Helping students become assessment capable learners with HUE

Helping students become assessment capable learners with HUE

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?

A HUE HD Pro visualiser is perfect for grabbing real-time formative assessment evidence. It sees and captures what students do and say as it happens. It can help you check on student learning ‘live’, give front-end feedback and make accurate instructional decisions.

Assessment information needs to be available to students during class so that they can adjust their performance in real-time and improve their work. Visualisers allow you to deliver strategic and targeted feedback instantly and can show what a gold standard of works looks like.

Your HUE camera helps you to share specific samples of student work while you model answers, dispel common misconceptions and provide scaffolding to improve performance. This enhances students’ metacognitive abilities because they see the thought processes of their teachers in real-time.

Giving purposeful verbal feedback is one of the key recommendations in the Education Endowment Foundation 2021 report ‘Teacher Feedback to Improve Pupil Learning’.

5 ways to use your HUE camera for AfL:

  1. 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.
  2. Highlight and annotate. Focus on part of a poem, diagram or maths problem and ask students for their input and ideas.
  3. Show and don’t tell. Display a piece of un-named work and ask the class to suggest how it could be improved.
  4. Compare student work. Display a piece of work that you have created containing deliberate mistakes and ask students to compare it to their own.
  5. Live marking. Mark a piece of student work and provide a commentary as you go.

Active Assessment

The word ‘assessment’ can conjure up images of tests, exams, grades and levels but formative assessment is a million miles away from this. Formative assessment enhances learning during the learning process. It involves teachers, pupils and parents reflecting on evidence and encourages both self and peer assessment helping pupils to learn better, rather than to just achieve a better mark or grade.

Using a visualiser as an AfL tool means that you can explain to students where they are, where they need to be and how to get there. This is the hallmark of effective feedback because it directs a student’s actions toward achieving a specific goal. Feedback is given straight-away, enabling responsive teaching with live and accurate differentiation/stretch/support.

You can also share excellent work with the class which generates a culture whereby students want to celebrate each other’s work and challenge each other to get their work seen. The strategy of learning from people who have achieved success is called ‘vicarious experience’ and, when handled sensitively, can boost student motivation and confidence.

Using a visualiser in class and at home can help students become assessment-capable learners because they understand what they are supposed to learn, monitor their own progress, set goals, and reflect on their learning.

For remote students, the beauty of having a visualiser at home means they can annotate a passage or solve a maths problem and share it with you as if they were in the same room. This gives you a window into their thinking and provides lots of really valuable opportunities for real-time feedback.
All students benefit from rich, high-quality feedback that helps them to understand how they are doing, and how they can improve. Your HUE camera supports the integration of teaching, learning and assessment because it lets students instantly share, explain and give/receive feedback on any piece of work.


Post written by John Dabell. John trained as a primary school teacher 25 years ago, starting his career in London and then teaching in a range of schools in the Midlands. In between teaching jobs, he has worked as an Ofsted inspector, national in-service provider, project manager, writer and editor. You can follow him on Twitter @John_Dabell.


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