In this post from the ATI archives, Rick Stiggins paints a picture of what assessment for learning looks like in the classroom.
When using assessment FOR learning in a proper manner, teachers use the classroom assessment process and the continuous flow of information about student achievement that it provides to advance, not merely check on, student progress. The basic principles of assessment for learning are captured in the following checklist. Teachers who can say that these practices are part of their normal routine are applying the principles of assessment FOR learning:
- I can articulate the achievement targets that my students are to hit before I begin instruction.
- I regularly inform my students about those learning goals in terms that they understand.
- I am routinely transform my achievement expectations into assessment exercises and scoring procedures that I am certain accurately reflect student achievement.
- I understand how to use classroom assessment to build student confidence in themselves as learners.
- The feedback that my students receive is frequent and descriptive, giving them information upon which to improve their performance.
- My students regularly assess their own achievement and feel comfortable managing their own improvement over time.
- I continuously adjust instruction based on the results of classroom assessments.
- My students are actively involved in communicating with others about their achievement status and improvement.
- My students are able to predict with some accuracy what comes next in their learning.
In short, the effect of assessment FOR learning, as it plays out in the classroom, is that students remain confident that they can continue to learn at productive levels if they keep trying to learn. In other words, they don’t give up in frustration or hopelessness.