Book Club 2 What you will learn from Embedded Formative Assessment by Dylan Wiliam

Get the Book

Shownotes

Chapter 1: Why educational achievement matters

  • It increases the health and welfare of the individual and the society they are in.
  • Education teaches students how to develop new skills, it doesn;t just give them new skills
  • We need to engage students in how we teach them
  • Pedagogy trumps curriculum or better is curriculum. How something is taught is more important than what is taught
  • The most pivotal element for impacting student learning is the quality of the teacher
  • The best teachers generate learning at 4X the rate of the least effective.
  • The best way forward is to train our current teachers.

Chapter 2: The case for formative assessment

  • Assessment is the bridge between teaching and learning.
  • We need more and better professional development for teachers. 
  • The job of teaching is so complex that it cannot be mastered by a single teacher in one lifetime.
  • Highlights that even the best teachers fail because they have high expectations of their students.
  • We now know a lot about how learning occurs and this comes from cognitive science NOT neuroscience.
  • The way forward is to use assessment to inform teaching practice.
  • This means assessment should be designed to support learning.
  • We should be basing our teaching on success criteria and then track the data towards this.
  • Assessment should:
    • Have effective feedback
    • Involve students in their own learning
    • Adjust teaching
    • Recognise the influence on motivation and self-esteem
    • Allow students to assess themselves
  • We don;t always have to give feedback to the student, the information can just be used to guide the next steps
  • Planning for formative assessment by having predetermined decisions to make based on the information is more effective.
  • The shorter the assessment-interpret-action cycle the larger the impact on learning.
  • 5 Key Strategies:
    • Learning intentions and success criteria
    • Evidence of learning
    • Feedback that moves learning forward
    • Learners as instructional resources
    • Students becoming owners of their own learning
  • We cannot predict learning which makes assessment vital.
  • Teaching is NOT learning, it is the engineering of effective learning environments.

Chapter 3: Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and success criteria

  • Learning intentions can be created in collaboration with students
  • We are seeking understanding, not knowledge
  • Rubrics need to not be too detailed, nor lack description
  • Learning intentions should be separated from the learning context to allow for differentiation
  • Rubrics can be task specific for summative assessment BUT during learning it is better for them to be general to improve transfer of learning
  • Develop your rubric after doing a discussion with the students about strengths and weaknesses of past examples
  • When sharing good examples 3 is better than 1
  • Make sure we show incorrect examples as well
  • Some good cues for us to remember as a teacher are:
    • We Are Learning To “WALT”
    • What I’m Looking For Is “WILF”
    • This Is Because “TIB”

Chapter 4: Eliciting Evidence of Learning

    • The most important factor for teaching is knowing what students know and can do
    • Focus on absolute prerequisites for learning
    • Questions should provide insight into what students are thinking, not just if they can get the answer right.
    • ❤️ quote “Grading can be seen as the punishment given to teachers for failing to find out that the students did not achieve the intended learning when the students were in front of them.”
    • There are only 2 reasons for questioning:
      • Cause more thinking
      • formative assessment
    • Increase classroom discussion using strategies such as:
      • Pose, pause, pounce, bounce
      • No hands up makes it more cohesive and supportive
      • Wait 4 sec after asking a question, 3 after a student answers
      • Ask follow up questions and get another student to summarise
    • Listen to student answers and analyse how they got to the answer, what are they thinking?
    • Ask questions that look for reason:
      • Why is/not __ an eg of __?
      • Why is __, __ and __ not an example?
    • Using multiple correct answer questions help distinguish between high achievers.
  • Hinge Questions:
    • 1 per lesson
    • Less than 2 min for students to respond
    • Interpret them in less than 30 sec
    • Impossible to get the right answer for the wrong reason
    • Incorrect answers should be interpretable
    • Test them with other teachers

Chapter 5: Providing Feedback that moves learning forward 

  • Constructive feedback is twice as effective as a grade
  • Feedback should be task oriented
  • Students must try and fail before getting the feedback
  • The key idea is to increase the mindfulness with which students engage in feedback.
  • Feedback should be just enough to get the student going and then there must be time in class to apply the feedback.
  • Eg
    • Give some information about the correct results
    • Some explanation and 
    • A specific activity for them to undertake
  • This focuses on what needs to be done in order to improve.
  • Feedback should be:
    • Delayed to cause another learning event (spaced repetition)
    • Provide hints not answers to the learning
    • Let students know that by working they are getting smarter
  • You want students to link success or failure to internal unstable causes. They need to see their future success or failure as dynamic – Growth mindset
  • Feedback should always leave the thinking with the student
  • To be effective feedback must:
    • Be future focused
    • Provide a recipe for success
    • Progress learning towards the goals

Chapter 6: Activating learners as instructional resources for one another

  • Peer assessment should focus on improving assessment and not grades. Students should provide feedback that is elaborative… why?
  • Cooperative learning needs:
    • Motivation – in the interest of the group to work together (eg focus on the group average)
    • Social cohesion – care about each other
    • Personalisation – engaging with specific difficulties
    • Cognitive collaboration – they all need to think
  • Student lead groups learn more than teacher led groups.
  • Collaboration requires group goals and individual accountability. They are more effective when:
    • The task is open ended
    • Requires deep critical thinking
    • Requires input from others
    • Has multiple tasks that are related
    • And roles are assigned (except the person reporting back to the class)
  • Strategies such as:
    • See 3 before me
    • Swap and grade each others work
    • Use checklists used by partners before the product is submitted.

Chapter 7: Activating learners as owners of their own learning

  • Students can produce insights into their own learning to increase their learning
  • They can evaluate their learning against plans each week
  • Developing self-assessment skills can double student learning
  • Ask students to:
    • Elaborate on their learning
    • Explain their learning linking new and old knowledge
    • Interweave their practice by connecting with other topic knowledge
  • Practice testing with distributed practice increases learning because it forces retrieval and has space between them.
  • ❤️ quote: “The best person to mark a test is the person who just took it.”
  • Metacognition is important for self-sufficient learners. It involves knowing, what you know, what you can do and what you know about your own abilities.
  • Self-regulating learners are the most effective learners.
  • Motivation is a consequence of achievement it does not cause it, but cycles out of it.
  • For motivation goals must be specific, within reach and offer a challenge
  • Dual pathway:
    • Personal wellbeing
    • Growth
  • We can say things like:
    • This task is very difficult and most people take at least 3 tries to get it correct.
  • Choose growth more if:
    • Goals are there
    • They believe they can grow
    • Comparison is difficult
    • Feedback is provided with a recipe for success
    • Learning is transferred to the students.
  • Practical application:
    • Use learning portfolios to monitor progress
    • Use learning logs with 3 prompts: I learnt…, I was interested in…, I might have gotten more from this session if…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.