Getting the Most Out of the AfL Activities in Chapter 5

Chapter 5 introduced six key dimensions of AfL:

  • Identifying and communicating learning outcomes
  • Identifying and communicating success criteria
  • Providing effective feedback
  • Engaging in effective questioning
  • Facilitating peer assessment
  • Facilitating self-assessment.

The Importance of Job-Embedded Practice and Reflection

Throughout the chapter a selection of suggested techniques were outlined offering opportunity to try out AfL approaches as part of your professional practice. We know from the professional development literature in education, and in assessment in particular, that trying out ideas in real school settings and reflecting on them individually and as part of a ‘community of practice’ (student-teachers, teachers and principals) is one of the best ways to move from being a novice to more proficient and expert status. Reflection on your practice is key. Some ideas may not work in the particular teaching context in which you find yourself. Or they may not work the first or second time, requiring greater levels of experience on your part and on the part of your students before AfL becomes more seamlessly embedded in classroom routines.

Value of Learning Logs

Three important ideas emphasised in the book focus on: (i) sociocultural approaches to learning; (ii) self-regulated learning; and (iii) self-assessment. These three elements come together in our approach to the activities within Chapter 5. Working alongside and in collaboration with peers enhances learning. Individually, we need to take control over our own learning and reflect on experiences, successes and challenges along the way. The Learning Logs presented in this part of the website provide a structure whereby you can record your experience of engaging with selected AfL techniques. What you record provides the ‘evidence’ that you can use to reflect on that experience and plan future steps. The logs also enable you to share experiences, and insights, and with others and gain from their engagement.

Regulating Your Learning about AfL Techniques Using the Learning Logs

For each of the activities presented in the chapter, find ways to try some of the approaches in a class/school setting. Ideally, this would involve including the methods in your own teaching in class. If your role in school is one of observer or supervisor, you can look at how the teacher implements some of the strategies and reflect on such use. This website contains a learning log for each activity. Use the logs to record your experiences of implementing some AfL Techniques. The logs can also be used as a basis for sharing experiences with your colleagues.

The structured activities can help you engage in the crucial reflection phase of implementation. No, there is not an answer key to the activities somewhere in the book or on the website. Your practice, the experience of your students and the resultant shared active reflection on the process are the answer. We hope you find these activities useful. Do not forget, you can use the learning logs to structure any other AfL technique you find and wish to try out. Good luck, and remember, if at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Activity 5.1– Learning Log

Activity 5.2– Learning Log

Activity 5.3– Learning Log

Activity 5.4– Learning Log

Activity 5.5– Learning Log

Activity 5.6– Learning Log