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Assessment for Learning
Transcript of Assessment for Learning
Assessment for Learning
Key Principles of Assessment for Learning.
Formative Assessment: Key Principals
It is still a current assumption in the 21st Century that assessments are mostly teacher driven to assess student knowledge, it is what my education believed. However this believe has changed, since 2007 it was stated by the New Zealand government: `The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students' learning and teachers' teaching as both student and teacher respond to the information that it provides.' From the New Zealand curriculum, p.39.
'A key aspect of assessment is to inform future planning. Lessons need to be based on what students know and can do now, and how the knowledge and skills need to be developed.’ p.19 Clarke.
Is for the teacher to find out the levels and needs of his students before planning a unit and/or a lesson. To know what students know in order to plan realistically. This step is crucial to "Set the students for success." (as mentioned by Nikki Todd in her lecture on `Assessment for Learning') help the teacher to set achievement objectives, learning intentions and success criteria that are realistic and achievable for students. It is equally relevant to help students towards self-assessment as stated in Chapter 8 Mc Gee and Fraser, ‘Getting the level of challenge just right is an important ingredient in having student take control of their own learning and become involved in the learning process.’p163 I think it is relevant for students to see where they are at in order to scaffold their learning successfully. It seems natural to me that teacher would use the information collected from the diagnostic assessment as a base for learning and teaching. It seems to me that my education in France used diagnostic assessment a lot however always as a written record and a general mark against other students in my class which I did not like. I don't think it was successful at all. I love competition however those assessing ways were intimidating and in my opinion didn't provide scaffolding for successful learning. Always felt judged and pressured, it also never left room for self assessment. The teacher was the master in that sense. I believe I can do things differently in my classroom and provide a safe environment for students where they can learn how to learn. A few days before planning for a unit I would ask my students questions about a specific theme or subject and see how much they know about it. I think I can introduce the subject and assess their prior knowledge by asking specific questions about it. Then I will have a clear picture of where they are at for my planning. Also it would provide some foreshadowing for my students, activating knowledge they have and make them think about that subject or theme prior to the lesson. I can ask my students to do some research prior to the unit or lesson so they can activate their prior knowledge for a successful and safe learning journey towards life long learning.
Is for the teacher to assist students to understand the goals of the learning and provide successful strategies to achieve them. Formative assessment should be incorporated naturally and logically in the lesson for students to become aware of their own learning strategies, learning how to learn with the teacher as a guide. I think this is the most important work teachers have to achieve, it is a challenging one. I remember my ESOL teacher giving clear examples of the task he wanted us to do. For me the use of example as visual helped me a lot for others seeing it written helped too. My ESOL teacher was very attentive and new how to help us to achieve a specific task. His feedback on writing essays were very insightful and always specific to my work. He would underline specifically what I had done well and the things I had to work on to improve my writing. My ESOL teacher would ask the class to participate in each other's learning, help each other with our learning. He kept things simple which doesn't mean it was easy just very clear and to the point. We knew exactly what he expected us to do. He was an inspiration, he always kept us motivated . I watched Dylan William’s five key strategies animated on YouTube 'Assessment for learning' and it reminded me of a maths teacher I had! He had organized a shelf with three colored circles for us to arrange our maths books in at the end of each lessons: Green for 'I understood the lesson', orange for `I understood but I think I steel need some clarifications' and red for `I have no idea what this lesson was about.' I am also going to put this strategy in my developing teacher philosophy `kete' as i think it falls under John Hattie's visual learning theory, and I can see now how useful it might of been for that teacher. Also following John Hattie's theory this technique promoted students towards self assessing of their understanding and independence: Students taking control of their own learning.
I will definitely use this assessment strategy in my classroom.
The teacher gives specific feed backs to the class or individual students often at the end of the lesson or a task about the students' achievements. Feed backs are to be clearly measured against learning intention and assessment criteria. Further to that, feed backs are for students to know how well they achieved a task and what needs improvement. A key factor mentioned by Clarke’s p.61 is the importance when marking to focus on giving feedback on the learning intention and not other criteria. Information can be too much for the student to handle and discourage him. Teachers have to focus on one or two criteria only. Often it is not what appears straight away on a student task that has to be marked or commented on.Feed forward is the step students can take next in their learning as well as teachers. Teachers should equip learners with the desire and the capacity to take charge of their learning through developing the skills of self-assessment. Through summative assessment students should learn to know their weaknesses and build strategies to overcome those in all subject areas with the teacher's help. The use of summative assessment for the teacher is crucial to plan their next teaching step but also for parents to know the progress of their child. I remember at school having to talk to my parents and my teacher about work progress and what went wrong. I did not like it, I think it is difficult to be honest in this situation (3 way conference) as I felt pressured and judged most of the time. Some parents find it difficult to talk about a specific matter in front of their child. I would try to make it as pleasant as possible for the parents and the student if the school requires this sort of meetings. I like the use of portfolios, I think it is a great way to show students work all through the year, It is very easy with the portfolio for the child to write comments on his work and his progress as well as next learning step. The use of portfolio is great for parents to see their child's progress instead of just a report with a grade. Here is an example of self-evaluation sheet, for Maths, from Opawa school which goes to the student's portfolio.
Setting Specific Learning Intentions is crucial for students to have a clear picture of what is expected of them so they can fully engage with a task. In Clarke's Unlocking Formative Assessment it is clear that learning intentions should be shared for every lesson with students so they know exactly what is it they are trying to achieve and how. It is mentioned also that learning intentions play a major part of effective feed backs. For those reason I believe learning intentions and effective feed backs are the key principals to formative assessment for students to build their confidence towards self-evaluation. Those three key principals are intertwined in the use of assessment for successful learning and teaching. As mentioned in Mc gee and Fraser ‘the purpose of classroom assessment is to improve student’s learning and teacher’s teaching in order to help students reach their individual potential and develop the competencies and dispositions they will need for further study, work, lifelong learning and to lead satisfying lives.’p161. For those reasons will learn to include those key principals into my teaching practice by giving clear goals to students introducing learning intentions and assessment criteria. While teaching make sure to give formative feed backs to the class and individuals always keeping track of learning intentions by having them written down. Using visual learning as a tool to successful teaching and learning. Self-evaluation can be established at the beginning and at the end of each lesson and having the learning intention clearly written will facilitate the learner to become more independent as it is a constant reminder of the goal he tries to achieve. Set for success!