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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 The research on Assessment for Learning was started for this present type of work that’s been going on in classrooms in 1998, when Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam published a 70-page research article summarising all the findings from different researchers in this area for the previous 10 years. What they did then, which was really helpful to teachers in schools and lecturers in colleges, is to create a booklet called Inside the black box, which is some 20 pages explaining the work they found in their research. The ideas that are contained in the booklet Inside the black box revolutionised how we conceptualise classroom assessment. What it allowed us to do was to think about the formative use of assessment evidence.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds And that’s what we now actually integrate into Assessment for Learning practice. So doing this course and using the ideas from inside the booklet will help you ask questions or design activities to find out what’s inside your student’s heads. This will enable you to get feedback on your learners’ thinking. And this will be key in helping you make those decisions about next steps. Because it’s when teachers can use this evidence to decide what to do next that Assessment for Learning really works. And this provides a more tailored way and a more tailored approach to teaching and learning.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 seconds This is very in keeping with the drive of the new national curriculum in science, which asks us to help learners study fewer things in more depth. So finding out about their thinking will help you make those decisions. And doing this course will particularly strengthen your Assessment for Learning practices.

Inside the black box

In this video, Chris Harrison gives a very brief overview of Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam’s research into assessment for learning.

As Chris explains, Dylan and Paul’s research was the basis for their influential ‘Inside the black box - Raising standards through classroom assessment’.

We will return to ‘Inside the black box’. But after watching this video, in the next step we’d like you to consider a concrete example of assessment for learning in action.

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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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