How may assessment guide teaching and learning?
“the awareness that emerges through paying attention on
“After 30 years of doing such work, I have
concluded that classroom teaching…is
perhaps the most complex, most
challenging, and most demanding subtle,
nuanced, and frightening activity that our
species has ever invented…The only time
a physician could possibly encounter a
situation of comparable complexity
would be in the emergency room of a
hospital during or after a natural
John Hattie & Helen Timperley, The Power of Feedback:
Grant Wiggins, Seven Keys to Effective Feedback:
What is a grade?
“…an inadequate report of an inaccurate
judgement by a biased and variable judge of
the extent to which a student has attained
an undefined level of mastery of an
unknown proportion of an indefinite
(Paul Dressel, Facts and fancy in assigning
grades, 1957. p.6)
Interest in learning is
diminished and thinking is
“Students need some feedback about how they are doing in
terms of marks, grades or levels, but I suggest this should be
no more than once every two or three years in primary
schools, maybe once a year in lower secondary , and perhaps
once a term when before school-leaving or university-
“If I had to reduce all
of the research on
feedback into one
idea it would be this:
Students must be required to respond to
Ladder of Feedback
“Experience success and failure not as a
reward and punishment, but as
information.” (Jerome Bruner)
• Question Formulation Technique
• Critical Incident Plan
• Exit Cards, eg. One-Minute Essay
• End of Unit Reflections
• I learned…I liked…I wish…I wonder…
• I used to think…Now I think…
• Pedagogy discussions at the end of term
• Student Surveys
• Reflective essay using examples from your own work
during the year to show how you have grown as a
“At the beginning of History this year I was more dependent on rope
learning/spoon feeding to try and help me to become a more
independent learner. Although I think spoon feeding might have
helped me get a better mark in an assignment or exam after that you
are left with nothing you can ever really use again. Using the
different teaching methods such as practical exercises, assignments
each term and teacher vs textbook and many others to make us, the
students, think for themselves when trying to get an understanding of
the topics. This experience is something that we can take and build
on in the future to help us in places like senior years and university.”
(Max, Year 9, 2015)
1. Be Kind
Presenting your work for critique puts you in an incredibly vulnerable position.
For the critic, on the other hand, it’s easy to get carried away when you’re
critiquing work, especially when you feel like you know exactly what a piece of
work would benefit from, and inadvertently say very hurtful things. Thus, this
ground rule cannot be stressed enough.
2. Be Specific
Even if you are being kind, you are not doing anybody any favours if you are
vague. ‘I think Melanie’s writing is really good’ does not cut it in a critique. ‘I
like the way Melanie uses lots of different verbs in her writing so that you feel
like you’re a part of the action’ is much better.
3. Be Helpful
Critique is not just about naming what is strong and weak in a piece of work, it
is also about working out how to go about improving that work.
I really like the way you………………..
Excellent ……………….. throughout
The most successful thing about this was ………………..
I enjoyed reading this because ………………..
It was especially good when you ………………..
In the first/second/third paragraph ………………..
I think ……………….. is quite difficult to understand/could be explained
better/could include more detail etc.
Your sentence/paragraph about ……………….. was ………………..
Think about adding ………………..
Think about taking away………………..
Have you thought about………………..?
To improve your………………..try………………..
Perhaps you could………………..
Reggio educators refer
to documentation as
Image – Wamda: http://www.wamda.com/2012/05/4-ways-to-create-a-culture-of-observation-at-your-startup
Qualitative forms of sharing evidence like
student work, photos, and video are powerful
ways to provide a more complete picture of
Kid Cam: https://vimeo.com/112387481 Image: Tim Kaegi
“Assessment is an intrinsic part of
(Carla Rinaldi in Documentation and
Assessment: What is the Relationship? )
Image – All Things Learn:
“The Board of Studies does not require a number to be used (in
relation to assessment) until Year 12.”
“Grading is an end of course judgement.”
“School protocols squash the reality of what the Board requires out
• Too much testing
• Focus more on learning objectives and less on covering content
I BLEW IT!I tried something new and
and it didn’t work as well as I
This coupon entitles me to be
criticism for my efforts
I’ll continue to pursue ways to
my students be successful
I used to think…
Now I think…
A routine for reflecting on
how and why our thinking
A B C D/F
Volume So loud I can’t hear
Loud enough that I
can’t hear myself
Loud-ish in some parts of
the room but quiet in
So quiet I can hear the
Tempo Rapid: Hands are
Fast: Hands are
Leisurely: Hands are hit
together at an unhurried
Slow: Fingers are slowly
Dynamics Erupts suddenly,
builds to a
that is sustained for
a second or more,
then fades slowly
Builds up for a
second, peaks, then
No change in dynamics:
Begins with a silent pause,
pitter-pats for a second,