Assessment for Learning

Assessment for Learning

When assessing students’ work you could provide effective feedback on the quality of that work, using the WHAT WENT WELL/EVEN BETTER IF (WWW/EBI) technique.

An evaluation of how well or otherwise the action or task was performed and then guidance as to how performance can be improved.  Make A Difference time (MAD) needs to be planned into a Scheme of Work so that students are given time to act upon the feedback given (preferably using green pens or a different colour ink than their original work).

Before writing up medium-term plans discuss the topic and outcomes with the class and see what ideas they have for activities or content. This lets students know what to aim for with their learning and, therefore, identify gaps in their knowledge, and consequently how to overcome them.

Use peer marking and this works best when pairs have roughly the same ability, and are clear about their roles. Get students to give their work to a buddy who marks it against a checklist related to the learning objective (preferably using green pens or different ink). It’s their responsibility to make sure everything is in order before giving it to the teacher.

Build slots in lessons to look at marked work while it’s still fresh in students’ minds, giving them the opportunity to absorb and respond to your feedback.  When verbal feedback is given get the students to record this in their books and identify by writing ‘verbal feedback’ in the margin.

Students must be aware of grades and what they need to know to progress but don’t always provide grades when marking work (delayed grading) — students can find them dispiriting. To counter this, use comments instead.

Comments could identify ‘What Went Well and how it would be ‘Even Better If…’, and give guidance on how to make that improvement.

Opportunities for students to follow up comments should be planned as part of the overall learning process, through Make A Difference (MAD) time.

A ‘no hands up’ rule gives the whole class thinking time to prepare a response, before the teacher chooses students or uses ‘random name selector’ technique. Another approach is allowing hands up only when students have a question of their own or to set a specific amount of thinking time and insist on all students having an answer.

To be effective, feedback should cause thinking to take place.