The following are my notes from the first part of a session Faye facilitated for two hundred Vancouver teachers at the Croatian Centre on Friday November 26th. Here’s the link to her Powerpoint slides.
If you are going to doing something new, you must stop doing something old.
If you are going to do more of this, you must do less of something else.
Assessment for Learning
|Purpose||Guide Learning & Inform Instruction|
|Audience||Teachers & Students|
|Timing||On-going, minute by minute, day by day|
|Black & Wiliam, 1998||Hattie & Timperley, 2007|
Six Big AfL Strategies
- Learning Intentions
- Descriptive Feedback
- Self & Peer Assessment
- Ownership of Learning
- In classrooms where all 6 strategies are in place, the impact on student learning is greater than any other intervention, including a smaller class size.
Learning intentions give students a target for their learning. They help students focus their learning – especially as they transition from one class/activity to another. They also help students “return to the centre” when their learning takes them off on interesting tangents.
Faye gave the analogy of a playing golf. Without the flag, your chance of “hitting the target” is very low even if you have a great golf swing.
Note: learning intentions need to be bigger than a content checklist.
Co-created with students. There is a danger that one goes straight to a rubric. Students need to own the criteria. Initially identify, with students, what “Accomplished” looks like and later look at what Approaching and Exceeding look like.
Three questions (iterative) that are continually being asked:
- What’s working?
- What’s not working?
- What’s next?
- Note: eventually one does need to move on, have closure.
They need to be open-ended because that is how the learning goes into long term memory. Need to apply the knowledge to an open-ended situation to engage with it.
Use strategies (like no hands up) so that everyone participates. Don’t want to have a few students contributing all the time. Having students work with a partner before any one answers reduces the risk factor for students.
- What kind of questions?
- Who answers?
- Who asks?
- Faye had us do activities at our tables involving series images where all we were permitted to do was ask questions (answering was not allowed). Each image gave progressively more detail and the kinds of questions we were asking became increasing specific.
- This is an area that everyone at our table identified as an area of focus when we go back to our classrooms on Monday.
Self and Peer Assessment
Students as the ultimate consumer of the assessment –> it informs them as to the next step in their learning. They need to know how to talk to each other to get feedback –> this is why we need to criteria (criteria that they own). Keep the end in mind.
Note: if only the teacher is giving the feedback then students are going to have wait too long.
Students owning their learning which increases their engagement and motivation. This the net result of the other five pieces being in place.
All the fantastic examples of what each of these look like in K-12 classrooms and the various activities that we were engaged in as Faye modeled for us.