Learning Design Part 6

I would like to acknowledge that the information presented in this post and previous posts relating to Learning Design comes from the ‘Leaders Resource – Getting Started’ produced by Teaching and Learning Services DECD.

The fourth step in Learning Design is What evidence will enable us to assess the intended learning? Understanding if our students ‘have go it’ is crucial if we are going to accurately adjust our teaching and planning to suit the level of learning students are at. It is also vital if we are to accurately report to parents. To achieve this we need to assess students regularly.

Dylan Wiliams suggests that “When implemented well, formative assessment can double the speed of students’ learning“.

Just because we teach something does not mean students have learnt it!

Below is a great little script that demonstrates what happens when we don’t use effective formative assessment methods.

We ask, “Does everyone understand?”

We await the answer to come.

A lone voice says, “Yes”, and we accept that as

evidence that learning has occurred.

We move onto the next topic or concept, deluding

ourselves that all is right with the world.

Later, much later, we review the results of the latest quiz,

test, or essay, and shake our heads in wonder.

“I taught all this,” we say.  “Didn’t they get it?”



Important points regarding “What evidence will enable us to assess the intended learning?”

• Feedback should cause thinking and move the learning forward
• Do our assessment practices provide our students with multiple ways to demonstrate their understanding?
• What are the multiple ways learners can show their learning?
• Does the feedback cause thinking and learning dialogue?
• What opportunities are there for self and peer assessment?




2 thoughts on “Learning Design Part 6

  1. I really wish I could get a hold of a Dylan Williams clip – he talks about senior secondary class and how he provided no formative assessment for one group, and provided formative assessment for the other. The Control group – obviously the non-formative group – obviously got onto their good copy first and were, at the start at least, miles ahead. What happened to the experimental group was of course they were slower to commence their assessment item, but interestingly, as time progressed they were more focussed and understood a greater depth of what was required with the task than the control group. What ended up happening was both groups finished at the same time with the experimental group overall doing better (in terms of results) than the control group!

    Reckon it was Dylan Williams or it may have been another bloke whose name escapes me. Anyway, the recollection supports this thought of formative assessment. If I were to get a miliseconds breathe in the next 10 weeks I will endeavour to download and post it here for others to see. Thoughtprovoking……

  2. Thanks Ed. It is important to regularly find out if our students are grasping concepts along the way rather than wait until a final assessment piece and realise nothing was learnt. By this time it is often to late to go back as the next topic is about to begin. I would like to try and use the Socrative web tool to do this more often this semester. Socrative will allow me to feed questions to my class ‘on the run’ and get instant responses. Just need computers available at the time!

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