Guest post written by John Dabell.
Assessment is an inescapable and necessary reality of school life. Its primary purpose is to upgrade knowledge, understanding and skills. It is the engine which drives learning and in the right hands, can make a great deal of difference. Assessment can play a key role in creating the culture, attitudes and norms of behaviour that shape the learning process.
Assessment for learning (AfL) involves teachers using evidence about a learner’s knowledge, understanding and skills to inform their teaching. It is commonly referred to as ‘formative assessment’ and occurs during the teaching and learning process. AfL sees understanding as being relative to time and context, not absolute and permanent.
AfL is what Dylan Wiliam calls ‘responsive teaching’ or the ‘the pedagogy of contingency’ whereby teaching is constantly adapting. It is an ongoing formative process of gathering and interpreting evidence to determine where students are in their learning, where they need to go, and how best to get there.
AfL in summary:
• Reflects a view that assessment helps pupils learn better, not just to achieve a better mark or grade.
• Involves formal and informal assessment to inform the next steps and planning of future learning.
• Includes clear aims and objectives for the learning activity.
• Provides ‘active assessment’ feedback that fuels improvement.
• Reflects a belief that everyone can improve.
• Encourages self-assessment and peer assessment.
• Involves teachers, pupils and parents reflecting on evidence.
• Is inclusive of all learners.
How does a HUE HD Pro document camera support AfL?
5 ways to use your HUE camera for AfL:
- Gradual reveal. Conceal information in a piece of work and reveal it gradually as you discuss the topic together. This allows you to assess the level of sophistication of your students.
- Highlight and annotate. Focus on part of a poem, diagram or maths problem and ask students for their input and ideas.
- Show and don’t tell. Display a piece of un-named work and ask the class to suggest how it could be improved.
- Compare student work. Display a piece of work that you have created containing deliberate mistakes and ask students to compare it to their own.
- Live marking. Mark a piece of student work and provide a commentary as you go.