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A.I.S.I 2009-2012

Focus: Assessment For Learning
Key Resource: The Alberta Assessment Consortium (AAC)

Timeline - AISI Cycle 4 will begin in September 2009 and be in place for three school years.

Division Coordinators - Tamara Gordon & Sue Humphry

Program Description- This project has been designed to improve student learning through the implementation of assessment for learning strategies. These strategies are the activities that teachers and students engage in while the students are learning. Through the use of these strategies, students are aware of where they are going with their learning, where they are at now, and how to close the gap between the two. This necessitates a high degree of student engagement and requires students to actively assume responsibility for their learning. Teachers share with their students the learning targets using student friendly language, as well as provide them with meaningful assignments where expectations are made clear. Teachers develop criteria with their students, offer descriptive feedback and use models or exemplars of expected work. In addition, teachers focus on using effective questioning techniques and engage students in peer self assessment which involves students in tracking, reflecting upon, revising and communicating of their own progress. Assessment for learning strategies will also involve a backward design planning process to achieve better alignment between curriculum and instruction.

Goals

Student Learning:

  1. To improve student achievement through implementing assessment for learning practices
  2. To enable students to utilize assessment for learning strategies to improve learning. Students will demonstrate their use of these strategies though one or more of the following:
  • Students will be able to describe their learning target or goal. They will also be able to describe how to reach their learning goal.
  • Students will know how they will be evaluated in a subject and be able to articulate the criteria that will be used to mark their work.
  • Students will use exemplars of expected work and use teacher feedback to revise their work.
  • Students will give peer feedback based upon set criteria.
  • Students will be able to engage in self reflection and self evaluation based upon established criteria.
  1. To enable students to articulate how the assessment for learning strategies will improve their own learning and achievement.

Other Related Goals:

  1. To improve teacher knowledge, understanding and implementation of "assessment for learning" strategies
  2. To enable teachers to demonstrate utilization of assessment for learning strategies. They will demonstrate this in one or more of the following:
  • Teachers will collect evidence of student learning through multiple sources including observations, products and conversation.
  • Teachers will evaluate student work based upon rubrics and/or established criteria.
  • Teachers will provide oral and written feedback to students in order for them to revise their work and improve learning.
  • Teachers will pose open-ended questions with the invitation to share different perspectives and will use higher level questions to deepen understanding of concepts taught.
  • Teachers will plan instruction using backward design and ensure alignment between assessment, learning outcomes and strategies.
  1. To enable principals to actively participate in changing assessment practices through their role in leading instructional change.
  2. To increase principal efficacy in being able to lead change in assessment.

Key Components:

  1. Focus on curriculum essentials - backward design planning
  2. Articulated learning targets in student friendly learning
  3. Descriptive feedback
  4. Use of models, exemplars
  5. Effective questioning techniques
  6. Peer/self assessment