My goal for 2016 is to effectively embed AFL (Assessment for learning) practices into my teaching. I’ve mentioned elsewhere the fact that AFL practices top the list of the most effective strategies to improve student learning and yet almost 20 years after the original research they are still not being implemented successfully in the majority of classrooms. I believe that one of the main reasons for this failure is the fact that teachers simply do not have sufficient time to systematically and regularly adopt the strategies.
My plan for 2016 is to combine AFL strategies with the flipped classroom model. One of the significant advantages of the flipped classroom is that it frees up a significant amount of classroom time. I aim to devote this newly found time to the use of AFL strategies.
Key texts that have informed my thinking are Embedded Formative Assessment, Perfect Assessment for Learning, The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture, and The Formative Assessment Action Plan. The first two texts outline the key principles of AFL, with the first focusing on research and the second on practical strategies. The final two texts explore ideas around how to structure sequences of learning.
The Formative Assessment Action plan follows the GRR (Gradual Release of Responsibility) Instructional model:
- The focus lesson
- Guided instruction
- Productive Groupwork
- Independent Learning
The Flipped Classroom: The Full Picture suggests the following sequence:
- Experiential engagement.
- Conceptual Connections.
- Making Meaning
- Demonstration and Application
My plan is to integrate the two systems:
- Experiential engagement
- The focus lesson
- Guided instruction / Conceptual connections
- Productive groupwork
- Making meaning
- Independent learning through demonstration and application
For an explanation of these terms, it is definitely worth reading through the books in question, A detailed outline of The Flipped Classroom system is available on author Jackie Gernstein’s website.
My aim is to put this plan into action during 2016.