating a discussion. The blue language of ‘however’ and ‘may seem’ allows a case to be built supporting a clear judgment on the reliability and validity of the data. The use of examples are supporting evidence for the judgment statements made. These judgements would not be as strong without the use of the focus example, ‘exercise habits of eight to 10-year-old boys’. The judgments made about these methods relate directly to this example, therefore validating them. This was a strong example to use because the judgments made about the sampling group were highly obvious and made links to the sampling methods simpler and allowed for some of the less obvious sampling methods to be included like cluster sampling.

You will notice this response does not include the size of the sample group. This doesn't mean that it's a weaker response. This was done strategically. If there was a high amount value allocated to this question, such as seven or eight marks, there would be a strong expectation to include judgments on the impact of sample size on the collection of reliable and valid data. This response still remains a strong response due to the depth of content knowledge of sampling methods. Three methods were used to show the depth of knowledge and to draw valid conclusions to the collection of reliable and valid data.

Finally separate the terms, ‘reliable’ and ‘valid data’. Make sure through your unpacking of the content relating to sampling, that you show your understanding of each of these terms. When we group the terms together, these create a weaker response. See if you can find where in their response, it shows the detailed knowledge of these two content points.

Use the sample paragraph below to find the judgment language for the question, 'To what extent does advocacy assist in creating a positive and supportive environment for this group?' This content is directly related to the category B content for groups in context. For this sample paragraph, I've used the category B group, the aged. However, you could respond with your knowledge of the category B groups, culturally and linguistically diverse, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, rural and remote families, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender inter sex communities, sole parents, or homeless people.

[See resource booklet for script]

How did you go? On screen, you'll see the exact same script as the previous slide. And I will again, draw your attention to the dark red writing. It shows all the judgment language. Once again, notice that the red writing or the judgment is throughout the paragraph. Judgment language throughout the responses can be seen as ‘greatly assist the increase’, ‘leading to a higher level’, ‘will more likely result in’ and ‘provides a strong sense’. This sample, a single paragraph demonstrates a strong judgment statement in the first sentence and this is again, supported with judgment language throughout. For example, the statement, "Advocacy when successful, accepted and heard by the community has the greatest impact to change the environment for the aged" is important because it sets up the response to show critical thinking, to show the advocacy is not always successful. It supports the second step of the process to show both sides of the argument showing how effective advocacy can create a change in environment versus ineffective advocacy.

This judgment statement is not valid alone, which is why as the responses unpacked and the deep content knowledge shown other judgment statements are needed. A judgment has been made on the extent or how much the example COTA- Counsel on the Aged, has assisted in creating effective change on the environment for the age through its advocacy of lobbying the government to promote the rights of the group. This has been supported with the examples of the aged care standards and detailed content knowledge of what they are. This has created and supported the argument and allowed opinions to be formed about how that change has been effective, ensuring that the judgment statements are valid.

What you might also notice is the blue critical thinking language is not present in this paragraph. Like it was in the previous sample script. This language used to create the discussion or the presentation of both sides of an issue or argument is missing. As this is a single paragraph and therefore not a complete response, being strategic and considering the high nature of the marks allocated, the next paragraph could show an area where advocacy has not been effective in creating change. Whilst a marking criteria for eight mark question is unlikely to specify that this is needed, a stronger response will do this.

Other things to consider, where is this question coming from in the syllabus? This is worth eight marks, how many paragraphs do you think are needed in order to make this a complete response? How many examples like the use of COTA or Counsel on the Aged must be known in order to clearly structure future paragraphs to make a complete response?

Use the sample script below to find the judgment language for the question, 'Evaluate how social influences affect the roles of parents and carers'. Eight marks.

[See resource booklet]

How did you go? Are you feeling more confident to find the judgments? On screen, you'll see the exact same script as a previous slide. However again, I'll draw your attention to the dark red writing. It shows all the judgment language and once again, you'll notice that the red writing that judgment is throughout the paragraph. This question asks you to make a judgment on the social influences that affect the roles of parents and carers. This question requires strong syllabus knowledge to know that the content that relates to this question. Weaker responses would link social influences as a general concept to the role of parents and carers or may even think social influences relate to social events due to misunderstanding the syllabus content.

Once you've recognized where the content for this question is coming from, you would need to decide how many social influences you would respond with. Would you respond with all three social influences, community attitudes, gender expectations and media stereotypes or less than that? The marks allocated will help you decide. This paragraph uses the content dot point of gender expectation as the social influence on the roles parents adopt. It's important that you show understanding of the roles and use the specific terminology of the roles, promoting wellbeing, satisfying specific needs, and building positive relationship. Again, strong syllabus knowledge of the roles is required.

