It's only natural for one's understanding of a concept or idea to grow with time. It's very typical to begin with misconceptions and to then outgrow those as you begin to better understand the concept. This is very common when it comes to Assessment FOR Learning. When teachers first hear that AFL will be a professional development goal for a school or system, they often have a very different view of it than they do after exploring the topic for a school year or two.
Sometimes it's helpful to analyze your previous misconceptions and realize how your understanding has grown. It's helpful as a self-reflection exercise, and it's helpful for individuals new to the topic to hear about the experiences of others.
Let's try doing that in this forum discussion. Share an early misconception you may have had regarding AFL, how/why that misconception changed, and what your new understanding is.
Now it's really clear to me that it's only AFL if the teacher is using it guide future instruction and if students are really involved in the learning process through the teacher's descriptive feedback.
For our inservice week, the school improvement team came up with some vignettes that teachers will analyze and determine whether or not AFL is actually taking place. Email me if you'd like me to share them!
AFL Exit Card.docx
While a teacher who uses AFL practices might decide to re-test a student, this is far from being what AFL is all about.
A change for me, if I were still in the classroom, would be that AFL would encourage me to assess on a daily basis and do so in a way that allows the students to become very aware of what they know or don't know. These assessments might not - in fact probably would not - be graded. Students would analyze the results of their assessments and keep track of how they were doing.
Typically I learned more from the results of student assessments than they did. Now I would probably use something like a rubric to get my students to analyze their own learning. Hopefully by doing so students would do better on the big test and there would be less of a need to consider re-testing.
That's what AFL is all about - Assessment FOR Learning - assessment that gets students to learn.