The question that comes up regularly with Assessment for Learning (AfL) is:
What is it in a nutshell?
To extend on that, it can be confusing to distinguish it from Assessment of Learning because the activities can be the same, interchangeable or blended.
There is a key difference.
Let’s look at the simple descriptions.
Assessment of Learning:
- Usually takes place at the end of learning.
- The teacher uses the information to summarise the learning and record student results.
- Tends to be formal like tests.
Assessment for Learning:
- Usually happens in the lesson or during the learning.
- Can be self, peer & teacher-led.
- The teacher can immediately or quickly use the information to plan an intervention or address a lack of understanding within the lesson or in the next lesson.
- Tends to be informal but can also be formal.
What is the key difference?
How the information from the assessment is used. Is it being used to record student results and / or guide your lesson activities?
No form filing, collecting folders and evidence – Assessment for Learning is a strategy to gather evidence to help you teach effectively.
As Dyan Wiliam said at St Pauls School, Barcelona, 2018: “The best formative assessment leaves no written record whatsoever. It just helps teachers to make smarter decisions”.
We look at Assessment for Learning strategies such as learning objectives, success criteria, effective questioning and measuring progress in our EPV Summer Course 2019.
For more information about our Assessment for Learning Summer Course, please click HERE.