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What is AfL?• Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions.• Eliciting evidence of pupil learning, through the use of tests and quizzes, for example.• Providing feedback that moves learning forward.• Using pupils as learning resources for one another, through methods such as peer assessment and peer tutoring.• Encouraging pupils to be owners of their own learning, through self- assessment and other methods.
Assessment For Learning Tools AfL is successful when embedded in teaching and learning. This toolkit aims to help by presenting different facets, activities and tools for teachers to use in order to achieve this. I hope you find it useful!Sourceshttp://www.aaia.org.uk/pdf/Publications/AAIA%20Pupils%20Learning%20from%20Teachers%20Responses.pdfhttp://www.aaia.org.uk/pdf/Publications/AAIAformat4.pdfhttp://www.aaia.org.uk/pdf/asst_learning_practice.pdfhttp://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/300200.aspxhttp://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t7669.htmlwww.harford.edu/irc/assessment/FormativeAssessmentActivities.docPaul Black et al, Assessment for Learning, (Open University Press, Maidenhead, 2003)Paul Black et al, “Working inside the black box”, (nferNelson, London, 2002)Paul Black and Dylan William, Inside the Black Box, (nferNelson, London, 1998)Assessment Reform Group, Testing, Motivation and Learning, (The Assessment Reform Group, Cambridge, 2002)Assessment Reform Group, Assessment for Learning, (The Assessment Reform Group, Cambridge, 1999)My headOther people’s heads
Students write Questions Students ask Questions Comment-only marking Mid-unit assessment ‘Might’Wait-time Open vs closed Exemplar Work Student Marking Making aims clearLesson Target Setting Teacher ReviewStudent Review Traffic Lights 2 stars and a wishSelf-assessment Targets One-Sentence Summary Articulate then Answer Scene-Setting Tell your neighbourIdea Thoughts Bouncing Wait and recap Incorrect Discussion Muddiest PointDevising Questions Learning Journal Redrafting Key features Invert the QuestionImprovement Guidance Comment Follow-up Group feedback Peer Marking ThumbsTeach Collaboration Traffic-Light Revision Generate and Answer Student Mark-Scheme Group AnswersX and Y All you know Corrections Laminated Criteria Conveying ProgressThink through Talking Discuss Words Communication Thoughtful Dialogue Feedback SandwichWhat is good? Self-evaluation What is a ‘good’ question? Graphic Organisers KWLTalk Partners Post-It Response Partners Hands Down Question StemsRegulating Learning ABCD Why is it best? Show and Tell Active StudentsLong and Short Term Minute Paper Enquiry Question Smiley Faces Squares
Back to AFL Tools Students write QuestionsFor example –• About what they would like to know on a new topic• To ask the teacher or other students in order to assess their learning• To demonstrate their learning/misconceptions/areas they would like to further exploreThe classroom could have a question boxwhere students drop questions at theend of a lesson.Or, a plenary could involve students writing questions that the class then work ontogether, or forms the basis of the next lesson.
Back to AFL Tools Students ask QuestionsCreate opportunities for students toask questions. This could be of theirpeers, of the teacher or as a meansto develop discussion.A ‘question box’ for written questionsoffers a different means ofcommunication for studentsAllow time for students to askquestions about pieces of work. Thishelps open up assessment andeliminate ambiguity
Back to AFL Tools Comment-only markingComment-only marking provides studentswith a focus for progression instead of areward or punishment for their ego (as agrade does).Comments could be made in books, in atable at the front of books, in a learningdiary or journal. The latter are helpful forteacher and student to track theprogression of comments and seeimprovement.Comments should make it clear how thestudent can improve.Plan activities and work with feedback inmind – let the design assist the process.
Back to AFL Tools Mid-unit assessmentHaving an assessment at the end of aunit may not provide time for you togo over areas students havestruggled with, or in which there aregeneral misconceptions.Timing assessment during a unit (i.e.lesson 5 of 7) allows time to review,reflect and revisit.It also gives the teacher anopportunity to focus explicitly onareas of weak understandingsupported by evidence.
Back to AFL Tools ‘Might’When questioning, insert the word‘might’ to give students greateropportunity to think and explorepossible answers.e.g.What is meaning of democracy?What might the meaning ofdemocracy be? What might the Great Depression look like today?The first infers a single answer knownby the teacher whereas the second isinherently more open.
