Saturday, 12 January 2013

Assessment Of, For and As Learning

I'm in the middle of a workshop of data and assessment and one of the most interesting thing was the concept of assessment Of, For, and As learning as shown by the pyramid below:

(Image courtesy of Jennifer Sparrow)
I really like the concept of this and will flesh out which each level means.

Assessment "Of" Learning
The top of the pyramid. This level shows the highest level of understanding and would be quantified through summative assessments such as final tests, research paper or similar performance tasks. Usually, students will do the best on this level of understanding as they've had much practice leading up to it. Also, students will take this assessment the least amount of time, maybe once at the end of the unit. The important point of assessment "of' learning is that it would go in the gradebook with no conferencing with the student.

Assessment "For" Learning
This sort of learning happens more frequently, but the purpose is not to merely give a grade, but conference with students to help support learning. A typical example might be quiz, but the quiz cannot merely be entered in the grade book; it has to be passed back to students with descriptive feedback and conferences to help students learn. The assessment is "for" learning. As these assessment are still early in the learning process, consider having them weighted very low, or not counted at all. I usually give 1 of these per lesson, either as an entry interview or exit interview.

Assessment "As" Learning
These are the little feed backs that we give to students throughout the course of a lesson. In my case, having students using individual whiteboards, web 2.0 tools gives me immediate feedback about whether a student has learned something. These are not graded, but assessed through self assessment or other meta cognitive strategies like "fist to finger" or "thumbs up". I have about 5-6 of these in any lesson and they are not graded nor entered into the gradebook.

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