Formative assessment is a high impact strategy proven to improve student learning outcomes, provide a range of strategies that make the learning visible to the teacher and more importantly to the student.
A key aspect of this strategy is for teachers to share the learning goal with students. Teachers at Narromine Public School collaboratively analyse student assessments to set whole class and individual learning goals in writing and Mathematics. The learning intention and associated purpose are clearly articulated to students every lesson.
Learning goals are visually displayed in the classroom. Examples include: We Are Learning To (WALT) and What I am Looking For (WILF) posters, and displaying exemplary student work using the acronym WAGOLL - What A Good One Looks Like. Learning goals have been effective in students knowing what they are learning, what successful work looks and how they will be assessed. This means that the learning is not a secret.
Another essential part of formative assessment is the use of assessment feedback. Teachers have been provided professional learning in how to deliver effective feedback related to the qualities of the student work. They have been identifying two positive aspects, an area to improve and sharing strategies with students to make future improvements in their learning. Feedback is providing students with a clear understanding of how they are going and what they need to next to achieve their goal.
Students are also encouraged to be active participants in their own learning by assessing another student's work known as peer assessment. In addition to peer assessment students are assessing their own progress towards their goal known according to the criteria known as self-assessment.
By providing students with a clearer understanding of what they are learning, what successful work looks like and continuous feedback, they are becoming self-reflective critical thinkers, a major aspect of 21st Century learning. Students are becoming increasingly aware of understanding "Where they are going?", "How they are going?" and "Where to Next?" in their learning.
Goals For Classroom Practice
Teachers use a variety of strategies to gather evidence of learning from all students.
Teachers adjust their teaching in response to the feedback they receive from students.
Teachers provide learners with feedback that moves them forward.
Teachers give students opportunities to reflect on their learning.
Teacher incorporate peer-feedback into their practice.