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IN PRACTICE


Examples of AFL Assignments So what exactly does an AFL-based activity or assignment look like? Before we take a look at some examples, let’s first remember the previously stated key AFL point: Assessment FOR Learning is about how the results of the assessments will be used as opposed to what specific assessments are used. This means that the same assessments that are used in an AFL manner can also be used summatively. While some assignments are more inherently in line with AFL principles, any assignment can become an AFL activity if it is used primarily for the purpose of providing feedback to the students and the teacher so that learning can improve, instead of primarily for determining a grade in the grade book.


What follows are descriptions of four possible AFL-based activities that could be used in almost any classroom and at almost any grade level. More information about each of these activities, as well as many other AFL ideas, can be found on the Assessment FOR Learning Ning located online at http://salemafl.ning.com. I invite you to visit the link that accompanies each activity and leave your feedback and thoughts about how the activity or others like it have worked in your classroom or school. In doing so, you can turn a “static” article into a “dynamic” collaboration.


AFL FLASHCARD REVIEW With about ten minutes or less remaining in class, the teacher has the students pull out the 2 laminated flashcards that are kept at their desks. One card has an A on the front and a B on the back, while the other has a C on the front and a D on the back. For about five minutes the teacher asks the students questions about that day’s topic. The students answer by holding up their flashcards with the letter that corresponds to the best answer choice.


Even a simple assessment tool such as this can provide useful data. By paying close attention to the class’s answers, the teacher now has an understanding of what problems the students were having with that day’s content and can spend the last few minutes of class going over the areas of weakness or even helping an individual student whose answers were incorrect. As the teacher notices how students are answering specific questions, the teacher will be able to better plan for the following day’s instruction. Finally, the act of being assessed causes the students to reflect back on the content learned that day and allows them to leave class with a clearer understanding of what they have and have not yet mastered. More online at: http://salemafl.ning.com/profiles/blogs/afl-flashcard-review


AFL WHITEBOARD REVIEW On the day before a test or quiz the teacher spends about 20 minutes asking review questions to the class as a whole. Each student has a small whiteboard and a dry erase


Spring 2011 Vol. 8 No. 1 Virginia Educational Leadership 57


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