Back to AFL Tools Wait-timeWait time allows students time to thinkand therefore to produce answers. Also,not everyone in the class thinks at thesame speed or in the same way – waitingallows students to build their thoughtsand explore what has been asked.2 types of wait time –i) Teacher speaks and then waits before taking student responses.ii) Student response ends and then teacher waits before responding. This gives the student space to elaborate or continue – or for another student to respond.
Back to AFL Tools Open vs closedClosed questions can be usefulhowever are not great at facilitatingthe use of abstract thinking skills,encouraging talking or eliciting muchunderstanding. Open questions aremore likely to do this and thusimprove learning.e.g.Did you go out last night?What did you after school yesterday?
Back to AFL Tools Exemplar WorkWhen setting students a piece ofwork, show them examples that makeit clear what it is they are being askedto do – and what they need to do inorder to meet the assessment criteria.Students could mark exemplar workusing the assessment criteria. Thiswill help model what is being askedfor and how it relates to the processof assessment.
Back to AFL Tools Student MarkingBy taking part in the process ofassessment, students gain a deeperunderstanding of topics, the processof assessment and what they aredoing in their own work. This helps tomake them more aware of ‘whatlearning is’ and thus see their ownlearning in this way.Students could self- or peer- markhomework or assessments.This could be done in pairs orindividually with a student-made or‘official’ mark-scheme.
Back to AFL Tools Making aims clear- Put lesson objectives on the board at the beginning of the lesson.- Talk to students about why they are studying what they are studying.- Contextualise short-term aims in long- term aims (e.g. analysing Shakespeare will contribute to a wider knowledge of the cultural canon and stronger analytical skills among other long term aims)- Check with students that they are clear about the aims of the lesson/unit/subject- Produce aims in conjunction with students
Back to AFL Tools Lesson Target SettingMake the lesson more purposeful forstudents by setting targets at thebeginning about what you and theclass are going to do.These can be referred to through thelesson and/or revisited in the plenary.Students could have to show howthey have met targets in the plenaryand/or set targets for next lesson.
Back to AFL Tools Teacher ReviewThe teacher leads the review of thelesson or unit using questioning toelicit understanding from students.Focus could also fall upon theeffectiveness of the lesson atfacilitating learning – i.e. can studentsthink of ways that it could be alteredto improve their learning?The teacher could model review byevaluating the lesson in relation totheir own objectives.
Back to AFL Tools Student ReviewStudents review their own learningeither in groups or individually. Thiscould be done as a plenary, amini-plenary or as an activity to helpplanning for future revision or theremainder of the unit.
Back to AFL Tools Traffic LightsUse traffic lights as a visual means ofshowing understanding.e.g.• Students have red, amber and green cards which they show on their desks or in the air. (red = don’t understand, green = totally get it etc.)• Students self-assess using traffic lights. The teacher could then record these visually in their mark book.• Peer assess presentations etc. with traffic lights
Back to AFL Tools Self-assessment TargetsStudents give themselves targetsbased on their self-assessment.These learning goals could berecorded somewhere and revisited(i.e. inside cover of workbook)They could be compared to teachertargets and the two brought toconsensus if different.
Back to AFL Tools 2 stars and a wishFor peer assessment, ask students togive two stars and a wish.Two stars = 2 things that are goodabout the piece of workA wish = something they can improveto make it even better
Back to AFL Tools Articulate then AnswerGive students the opportunity toarticulate their thinking beforeanswering –• 30 seconds silent thinking before any answers• Brainstorm in pairs first for 2-3 minutes• Write some thoughts down before answering• Discuss with your neighbour first
Back to AFL Tools Scene-SettingSet the scene for the lesson by usinga big, open question or problem-solving task that requires abstractthinking skills. Anticipate responsesand follow-up so as to work thesethrough.E.g. A lesson on the Vietnam Warcould begin with the question –Do Americans think they fight wars, or win them?
Back to AFL Tools Tell your neighbourStudents ‘tell their neighbour’ as ameans of articulating their thoughts.- Ask a question, give thinking time and then ask students to tell their neighbour their thoughts.- Tell students what the new topic is and then ask them to tell their neighbour everything they know about it.
