Day 144 (of 183) reflecting on Assessment For Learning
I sometimes worry that AFL (assessment for learning) gets watered down to a point where I’m not always confident we are talking about the same thing.
So…..entering reflection time, I put my thinking cap on and am putting out what I remember (and use to the best of my ability) on an ongoing basis to create ongoing feedback loops with my learners.
AFL is a mindset shift – using assessments both ‘of’ learning (summative checks if learning was successful), ‘as’ learning (formative checks for “what’s next” in learning) and ‘for’ learning when an ongoing loop of feedback is provided about learning – confirming what is known, setting directions on where to go next (a mix of formative and diagnostic assessments)
The best part of AFL is that it is research based http://datause.cse.ucla.edu/DOCS/pb_wor_2004.pdf
And it isn’t based on anything new per se – in fact many things that ‘good teachers’ already do. But mindfullness and consistently is the key…..success does not happen by accident.
What is AFL
1. Clear learning intentions. Verbal is minimal, written on board (few friends an I used a dart board) as a reminder.
2. Provide examples of a range of work (great that we have BC Performance Standards that include a range of exemplars for many subjects [not project based exemplars but…] for K-10 at https://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/perf_stands/
3. Questions. Good deep questions – both to AND FROM learners. (This has led me towards elements and strategies like Geniushour and Self Organized Learning Environments)
4. Timely descriptive feedback (this is what led me towards what we now see as eportfolios)
5. Peer and self feedback (I found great value using document cameras and later iPads to show & share authentic student work to provide immediate feedback for areas for improvement and things to celebrate)
6. Practice and reflection. (Practice needs to be meaningful – more than just a compliance activity – and taking time to reflect on what has been done has inspires my ongoing “days-of-learning blog”
That’s the short form. But I know even I take “shortcuts” and sometimes skip an element (or two…) but I continue to remind myself that AFL isn’t just one or two elements….together they make up AFL.