Assessment for Learning (AfL) is an approach to assessment that aims to improve learning by actively involving students in the assessment process. It involves using assessment as a tool for learning, rather than simply a means of measuring learning outcomes. In other words, AfL is about helping students to understand what they need to learn and how to improve their learning, rather than just giving them a grade or score.
There are several key principles of Assessment for Learning, including:
Formative: AfL is focused on providing feedback and support to students during the learning process, rather than just at the end of a unit or term.
Student-centered: AfL involves actively involving students in the assessment process, including self-assessment and peer assessment.
Criteria-based: AfL is based on clear learning objectives and criteria, so that students know what they are aiming to achieve and how they will be assessed.
Multiple measures: AfL uses a range of different assessment methods and tools, such as quizzes, projects, peer feedback, and self-reflection.
To implement Assessment for Learning, teachers may use a range of different strategies and tools. Some of these may include:
Clear learning objectives and criteria: Teachers should clearly communicate the learning objectives and assessment criteria to students, so that they know what they are aiming to achieve and how they will be assessed.
Self-assessment: Teachers can encourage students to assess their own work against the learning objectives and criteria, which can help them to develop a deeper understanding of their own learning and identify areas for improvement.
Peer assessment: Teachers can also use peer assessment, where students provide feedback on each other’s work based on the learning objectives and criteria.
Feedback: Teachers should provide regular feedback to students on their progress and performance, using clear and specific language that focuses on the learning objectives and criteria.
Reflection: Teachers can encourage students to reflect on their learning and progress, which can help them to identify areas for improvement and develop strategies for future learning.
Overall, Assessment for Learning is a powerful approach to assessment that can help to improve student learning and engagement. By focusing on formative, student-centered, criteria-based, and multiple measures of assessment, teachers can help students to take a more active role in their own learning and develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.