Back to AFL Tools Idea ThoughtsWhen you have received an answerto a question, open up the thinkingbehind it by asking what others thinkabout the idea.e.g. “What do others think about _________’s idea?”
Back to AFL Tools BouncingBounce answers around the room tobuild on understanding and havestudents develop stronger reasoningout of misconceptions.E.g.“Jimmy, what do you think ofSandra’s answer?”“Sandra, how could you developCarl’s answer to include more detail?”“Carl, how might you combine allwe’ve heard into a single answer?”
Back to AFL Tools Wait and recapWait for students to draw out most ofthe key words you are asking for andthen reframe the question – asking fora synthesis which recaps the wholediscussion by joining all these wordsinto a single coherent answer,paragraph etc.
Back to AFL Tools Incorrect DiscussionUse incorrect answers as adiscussion point.Rather then dismissing something I’m glad that’sbecause it is wrong, or saying ‘that’s the wrong answer… let’sinteresting’ etc. Use the discuss itmisconception in reasoning to drawthe process out into the open.This leads to improving onmisconceived reasoning and anatmosphere in which it is OK to beWrong.
Back to AFL Tools Devising QuestionsDevise questions that –• Challenge common misconceptions• Create conflict that requires discussion• Explore ambiguity and encourage discussion and clarification
Back to AFL Tools Learning JournalCreate a learning journal in whichstudents can reflect on and reviewtheir learning. It could include plenaryactivities, a target setting chart, aimsand goals etc.
Back to AFL Tools RedraftingUse lesson time to redraft work.This allows students time to focus onthe feedback for improvement theyhave been given.It also reinforces the value of thefeedback and allows them to workat it in a supportive environment.
Back to AFL Tools Key featuresWhen designing written tasks to goalongside oral work, intend for themto develop and show understandingof the key features of what studentshave learned.
Back to AFL Tools Improvement GuidanceWhen making comments on pupils’work, treat them like guidanceshowing how the pupil can improve.Develop this by asking students towrite in the same way when peerassessing work.Discuss the notion of guidance andhow it differs from other types ofbehaviour (i.e. prescription,admonishment etc.)
Back to AFL Tools Comment Follow-upGive students opportunities to followup comments -- Create time in the lesson to talk to individual students.- Have a written dialogue in the students’ book.- Use a comment tracker or targets sheet to formalise the dialogue in a workbook
Back to AFL Tools Group feedbackGroup feedback to a teacherconcerning peer-assessment of workcan help make the teacher aware oflearning needs in a manageable way.If a group feeds back then it drawsmore attention and presentsinformation that has already beenordered and sorted (meaning lessrepetition for the teacher).
Back to AFL Tools Peer MarkingStudents mark each others’ workaccording to assessment criteria.Encourages reflection and thought aboutthe learning as well as allowing studentsto see model work and reason pastmisconceptions.Opportunities to do this throughoutindividual lessons and schemes ofwork.
Back to AFL Tools ThumbsCheck class understanding of whatyou are teaching by asking themto show their thumbs.Thumbs up = I get itThumbs half way = sort ofThumbs down = I don’t get it
Back to AFL Tools Teach CollaborationPeer assessment requires students toact collaboratively. Indeed, AfL is acollaborative enterprise. Therefore,explicitly teach skills of collaboration.This process can be assisted bydiscussing collaboration with pupilsand making it visible as a part of theclassroom.
Back to AFL Tools Traffic-Light RevisionWhen revising a topic or subject, workthrough the different areas withstudents and ask them to traffic lightaccording to their grasp of each.Subsequently, students should beable to target their revision morecarefully and engage in it actively,rather than simply reviewingeverything they have done or readingpassively over their entire notes.
Back to AFL Tools Generate and AnswerWhen preparing for exams, studentsgenerate their own questions andthen practice answering them.This makes learners think explicitlyabout the underlying structures ofassessment, as well as the materialwhich they are being asked tomanipulate. Form as well as function!
Back to AFL Tools Student Mark-SchemeAsk students to produce their ownmark-schemes working individually orin groups. They can then peer- orself-assess work in accordancewith these schemes.Talk about the purpose of a mark-scheme with students – judgement,communication, standardisation etc.
