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Assessment for learning

The primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching as both student and teacher respond to the information that it provides.

The New Zealand Curriculum

Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is an ongoing process that arises out of the interaction between teaching and learning. Schools need to consider how they will gather, analyse, and use assessment information so that it is effective in meeting this purpose.

In the course of regular classroom activity, teachers collect information about how students learn, what they know and are able to do, and what interests them. In this way, they find out what is working and what is not, and are able to make informed teaching and learning decisions.

Effective teachers use a range of formal and informal assessments to monitor learning progress (formative assessment), diagnose learning issues (diagnostic assessment), and determine what they should do next.

In a nutshell: the teacher decides the learning intentions and success criteria, makes them transparent to the students, demonstrates them by modelling, evaluates if they understand what they have been told by checking for understanding, and retelling them what they have been told by tying it all together with closure.

Visible learning, Hattie, J. (2009)

Learn more at Assessment Online.

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Last updated December 5, 2011