Assessment for Learning (AfL) ideas have been widely promoted in education as an ideal model for engaging students with the process of their learning but the practical implementation of AfL can still be somewhat blurred.
There are many solutions and technologies that claim to help, but if there is one key idea behind AfL, it is ‘fast feedback’ – checking in regularly to get at a learner’s current thinking within the lesson itself. By doing so, we can intervene more accurately and use the insights to help us better target that elusive ‘teachable moment’. If feedback happens after a lesson, the opportunity has perhaps already gone!
So, how can AfL be effectively implemented in the classroom? Here are seven tips you can click through:
1. Know now, not afterwards!
How often do we mark work after a lesson to discover a learner or group had missed the point entirely? It is very easy to get into a nicely manageable flow with paper based or digital lessons featuring embedded quizzes, tests and questions that only produce a report or actionable information at the end.
Be prepared to stop the class and question them regularly. Plan for several breaks or ‘check ins’, so that the class can be brought together to share their ideas and review progress. Build this into the template for your lessons and it will quickly become a confidence boosting expectation for the learners.