Back to AFL Tools Group AnswersStudents work in small groups toagree on answers – when tests arereturned or in other situations.The process of agreeing shouldinclude reasoning over the validity ofthe consensus answer, as well asreasoned negation of misconceptionsor wrong answers.
Back to AFL Tools Think through TalkingTalking allows students to articulatetheir thoughts and thus to learn.Encourage thinking through talkingwith –- Discussion activities- Structured group/pair work- Modelling by teacher and students(small group work increases the‘surface area’ of talk in the classroomas opposed to whole classdiscussions)
Back to AFL Tools Invert the QuestionInstead of asking a question thatrequires factual recall, invert it torequest explicit reasoning.e.g.‘Is France a democracy?’becomes‘What does it mean for a country to be a democracy?’
Back to AFL Tools X and YAsk students why X is an example of Ye.g.Why is an apple an example of a fruit?Why is a fox an example of a mammal?Questioning in this way avoids factualrecall and asks for the underlyingreasoning to be made explicit.
Back to AFL Tools All you knowStudents write down everythingthey know about ________ at thestart of the unit.The teacher can then teach the unitaccordingly, using existingknowledge and avoiding repetition.
Back to AFL Tools CorrectionsReinforce the focus on redrafting andcomment-only marking by insisting onseeing evidence of studentcorrections on their own work beforelooking at it (have to allow time forthis).
Back to AFL Tools Laminated CriteriaMake laminated, student-friendly assessment criteriacards.
Back to AFL Tools Conveying ProgressFind a means of usingassessment to convey progress tostudents and thus make what theyare doing more meaningful.- Link learning between units- Use a learning journal- Refer to past targets and highlight where the student is achieving this- Have a target chart where it is visible how the student has progressed- Link assessment to student goal- setting
Back to AFL Tools Discuss WordsWhen engaged in discussion take keywords and look at them specifically.Discuss how they are being used –Is there any ambiguity?Is everyone using the word in thesame way?
Back to AFL Tools CommunicationAsk students to communicate thinkingthrough different mediums – not justwriting; drawing, drama, maps,sculpture etc.The medium is the message andtherefore circumscribes to someextent how communication can takeplace. Using alternative mediumsallows the teacher to ‘see’ students’understanding from different angles.
Back to AFL Tools Thoughtful DialogueDialogue between teacher and studentsshould be thoughtful, reflective,focussed to evoke and exploreunderstanding, and conducted so that allpupils have an opportunity to expresstheir ideas.(Page 12, Inside the Black Box, Paul Black & Dylan William, nferNelson, 1998)Discuss the quality of dialogue withstudents and ask them to articulate whatits purpose is, why, and how (ifnecessary) it may be improved).
Back to AFL Tools Feedback SandwichFeedback can be delivered indifferent ways, two feedback‘sandwiches’ are –i) Positive comment Constructive criticism with explanation of how to improve Positive commentii) Contextual statement – I liked….because…. Now/Next time… Interactive statement e.g. a question based on the work
Back to AFL Tools What is good?Spend time ensuring that there isconsensus between yourself and thepupils over what makes a piece ofwork ‘good’, and how they areexpected to achieve it. Use questionssuch as –‘Can you tell me what makes a pieceof work good?’‘How do you feel about comments?’‘Do you always know what you need to donext/think about?’‘Do you know when you have done a‘good’ piece of work?’
Back to AFL Tools Self-evaluationSelf-evaluation involves learning how welearn, whereas self-assessment iswhat we learn. To train pupils in self-evaluation, use questions such as:• Think about what has happened when the learning has taken place• What really made you think? What did you find difficult?• What do you need more help with?• What are you pleased about?• What have you learnt new about X?• How would you change the learning activity to suit another class?The teacher can model answers to theseto show the pupils how to self-evaluate.
Back to AFL Tools What is a ‘good’ question?Discuss with students what makes a‘good’ question. The process canexplicitly show them the differencebetween open and closed questions.They can then come up withquestions on a topic and decidewhich are best, and then move onto discuss and answer these.
