Conference Summary Formative Assessment More rhetoric than reality Professor Dylan Wiliam, Schools Network Conference 2011 Where are we now? • We have amazing data on children’s progress and very poor information • We should be making decision-driven data collection not data driven decision making • School leaders need to stop people doing good things to allow them to do even better things Parent Teacher association? •Parents do not know anything about the school apart from trophies in the foyer, uniform and marking • So make the marking useful for all Comments vs Grades • Grades and comments in marking leads to • No gain, high achievers positive • No gain, low achievers negative • Competition can be powerful if you believe you can close the gap • The problem of motivation is in the match between challenge and capability • If we grade children’s efforts then we find our selves saying, “Not only are you no good at maths, you’re not even good at trying!” How to ‘do’ Feedback • What to do with feedback • • One group given written praise, list of weaknesses, workplan The other group was given oral feedback, time to respond • • This latter group is the one that improved Feedback should be more work for the recipients than the donor • • Don’t give feedback unless the first 10 mins is given over to responding to the feedback It’s like the difference between a medical and a post mortem Leave learning with • Peekability & Cope 1993) the(Simmonds learner • Give children an opportunity to reexamine their solution, not the answer • Scaffolding • Give children scaffolded ‘nudge’ in the right direction, not the complete solution • Sometimes telling children where • TGATLevelling report: Children would only be told their Fallacies level when it had changed (i.e. Year 2 to Year 6) • Sub Levels = Assessment Illiteracy • This doesn’t allow for margins of error, two sub levels each side • Unreliability or invalidity • By having very precise targets we close down possibilities • Everything you do feeds in to where you Kinds of Feedback • Nyquist, 2003 • Knowledge of results = weaker feedback • Strong formative feedback gives 4 times the improvement • Harder than rocket science Personalisation, Dweck 2000 • • • • internal - I did well because I worked hard external - I did not do well because Mr Smith let me down “Success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan” Permanence • • Boys... internal = stable (I am clever), external = unstable (my questions must come up one day) Best learners attribute successes and failures to internal causes: •“it’s down to you and you can do something about it” • If you believe “Ability is fixed” • It’s ok to fail if Mindset everybody fails, but disastrous if everybody else succeeds • You become ‘performance oriented’: You can’t fail on easy work • But the best learners want to be pushed and push themselves • “Ability is incremental” - by working you’re getting smarter • Being good at anything is just down to practice • Teachers have to believe children can get Engaging learners in feedback • Slow down the emotional reaction (it is 10 times faster than the cognitive reaction) • “Here are the comments on these essays, match the comments to the piece of work” Providing Feedback that moves learning on • • • • • • • Feedback should cause thinking Provide guidance on how to improve Comment only marking Focused marking Everybody gets the same amount of work from feedback Explicit reference to mark schemes Feedback should be more work for the recipient than the donor • • • 5 of these are wrong, you find them Response required to feedback Re-timing assessment - decision driven data collection • How do I wrap up this topic? Find out what learning is secure and tailor the last few lessons to address the gaps What is assessment? • An assessment functions formatively to the extent that evidence about student achievement elicited by the assessment is interpreted and used to make decisions about the next steps in instruction (whether teacher:pupil or pupil:pupil) which is better, or better founded, than if the decisions were made without it.