The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

All Blog Posts (132)


This post is excerpted from an article written by Stephen Chappuis and Richard Stiggins. It was originally published in Educational Leadership in 2002 and was then reprinted in the book, Assessment FOR Learning: An Action Guide for School Leaders. While professional reading can sometimes be dry, Chappuis and Stiggins really capture the heart of AFL. This excerpt can be used by a school as… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on December 2, 2009 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

Helping First Graders with Metacognition

An important part of Assessment For Learning is helping students know "what they know" and "what they don't." For younger students (K-1), this is certainly a challenge. What follows is a nugget worth sharing from The Daily Five by Joan Moser and Gail Boushey...

As teachers are modeling a particular procedure or strategy, or after students have practiced a technique, teachers ask the students to gauge their understanding or performance in the following way: "Hold your fist close to… Continue

Added by Melanie E Smith on November 18, 2009 at 3:16pm — 3 Comments

Assessment FOR Learning - Examples of using rubrics

Rubrics are a great way to help students learn from their mistakes and to assess their own knowledge (#5 and #6 of the 6 Key AFL Ideas).

In the typical high school setting, rubrics are most commonly used by English teachers to show students how they will be grading essays/papers. Other teachers will sometimes… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on November 12, 2009 at 4:36pm — No Comments

Guidelines for using Ning in a school setting

My school system - City of Salem Schools, VA - has undergone a lengthy process to determine what types of social networking should be available on our system's network. Until recently, all social networks were blocked by our filter.

After much discussion and exploration, it was decided that social networking would be open for all faculty members. Faculty members would be treated as professionals who are able to use social… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on November 11, 2009 at 4:49pm — No Comments

Assessment FOR Learning - Practical ideas for more frequent assessment to enhance learning

As a teacher, have you ever experienced anything similar to the following scenario:

You teach your course content over a period of time. The day before your big test you have a review activity of some sort. The review activity is a good one. It goes well, but during the activity you realize that your students don’t know the material all that well. Considering the number of days you spent covering it, you would have thought they would have known it better by now. The next day on the… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 30, 2009 at 2:08pm — 3 Comments

An AFL review strategy that can be used by any teacher in any content area

As I have come to comprehend better what Assessment FOR Learning truly means and how its principles can be applied, I find myself regularly thinking about how I would do things differently if I were still in the classroom. After recently observing Paola Brinkley, one of our school’s Spanish teachers, I realized yet another former practice of mine that I… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 22, 2009 at 4:30pm — 4 Comments

Downloading Videos from YouTube

This doesn't directly relate to Assessment FOR Learning, but it will be helpful to teachers trying to bring different resources into the classroom.

YouTube is full of wonderful video clips to use in a classroom. There are 2 problems with YouTube, though.

1. Some schools block it

2. Sometimes a slow network will make it difficult or impossible to watch a video

The solution is to download the videos to your computer (this can be done at home if your school… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 13, 2009 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

Does AFL lead to grade inflation?

A criticism of Assessment FOR Learning is that along with it comes pressure to make sure that students’ grades increase. In other words, some have been concernerd that AFL might lead to grade inflation.

I would hope that no school would ever encourage grade inflation while it encourages its teachers to try AFL techniques. I think that that the concern over grade inflation is probably first and foremost a misunderstanding about the purpose of AFL.

The primary goal of AFL is… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 12, 2009 at 9:00pm — 2 Comments

How AFL could be applied to a PE class (based on principles that apply to all classes)

I would imagine that many Physical Education teachers must feel as though much of the professional development activities and workshops in schools do not apply to them. Typically, discussions of state standards and NCLB expectations dominate these discussions. While these apply to PE, they apply in a different manner than they do in a core area classroom. And let’s face it, PE is a very different world from the typical classroom. PE teachers are dealing with a completely different environment… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 9, 2009 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

AFL - more than just letting tests replace quizzes

I plan to create a series of posts that will help teachers better understand AFL so that they can apply AFL ideas into their classrooms. One way to do this is to define what AFL isn’t.

AFL isn’t replacing quiz grades with test grades. However, replacing quiz grades with test grades could be AFL – does that make sense? Here’s what I mean:

When a good AFL idea is shared with a faculty it is very easy for people to begin to see that idea as a definition of AFL instead of one… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 7, 2009 at 10:00pm — 1 Comment

3 Perspectives on an AFL example - Administrator, Parent, Student

I’d like to share a recent AFL experience from three different perspectives – that of a school administrator, that of a parent, and that of a student.

My daughter is a freshman taking Algebra 2. While she typically does very well in math, she has a tendency to start slowly. She is often somewhat overwhelmed by new concepts. It takes her a little bit to gain confidence in a new math class.

Kaitlin received a C on her first Algebra 2 quiz of the school year and after a week… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on October 4, 2009 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments

Did AFL contribute to improvement? I think so...

My position at SHS provides me with opportunities to study data. While this might sound boring to many, it actually can be fairly enlightening and interesting - especially if you have a geeky side like I do...

This past spring as I studied data from the 2008-09 school year I noticed something. SHS had had an incredible year. As usual our numbers at the top were tremendous. IB tests results, dual enrollment numbers, etc - these were great as always and yet another testament to the… Continue

Added by Scott Habeeb on September 2, 2009 at 10:14am — 1 Comment

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