A M Circles: Session Three Assessment supporting learning North Lanarkshire Council November/December 2011
Professional learning through Assessment and Moderation Circles Session 1 – assessment policy, unpacking the Es and Os and planning valid assessment Session 2 – moderation policy, considering the key features of sound assessment, and validating plans for learning and robust assessment Session 3 – assessment supporting learning; four key aspects; quality feedback; applying principles to a single piece of evidence; agreeing strengths and next steps Session 4 – periodic assessment of learning, considering a range of evidence and working towards consistency in professional judgements of pupils progress
Problematic terms incorporated so far broad general education formativeattributescapabilities evidencecriteriaexpectationsstandards reliabilityvaliditydependabilityproportionality levelsachievemententitlementsrange of evidence breadthchallengeapplicationmoderation developingconsolidatingsecuresummative
Session 1 – Building the Curriculum 5 When do we assess? as part of ongoing learning and teaching periodic (from time to time) at transitions
Session 2 - Building the Curriculum 5 Understanding, applying and sharing standards Teachers and other practitioners should work with colleagues to develop a shared understanding of standards and expectations through moderation activities which involve coherent planning, checking, sampling, reviewing and providing feedback for improvement.
Session 2 – Building the Curriculum 5 Understanding, applying and sharing standards Teachers roles and responsibilities Work collaboratively to develop approaches to monitoring, self-evaluation and improvement planning Engage regularly in collegiate working, locally and nationally Work with colleagues to develop a shared understanding of standards Ensure assessment always supports learning Plan, design and carry out assessment as part of learning and teaching and periodically use specific assessments Involve learners fully in assessment and develop learners roles in moderation activities
Uses of assessment To better support learning, we need to be clear about the different uses of assessment information and adapt practice in the classroom to fully exploit them. Quality assessment for learning keeps learning principles central - high organisation based on ideas. (Stobart 2009)
Assessment different uses – different emphases Assessment for learning Audience is teachers and learners Ongoing Suggests next steps for learning Uses words and includes specific feedback Relates to individual learner: past performance and desired goal Involves the learner, the person most able to improve learning Assessment of learning Audience beyond the classroom Periodic Checks learning to date Uses numbers, scores and grades Criterion referenced or standards referenced No need to involve the learner
Assessment different terms; similar meaning Assessment to support learning Assessment for learning (AfL) Formative assessment
Assessment for learning - the purpose of formative assessment provide effective feedback to students adjust teaching to take account of the results of assessment involve students actively in their own learning help students to assess themselves and understand how to improve, and recognise the influence assessment has on motivation and self-esteem, crucial influences on learning (Assessment Reform Group, 1999)
How does AfL enable effective learning? Helps learners make sense of learning – clarifies what is to be learned and what success looks like Closes the gap – discovers where learners are in their learning and helps them build on progress to date Acknowledges learning as a social activity – participation and engagement Develops autonomous learners.
Sharing learning intentions and criteria practical implications the focus should be on learning, not on doing the teacher needs to be clear about what is to be learned (learning outcomes and progression) the scene should be set for the pupil – relevance, links to familiar contexts, explanation of the unfamiliar pupils should be challenged within their extended grasp
The role of feedback High quality feedback provides information which allows the learner to close the gap between current performance and desired goal (D Royce Sadler, 1989)
High quality feedback practical requirements Feedback needs to: be timely link to the learning intention refer to criteria already shared with the learner focus on the learning not the learner (task not ego) give cues about how to close the gap offer strategies, not solutions challenge, be achievable and require action.
Giving descriptive, not evaluative feedback Descriptive Facts, not judgments Explicitly related to clear shared criteria Usually in words Includes specific next steps Evaluative Judgments, without detail General, rather than relating to specific criteria Usually scores or grades but can be words too, eg Good job Provides general instruction, eg Pay attention to punctuation, but not specific advice on how to improve
Agreeing strengths and next steps Research suggests that descriptive feedback is most likely to result in improved learning while experience suggests that evaluative feedback is much more common. In your trio or quartet, discuss each piece of evidence in turn, the agreed criteria for success, and the feedback provided. Using the criteria, agree strengths and next steps ensuring these meet the requirements of descriptive feedback.
In conclusion … Use the six definitions of formative assessment to confirm the essential features of assessment which supports learning.
Homework and next steps In your own establishment: work through more of the activities agreed at the planning stage continue to collect evidence produced for three pupils while theyre working through the activities continue to evaluate how much has been learned and how well, considering strengths and next steps for each of these three pupils where appropriate, include feedback which suggests opportunities for challenge and application in other contexts Bring to the next meeting: evidence from three pupils along with relevant feedback given to each.