How well am I doing? Workshop on assessment for learning

This workshop is an exploration of techniques which can help learners measure their own progress and enable tutors to adapt their programmes to meet learners’ needs.  I’ll be running this several times for adult educators up until Easter 2014 so I thought it would be worth posting a few thoughts and links – not least as others may have some important ideas to add (do use the comment option below) .

Formative Assessment or Assessment for Learning is nothing new. Indeed it a central feature of the famous RARPA process for Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement  in non accredited adult learning.



We looked at the results of one study by Black and Wiliam which showed feedback to be more powerful than test scores in leading to improved attainment.

testing    The overall conclusion from this study was that the teacher-student dialogue was the most important element of the assessment process and that this needs to lead to goal setting with the learner.

We looked at lots of ways of gathering information about student progress and this system of colour-coded cups on the desk in front of each student is just one of the many methods we discussed.


Essentially we considered ‘teacher assessment’, ‘peer assessment’ as well as self assessment. We recognised that the assessment process has to include the dialogue leading to new goal-setting and that it only really works if it is meaningful to the student and if it leads to modifications in the teaching.

Here are just a few links which may be of value:

Inside the Black Box
Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam  2001

Beyond the Black Box – Nuffield Foundation

Formative Assessment at Wikipedia 

Signalling Success – paper-free methods of recording progress and achievement Alastair Clark – Shubhanna Hussain


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