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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Assessment for Learning in STEM Teaching. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds I want to stress the importance of reflection if you want to translate ideas into practise and also if you want to be effective in making changes in what you do. What we’ve designed for you is a reflection grid. It’s a four cell grid and you’ll see the the four cells have particular names and functions. You’ve got successes at the top, and then underneath that Eureka moments. Eureka moments you may or may not have had in your lesson. These are times when either you suddenly understand why particular strategies work or why a child suddenly understands something, or why, perhaps, your pupil or your student is having problems.

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds Also you might have some questions on assessment for learning, either they’ve been there long term or maybe, again, that have emerged as you’ve worked in the classroom. These are important to record, as well, as are your problems. So now’s your chance to complete the grid, reflect back, and you’ll have one two, three, or even maybe four cells to actually record. This will help you on your learning journey so that when you do go online you can share and discuss these points with others.

Reflecting on what you're learning

Trying to take in new ideas and embed them into your practice is not easy.

However, as Chris explains in this video, using the reflection grid [PDF] to help you focus on ‘successes’ or be aware of ‘pitfalls’ or simply to log ‘questions’ will help with this.

For your convenience, here is a blank copy of the reflection grid [DOCX] you can edit. On some occasions we will prompt you to use it, but feel free to use it whenever you want.

The reflection grid should serve both as an aide memoire and a record of how your thinking develops during the course.

Reflect on your current teaching practice

Being able to assess your own development is a crucial part of professional practice. To help you review your current practice and thinking on assessment for learning, we’ve created a self-audit for you to complete before you do more on the course.

Read these notes before you complete the self-audit survey. You will need to download a copy of your responses for use later in the course.

How to approach the self-audit

  • There are no right or wrong answers.
  • Answer honestly about where you are now, not where you want to be.
  • Your answers will help you to identify what areas of practice you need to focus on the most as you progress through the course.
  • Save a copy of your responses.

At the end of the course we will ask you the same questions: you can then compare your responses and see how much progress you have made. This will also help the course team understand the impact of the course more generally.

What’s in the self-audit

The self-audit asks you to look at your practice using the statements below:

  • I can explain the main principles of formative assessment.
  • I can explain the benefits of using intentional dialogue in the classroom for both teachers and students.
  • I use questions to gauge levels of understanding rather than to see who has the correct answer.
  • I plan for and include questions that challenge students’ thinking to promote constructive discussion in my lessons.
  • I use group work throughout my lessons to encourage students to talk about their thinking.
  • I limit the amount of talking that I do in class and ensure I listen to students’ own talk.
  • I give students thinking time before asking them to respond to questions.
  • I allow all students to participate in the lesson when answering questions.
  • I can explain the characteristics of hinge-point questions.
  • I can explain the difference between hinge-point questions and questions that are intended to promote constructive discussion.
  • I am confident about writing hinge-point questions.
  • I include hinge-point questions in my lessons.
  • I am confident about interpreting the evidence elicited by hinge-point questions.
  • I include in my lesson plans details of what I will do depending on how students respond to the questions that I ask.
  • I act effectively on the evidence about student learning that my questions elicit.
  • I know where to find hinge-point questions created by other teachers for my subject area.

Feel free to discuss the statements via the comments on this step.


  1. Access the self-audit task and complete it.
  2. At the end of the survey, click My responses.
  3. Click Download as PDF.
  4. Save the PDF where you will be able to retrieve it to review at the end of the course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Assessment for Learning in STEM Teaching

National STEM Learning Centre

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