Assessment and assessment for learning
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Assessment and Assessment for Learning. Assessment. i s the means we use to gather information about how much the learners have learnt ( Criticos , Long, Moletsane , Mthiyane and Mays, 2009).

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Assessment and Assessment for Learning

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Assessment and Assessment for Learning

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1


  • is the means we use to gather information about how much the learners have learnt

    (Criticos, Long, Moletsane, Mthiyane and Mays, 2009)

  • its wider focus is on performance of learners required for promotion, school statistics and for planning teaching.

  • it is done at the end of teaching-learning i.e. summative assessment (e.g. through tests). Ideally it should also be done during teaching-learning i.e. formative assessment (e.g. through traffic lights)

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

Assessment for Learning (AfL) is:

  • the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide-

    • where the learners are in their learning,

    • where they need to go next,

    • and how best to get there.

      (Assessment Reform Group, 2002)

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

Interactive Teaching


Assessment for Learning (AfL)

(Read the 3 small bullet points in the definition of AfL (on the previous slide) again to understand why interactive teaching requires AfL.)

Our emphasis will be on AfL from here onwards…

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

Principles of AfL

  • It is part of planning

  • Focuses on how pupils learn

  • It is central to classroom practice

  • It develops capacity for self and peer assessment

  • It recognizes all achievement (not just cognitive learning)

  • It is a key professional skill

  • Gives importance to learner motivation

  • Promotes sharing of goals and success criteria with learners

  • Provides guidance on how to improve (through feedback)

  • It is sensitive towards learners and constructive for learning

(Assessment Reform Group, 2002)

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

AfL imperatives/essentials:(What should be done for authentic AfL…)

  • Make learning explicit

  • Promote learning autonomy

  • Focus on learning (rather than performance)

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

AfL Strategies:(How to achieve authentic AfL…)

  • Adjust teaching to learning

  • Clarify learning intentions and model quality of intentions

  • Use questioning and classroom dialogue

  • Give quality feedback

  • Promote peer and self assessment

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

AfL Strategies in Teaching-Learning Cycle

Reproduced from: CCEA: Afl Guidance KS 1-2 – 2007 (p.7), with the kind permission of the Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment.

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

Different AfL strategies will be discussed over the coming sessions for Unit 4.

But there is one strategy that has already been discussed in detail: Questioning and Classroom Dialogue (Unit 2).

We will briefly revisit it today in relation to its use for AfL.

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

Questioning and Dialogue

  • Questions for AfL- promote thinkingandillustrate understandings and misunderstandings. E.g. shade ¼ portion in the given figures:

  • Questions for AfL involve everybody especially in thinking. Some ways of achieving this are: ‘No hands up’, use of mini blackboards and increased ‘wait time’.

  • Dialogue in the classroom for AfL promotes learning autonomy as classroom culture. Some activities are: debates and magic microphone

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1

Creating Questions for AfL

  • Blooms’ taxonomy

  • Knowledge

  • Comprehension

  • Application

  • Analysis

  • Synthesis

  • Evaluation

    (see VVOB questioning handout p 3-6)

  • Socratic questioning

  • Qs of clarification

  • Qs that probe assumptions

  • Qs that probe reason and evidence

  • Qs that probe implications and consequences

  • Qs about viewpoints or perspectives

  • Qs about the question

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1


  • On your Traffic Lights show your understanding of AfL now. Think of all points that have been discussed:

  • Assessment and AfL,

  • Principles of AfL, AfL essentials,

  • AfL strategies and

  • The strategies embedded in the teaching-learning cycle

  • Questioning and Dialogue for AfL

OER4Schools Unit 4 Session 1


We are grateful to Dr. Sue Swaffield, Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership and School Improvement at Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge for suggestions and allowing us to use some of her slides in this presentation.

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