Assessment for Learning (AfL) Approaches – How we know that they know

Assessment for Learning (AfL) Approaches – How we know that they know

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Assessment for Learning (AfL) Approaches – How we know that they know

After a review of some literature pertaining to Assessment for Learning (AfL), this paper examines the purpose and value of AfL unique to our school. This paper is also a critical inquiry into our own practices as Science and English teachers and it includes a description of a suite of strategies we used to assess our students’, understanding at various points of a lesson. We believe that AfL is a critical component in teacher instruction and it is a formative process where teachers can adapt their teaching to better cater to the needs of the students. But how can teachers ascertain students’, understanding without implementing tests and quizzes? How can we ask questions without getting choral responses? How can we give opportunities for students to articulate their misunderstandings? This paper attempts to offer solutions to these questions.Based on the collective results of our findings, we argue that AfL, when enacted in the right spirit, can lead to teachers making more informed and deliberate instructional decisions. AfL also has the potential to nurture learners who are less helpless and who take ownership for their own learning.Keywords: formative assessment, forward-feeding feedback, student achievement

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