Assessment for learning encourages all pupils to take responsibility for and become more active in their own learning. Wikipedia defines the ultimate purpose of assessment for learning: “to create self-regulated learners who can leave school able and confident to continue learning throughout their lives.”
There are two types of assessment for learning - formative and summative assessment. Summative assessment takes the form of end of term/year/topic testing or exams, whereas formative assessment is ongoing throughout the term/year and requires the involvement of the teacher, TA and pupil. It involves explaining the learning objectives and expected learning outcomes to pupils and checking their understanding of this. It then involves helping them self assess. This often starts with peer assessment, which will help build their self assessment skills. The pupils then start to self assess their own work, noting both their achievements and what they could improve one, always keeping in mind the learning objective and how far or close they are to it. Also within the formative assessment framework are open ended questions, observations, checking on work and other methods throughout the term/year.
This has many benefits for the pupils in their learning. Firstly, pupils can feel empowered to improve their performance if they are actively involved in their progress - this raises their motivation, as they are doing the best for themselves, which in turn will raise self esteem. If a child just completes a page of work, hands it in, has it returned marked – whether they have done well or badly, they will feel disengaged from the process as they had nothing to do with it. If the class mark the work together, or in small groups, not only will the pupil see where they went wrong, they will also be able to recognise what aspects of their own work they need to improve. This is more assessment AS learning from the pupils’ points of view. This also leads to...
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