Back to AFL Tools Graphic OrganisersUse graphic organisers to help pupils self-assess. All these are taken from http://www.aaia.org.uk/pdf/Publications/A (page 19)
Back to AFL Tools KWLAt the beginning of a topic pupils create agrid with three columns –What They Know;What They Want To Know;What They Have Learnt.They begin by brainstorming and filling inthe first two columns and then return tothe third at the end of the unit (or referthroughout) .Variation – extra column ‘How Will I Learn’
Back to AFL Tools Talk PartnersAs a plenary or a starter referring tothe last lesson, pupils share with apartner:• 3 new things they have learnt• What they found easy• What they found difficult• Something they would like to learn in the future
Back to AFL Tools Post-ItUse post-it notes to evaluate learning.Groups, pairs or individuals cananswer:• What have I learnt?• What have I found easy?• What have I found difficult?• What do I want to know now?
Back to AFL Tools Response PartnersPaired or partnership oral marking.Pupils invite a partner or a group todiscuss or comment on their work.For it to be effective, students shouldbe aware of learning objectives andsuccess criteria. They should alsoappreciate the role of a responsepartner – to offer positive andconstructive feedback around thelearning goals.Students could be given promptquestions to ask the person who hasdone the work.
Back to AFL Tools Hands DownTell pupils they should only raise theirhand to ask a question, not to answer one.The teacher then chooses pupils toanswer, therefore gaining information onwhether everyone is learning.www.classtools.net – fruit machineprogramme on here where you can inputnames, save it and play it to choose pupilsat random.Write names on lollipop sticks and pull outat random to answer.Write numbers on balls or counters thattally to register or seating position and re-use with every class.
Back to AFL Tools Good Question StemsWhy does…?What if…?How would you…?Could you explain…?What might…?
Back to AFL Tools Regulating LearningCirculating through the room whilststudents are engaged in an activitymeans the teacher can collectinformation on learning, employdifferent assessment strategies andintervene where appropriate.
Back to AFL Tools ABCDLaminate a set of cards so everymember of the class has four, withA,B,C and D written on them. Askquestions with four answers andpupils can show you their answer.Encourage them not to look at otherpeople’s response so as to copy.
Back to AFL Tools Why is it best?For homework ask students to findtheir best piece of work and then totell you why it is their best. Thisexplanation could refer to successcriteria, levels, targets etc.
Back to AFL Tools Show and TellUse mini-whiteboards so that verystudent can write or draw theiranswer and show it to you (or theirpeers) immediately.
Back to AFL Tools Active StudentsKey to AfL is students being active,engaged participants in their learning.Think of ways in which content can bemanipulated for these ends, ratherthan the other way round.If the content seems boring thenmake the approach fun or interesting.
Back to AFL Tools Long and Short TermTo draw together progression with thebig picture, students could set bothlong and short term targets.The short term targets could bereviewed weekly or fortnightly and thelong term targets at the end of term.Having a long term target may givemore cogency to the pupil’s andteacher’s short term targets. It mayalso allow the pupil to focus on whatReally motivates them about asubject.
Back to AFL Tools Minute PaperStudents identify the most significant(useful, meaningful, unlikely) thingthey have learnt during the lesson orunit.
Back to AFL Tools Enquiry QuestionUse an enquiry question to stimulatehigh-level thinking in the lesson orunit.e.g.How democratic is the United Kingdom?Why is our school so ethnically diverse?What is enquiry-based learning -http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/ceebl/ebl/
Back to AFL Tools Smiley FacesStudents draw smiley faces to indicate how comfortable they are with the topic.Ready to move on Understand some parts Do not understand and but not all need to look at it again
Back to AFL Tools SquaresWhen a pupil has finished a piece ofwork they draw a square on the page.If they do not understand the workthey colour it red, if they are so-sothen yellow and if A-OK the green.
Back to AFL Tools Muddiest PointStudents write down one or twopoints on which they are least clear.This could be from the previouslesson, the rest of the unit, thepreceding activity etc. The teacherand class can then seek to remedythe muddiness.
Back to AFL Tools One-Sentence SummaryStudents write a sentencesummarising their knowledge of atopic.The sentence could have to includewho, what when, why, how, whereetc.The sentences could then be peer-assessed, re-drafted and so on.