The Importance of Assessment
Assessment is integral to planning, teaching and learning.
Learning goals and success criteria are co-constructed and clearly communicated to students and parents.
Assessment data is analysed to provide information about the teaching and learning, and the needs of individual students.
Students actively engage in assessing and reflecting on their learning, acting on feedback from peers and teachers to feed forward to next steps in learning.
Assessment is an ongoing process of gathering, analyzing, reflecting and acting on evidence of student learning to inform teaching.
Assessment involves teachers and students collaborating to monitor, document, measure, report and adjust learning.
Source: Okinawa International School | ibo.org
Assessment For-As-Of Learning
Assessment is integral to all parts of teaching and learning. It is not just the simple act of measuring what students have learned, rather it is a ‘state of mind’ which permeates every aspect of teaching and learning. In its simplest form it is everything we do that guides learners by helping them to answer the three most important questions they have as learners ‘Where am I?’, ‘Where do I need to be?’ and ‘How can I close the gap?’. Effective assessment must always be ongoing, varied and purposeful, and it also must be a collaborative process that involves students, families, teachers and our community.
To that end, the strategies of Assessment fall into three domains, assessment AS learning, Assessment OF learning and Assessment FOR learning. These domains can be understood as follows:
ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING
Assessment FOR learning are the strategies and tools teachers utilize to gather data on student progress for the purpose of helping students to learn. The focus here is not on grading, reporting or judging. Rather, teachers are intently involved in trying to understand exactly how students are interpreting and understanding their work, because it is only by acquiring that understanding that teachers can accurately plan for the next steps in each child’s learning.
Strategies in this domain may include teachers changing the way they teach based on what they find in the following ways:
Asking students to complete an assessment at the start of a unit or topic to find out what they already know
Examining work in progress to look for evidence of understanding or misunderstanding (portfolios, homework tasks, drafts, etc.)
Teachers set up collaborative or active learning groups so that they can circulate, listen to conversations and learn where students are in their understanding
Skillful questioning designed to elicit understanding
Maximum ‘visible thinking’ strategies to make it clear what students are thinking (e.g. asking students to write answers on whiteboard and hold them up, rather than have students work in their own books)
No grades or final judgments are attached to assessments FOR learning. The soul purpose is to find out where students are so that we can help them move forwards.
ASSESSMENT AS LEARNING
In assessment AS learning the focus is on the meaning the student is making from the assessment process. If assessment FOR learning is designed to give data to the teacher, then assessment AS learning is the way in which the student herself benefits from reflecting on assessment. This is how students actually learn THROUGH assessment.
Students engage in peer and self assessment and begin to understand what quality work looks like and how they might improve their own work
Students become involved in goal-setting, monitoring their own progress, reflecting on the results of their learning and planning for next steps
Teachers design rich and rewarding assessment tasks which are of inherent learning value in and of themselves
Assessment AS learning is never graded; its sole purpose is to support students in owning their learning and navigating their personal journey as a learner.
ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING
Assessment OF learning is the type of assessment that most parents will think of when hearing the word assessment. This is the measurement of the extent to which students have mastered the learning goals. It is the type of assessment which usually ends up in grades and report card comments. Examples include:
Tests, major projects, assignments or any other substantial piece of work on which teachers make a judgment of attainment for the purpose of reporting to parents in a report card comment or grade
Collections of evidence over time which are then, at a fixed point in time, judged for the purpose of making a report card comment or grade. For example, a teacher may collect evidence of writing samples over the course of a 6 week unit, and then write a judgment as to the current status of a child’s learning based on all available evidence
What Can We Do When We Aren't Making an Impact
This short video from Douglas Fisher basically briefly summarizes the ‘why’ of assessment. This refers back to why, how and what we monitor, document, measure and report in the assessment process. At the end of the day, it is to inform learning and teaching which means assessment should make an impact on what/how we teach and what/how the learners learn.
Source: Inquiry Into Learning Blog
Podcast: Enhanced PYP - Assessment
Podcast: Assessment & Learning
There is now a large and growing evidence base that helping teachers develop their use of minute-to-minute and day-by-day assessment is one of, if not the most powerful ways to improve student learning. In this episode, Sarah Gilmore interviews Dylan Wiliam about why and how assessment for learning, or formative assessment works.
Over the last 15 years, his academic work has focused on the use of assessment to support learning (sometimes called formative assessment). He now works with groups of teachers all over the world on developing formative assessment practices.
To learn more about Dylan you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter, and to find out more about the Teacher Learning Communities project discussed in this episode, you can visit the Dylan Wiliam Center website.
The Value of Testing
Thoughtful Articles About Assessment(Click/Tap to View)
Five Inconvenient Truths About How We Grade | ASCD | Sep 1, 2020 | Of all the areas in contemporary education in which we've made some genuine strides of progress, how we grade students may well be the last bastion of outdated conventions that persist so incessantly. It's time to slay the "monsters" that drive our grading practices.
The PYP Self-Study – A Collaborative Journey to Evidence Learning | The SharingPYP Blog | Mar 24, 2021 | "Going into the self-study process for our first evaluation, I sought out meaningful ways to present the process to the school community as a program coordinator. What better way than to develop it into a unit of inquiry! Using the school’s chosen inquiry cycle and our customized planning template, we developed a unit plan."
Importance of Teachers Developing a Reflective Routine | Edutopia | January 4, 2021 | Teachers who take time daily to reflect on what worked in class and what didn’t can better assess areas for improvement and begin to make necessary adjustments.
What Does It Mean To Be ‘Assessment Capable’? | What Ed Said Blog | January 2, 2021 | Questions Assessment Capable Teachers and Learners Might Ask Themselves.
Why Are We Still Giving So May Tests? | By AJ Juliani | January 2021 |This article focuses on the testing culture in education, what some of the research says, and how we can move towards performance tasks. Also, listen to The Backwards Podcast to learn more about assessment and backward curriculum design
How to Assess
Self-Audit Framework For Teachers: Integrating Assessment
Assessments are designed to produce data and/or evidence of learning and teaching. This optional tool offers considerations, when designing assessment for knowledge, conceptual understandings and skills, both individually and with collaborative planning teams.
Developing & Using Success Criteria
How would your students respond to the question, “How will I know if I have learned something?” When both you and your students have clarity about learning through high-quality success criteria, there is a greater likelihood that learning will happen and that all students will experience success in their learning. Success criteria can be used as a formative or summative assessment strategy. Whether face-to-face, hybrid, or at a distance, this webinar will introduce how best to support the development and implementation of high-quality success criteria.
Focus on Learning
Giving and Receiving Feedback
How to Give Effective Feedback
RISE Meaningful Feedback Model
One helpful tool that you can use when providing feedback on student work is the RISE (Reflect, Inquire, Suggest, Elevate) Model of Meaningful Feedback created by Emily Wray in 2013. The model is aligned with Bloom’s thinking levels taxonomy and works well for both peer-to-peer feedback and instructor feedback to students.
The Four Tiers of the RISE Model
This Pecha Kucha-style presentation (20 slides, 15 seconds each) introduces the four tiers of the RISE Model for Meaningful Peer Feedback, which prompts learners to reflect, then build a constructive analysis through inquiry, providing suggestions to help elevate each others' work.