Due to the amount of content combinations that I could respond with for this question, it makes it quite complex. Therefore, planning and being strategic how you answer a question like this is essential. For this I've linked gender expectations of parents to only promoting wellbeing and satisfying specific needs. If I bought in the third role of building positive relationships or made judgments for parents and carers, I run the risk of not building and creating the discussion for a strong and valid judgment to be made. As this is just one sample paragraph and not a full response, the following paragraph could relate to carers. Strong responses will show a separation between parents and carers and acknowledged that the situation and influences are different and therefore they need to be viewed differently and judgments need to show the differences. Grouping the terms, parents and carers together and generalizing the examples weakens your response.

You can see from the script on screen, that there is consistent judgment throughout the script shown in the red writing. The red writing uses language such as ‘fully satisfies’, ‘more so’, ‘can confidently make’, ‘it is impossible’ and ‘not at all’. All of these language makes strong statements. However, most interestingly is where the judgment sits in the paragraph. There is more than one judgment but unlike the other scripts, they appear towards the middle to the end of this paragraph. This is because the first part of the paragraph provides a detailed content knowledge of the issue, the social influence affecting the roles. This is needed to create the discussion that the judgment is attached to.

What you may not notice is that information around the judgment language is directly related to the content. So, for each of the links to the role, there is a judgment language and how the expectations of being a male or female is influencing the role. Again, notice the blue writing, ‘however’, used twice in the paragraph which allows for both sides of the argument to be present, showing a discussion.

Finally, the examples of social foster parents who are same sex couple and the inclusion of sole parent families has been strategic as it brings in deeper content knowledge and understanding of legislation around who can foster and the acknowledgement that not all family structures are nuclear. Therefore, we're creating really strong links across the parenting and caring content.

As we move towards the end of this presentation, I'm going to give you a quick recap of some of the tips that you may have picked up throughout this video. Firstly, judgment must be made throughout the paragraph. It cannot be just a sentence starter or paragraph finisher. And while there's no right or wrong way your judgment can be made, It's really important that the judgment links directly to the content or the statement around it. Isolated statements of judgment may not be seen as valid.

Judgment paragraphs are usually large in nature and that's because they follow the three steps discussed back in slide five. Identify the issue and provide detailed content knowledge, giving a background to the reader. Two, present both sides of the argument. This usually contains example and where there has been an impact. Remembering stronger responses will show both sides so a discussion is been created. And that was seen in the samples where the blue writing was present. Where a judgment is made, it must be valid.

Finally, a further tip, if marks allocated to a question like this are high and there's a large number of content dot points to cover, don't feel like you have to cover them all. Be selective. It's better to show deep content knowledge and present both sides of an issue and make strong and consistent judgments than write about all the content dot points but only cover their characteristics and features.

So, by now, you would have also collected on post it notes, all your judgment language that you've seen to create a word bank. So, you could apply that language if you were to get a similar question in HSC examination. However now, think about what other language could be used. Build on this word bank with other ways of showing judgment.

Extension activities. Here's some extension activities that you could complete by yourself with friends or together as a class. Use the paragraphs that have been given as a beginning paragraph for a whole script. For each of the questions, identify exactly where in the syllabus it comes from and then identify other student learn about dot points that can be used to create new paragraphs. Use the paragraph that you've been given to model what the other paragraphs might look like. Think about the marks that have been allocated. What would happen if more marks were allocated, how many more paragraphs do you think would be needed? What if the marks were lessened, what would that do to the paragraph? Use the guide of three lines per mark to think about how much space you have to respond to these questions. Whilst this is not always the case, but just a general guide, practicing the amount of space that you think would be allowed. Be sure to fill up every line right, small and go all the way to the edges. Time yourself after planning what your next paragraph looks like allowing yourself the time to write the rest of the response. Replace, evaluate, assess, or to what extent glossary word with other glossary words such as describe or discuss. How might this change the response? Would it change the number of paragraphs and the number of examples needed? Finally swap your response with a friend to assess your work. Use a highlighter to show where they've made judgements. Use the tips as a checklist and offer feedback to a classmate.

As we come to the end, I hope that you've been able to build your understanding of these glossary words and armed yourself with some tips and strategies you can easily apply if you were to get a question where these glossary words as the doing word in the HSC examination. Good luck.

[End of transcript]


Community and Family Studies Stage 6 Syllabus (2016) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales.

Return to top of page Back to top