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Bexley Assessment for Learning Conference

Friday 6th March 2009


Keynote speaker: Professor Dylan Wiliam – Institute
of Education

Key recommendations
A KLT Teacher = A Keep Learning Teacher
A pilot guides a plane or boat toward its destination by taking constant
readings and making careful adjustments in response to wind, currents,
weather, etc.
A KLT teacher does the same:
 Plans a carefully chosen route ahead of time (in essence building the
track)
 Takes readings along the way
 Changes course as conditions dictate
 Drives learning by matching task challenge with competence:

High Challenge + Low Competence = Anxiety


Low Challenge + Low Competence = Apathy
High Challenge + High competence = FLOW (most desirable zone )
(Csilkszentminalyi 1990)

THIS MAKES KIDS SMARTER

How do we subvert the national agenda to meet the needs of children in our
schools?
Key processes
❚Establishing where the learners are in their learning
❚Establishing where they are going
❚Working out how to get there
Participants
❚Teachers
❚Peers
❚Learners
APP = part of the solution : acts like a GPS system to tell you “You are here!”.
What it won’t tell you is when to turn left and what skills you need in order to
be able to fulfill that instruction when driving a car.

Research shows explicit evidence that the most successful AFL is not by
teachers with beautiful data on every child in a markbook, but those often
with little or no records but whom assess every single lesson and refine
learning experience by making adjudustments in real time – minute by
minute
“Assessment for learning is any assessment for which the first priority in its
design and practice is to serve the purpose of promoting pupils’ learning. It
thus differs from assessment designed primarily to serve the purposes of
accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence. An assessment
activity can help learning if it provides information to be used as feedback, by
teachers, and by their pupils, in assessing themselves and each other, to
modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.
Such assessment becomes ‘formative assessment’ when the evidence is
actually used to adapt the teaching work to meet learning needs.”
Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall & Wiliam, 2002

Techniques for success:


Traffic Light AFL
Each student has 3 cups:
1 Red = Stop I don’t Understand
1 Amber = I feel OK but not 100%
1 Green = I fully understand

Students have 3 cups on their desk and alternate colours depending upon
levels of understanding at any given point in the lesson. Teacher has to be
aware of the responses. Where there is a prevelance of Red cups, teacher
asks a student with a green cup to come-up and share knowledge /teach. In
peer/group work, teams can be structured with GREEN supporting RED
/AMBER.

This system can then be effectively interpreted into mark books so that AFL is
meaningful, focused and supports dynamic feedback. Instead of LEVELS/SUB-
LEVELS AND A-G grades, assessment is mapped and knowledge of student
learning and progress is informed by using the 2/1/0 system:

2 = student fully understands


1 = OK but with room for improvement
0 = Little or no understanding
AFL can be mapped in advance and then documented each lesson/end of
each week with a focus that is linked to the specific subject assessment
objectives. The learning maybe assessed via:
- outcome
- peer assessment
- plenary
- student feedback
- creative work
- written work
- standard

STUCK? Good. It was worth coming into this lesson today!

NEW DEFAULT SETTING FOR CLASS: ONLY PUT YOUR HAND UP IF YOU ARE
GOING TO ASK A QUESTION

MARKING

Instead of GRADE / SCORE / COMMENT

Move into - =+

When work is returned, students:


1.Look at their grade
2. Their neibour’s grade

Students are not overly interested in critical commentary. Therefore give


weekly feedback in a more smple form of :

+ = Improved progress on week previous


= = same as previous
- = you have regressed

IMPRERATIVE THAT IN FEEDBACK YOU ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY PROBLEM AND


OFFER SOLUTIONS.