Submitted by: Grant Page
As the membership chair of CAfLN, I have been spending some time searching the internet for contact information of potential members of our network. In doing so, I often am distracted from my original task by websites that speak to AfL. Here are three of those “distractions”:
Many teachers say that they do “assessment for learning” (AfL), but often their assessment practice does not really reflect the intentions and principles that make AfL powerful. Teachers who understand the “spirit” as well as the “letter” of AfL are continually building their expertise so that they can carefully apply their professional knowledge on a moment-by-moment basis. They are routinely engaged in seeking, reflecting upon, and responding to information from dialogue, demonstration, and observation, with ideas and feedback that are immediate and directed at learning, in real time. These teachers need policy support, organizational structures, and professional development, so that they can use this knowledge and its application to enhance learning for all students. This is the online version of an article written by one of CAfLN’s founders, Lorna Earl, Louis Volante, professor at Brock University and Steven Katz, faculty member in Human Development and Applied Psychology at OISE at the University of Toronto for the Winter 2015 edition of the CEA’s Education Canada.
From the same edition of Education Canada, this article discusses the genesis and evolution of assessment for learning (AFL) within Canada and juxtaposes recent developments against the broader international community. The authors also discuss the implications of recent policy shifts, both towards increased accountability and towards incorporating assessment for and as learning into provincial education strategies, and the ongoing tensions that exist between AFL and summative forms of assessment within education systems. Ongoing gaps in the implementation of AFL, due to both practical barriers and the need to develop teacher capacity, do still exist and are being addressed through emerging initiatives across the country to support more effective integration of AFL summarizes the history of AfL in Canada. The article was written by Chris DeLuca, assistant professor at Queen’s University and 2016 CAfLN Conference and Chair along with CAfLN founding member, Lorna Earl, and Louis Volante, professor at Brock University.
Published by Rick Stiggins and James Popham, this paper focuses on AfL and student affect or the personal perceptions and predispositions students have about their learning. There is an assessment of the effect of AfL on the way students’ feel about learning. I have used this with my students in middle school as a way to assess my own use of AfL in the classroom. There are three surveys that can be administered to students, a scoring guide and some suggestions for teachers once they have some data. Scoring is easy and teachers can quickly get a sense of how students feel about learning in their classroom.