Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondJANE WINTER: Hello, it's Jane here with my colleague, Yeasmin, ready to talk about some of your comments on the Planning for Learning course. And you're going to kick us off, aren't you, Yeasmin?

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZA: I am indeed. Hello, everybody. OK, so our first bunch of comments come from an array of colleagues. So thank you first of all to people who are giving us permission to share their comments and help us discuss these rather meaty issues. So you can see up on the screen there we've got comments from Laurence, Scott, and Yousef. And they were a little bit concerned about one of the questions on our poll about student involvement in planning for AFL. So our educator, Andrea, she explains that it's really important to get students involved in planning, not only between key stages, but in between as well. So there were concerns about that.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 secondsOK, so just to clarify, but good AFL cycles are-- we don't negate the planning between key stages. But rather we say that good AFL is more than that. So a good AFL cycle happens actually within one lesson. So we're talking about the minute by minute, hour by hour learning. So why not get students involved in the cyclical planning that we do on a day by day basis. And further still, get them-- use the feedback they give us to adapt our plan while we're teaching in the moment as well. So it's really important that planning is not seen as something that's done only in between key stages.

Skip to 1 minute and 42 secondsSo getting the students involved-- getting that feedback and building a team to the planning is super important aspect of AFL. And also that, you know, of course that brings with it lots of concerns about how do we manage that. It seems like a whole lot of work. There are concerns about time, etc, etc. Well, Jane made some suggestions. One of them is that quite often it's just little tweaks that's going to make all the difference. So we're not talking about throwing everything out the window. But we're talking about looking at the practise, keeping what's good, and really being quite strict about asking a question. This task that I'm giving the student, does it work?

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 secondsSo let's collect the feedback from students. Let's-- And plan the activity around what's going on. So little tweaks is quite often the way to go. But also just learning as we go along. So if we find that something isn't working so well the first time around, to make sure that we think about that before we come back around to it in the next cycle of teaching and learning. So that that learning takes place live through the way. So thank you to Laurence, Scott, and Yousef for those comments. I'm going to hand over to Jane for a bit more of a comment from Yousef.

Skip to 3 minutes and 6 secondsJANE WINTER: Yeah, thank you very much, Yousef. And he makes a really, really good point that if you don't give success criteria, how do you know you're going to challenge your students? And I can see where you're coming from. And we're not saying that sharing success criteria is bad. Not sharing success criteria at all is bad. Better is to share success criteria. But even better still, what we're aiming for, is to co-construct success criteria with our students. And that sounds like it might be very long winded, very-- you know, how do we know that we're going to get the right level of success criteria for the students?

Skip to 3 minutes and 49 secondsAre we sure we're going to challenge them if we're involving them in that process? And we will talk about this more in the coming weeks, but one of the things that you can do is show them what a good one looks like. Show your students a good example. And then-- and then let them tell you what it is that makes that particular example good. I've actually got an example I can share you not to do with education. Years and years ago, probably 30 years ago, my mum and I used to really like making patchworks. And we were very, very pleased with our patchworks. And we thought we were quite clever. Then we went to a patchwork exhibition.

Skip to 4 minutes and 27 secondsAnd no one came along and told us what would have made our patch works even better. But when we saw the really, really good patchworks in this exhibition, we were able for ourselves to decide what would make our handicraft even better. Now obviously that's not an example from education. But you don't have to tell people, you can let them work it out for themselves. And it needn't be taking you a lot more time. Because we all know as teachers, we're very short on time. So thank you very much, Yousef. You make-- you brought up a really important point there. And Yeasmin, I think you're going to talk about something from Joe and Jason now, aren't you?

Skip to 5 minutes and 8 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZA: Indeed. So both Joe and Jason were surprised that tests don't form part of a good AFL. Well, they do really. But what we're saying is that-- we're saying that we need to look beyond tests and look at the day to day practise, OK? So there's no suggestion that we do away with testing one, but we do away with test analysis and learning from that and feeding it back to the students. Those are all good practises. What AFL is saying is let's get it right the first time around by allowing the AFL cycle to take place in the lesson. So we're talking about in situ teaching and learning.

Skip to 5 minutes and 54 secondsAnd ensuring that we're reactive and responsive to what's going on in the class at that time. And that's far more effective than trying to rectify or remedy the situation after it's emerged through a test. And actually Jane-- Jane and I had a conversation earlier. We were saying that if AFL has done really well first time around in class, in situ across a series of lessons, then the summative testing almost takes care of itself really. And hopefully we'll find that good teaching and learning comes through, shows through, in the summarative testing as well. So in summary, we don't do away with tests. But rather, we look beyond tests and we look at day to day AFL because that's actually more important.

Skip to 6 minutes and 41 secondsAnd that's where the AFL is going to kick and punch. OK, so I think the next comment is for you, Jane. Over to you.

Skip to 6 minutes and 50 secondsJANE WINTER: Yeah, I was just going to add to what you just said. That as well as good AFL leading to great results when you do do a written test, you actually need to do less written tests because you already know what your students know. They become just much more occasional. Because you really are aware of where your students are with the learning. So AFL is just so great all round to mean that your teaching is always hitting the spot with your students' needs. Anyway, moving on to Dawn. I love your practise, Dawn. She's saying that she has differentiated tasks for her students. But she doesn't choose what the students do, she lets them choose.

Skip to 7 minutes and 36 secondsAnd I think this is really powerful, Dawn. Thank you for sharing this. If you do that, it really empowers your students. It shows that you have confidence in them. And if you have confidence in them, they have more confidence in themselves. They're going to take ownership and responsibility for their learning, which has always got to be a good thing. They become much better at being reflective learners and thinking about what they know, where they are, and where they need to go next. And another point is you're not juggling plates.

Skip to 8 minutes and 6 secondsIf you've got 30 students in front of you and you've got to make decisions about which task each one gets, you're not going to tell me you're going to get that absolutely right for 30 students every time. But as a student, if you've got one decision to make, you're much more likely to get it right, especially if the teacher's empowered you to say, well, if you start that task and it's too easy, choose another one. And if it's too difficult, choose another one. And that's OK too. And you'll really be helping your students to self manage their learning. And the opposite of that really is micromanaging, isn't it?

Skip to 8 minutes and 41 secondsAnd if ever you've worked with a head teacher that has micromanaged you, you will know that you don't get the best out of yourself when you're in that situation. And it's the same for our students. So give them the responsibility, and they'll usually rise to it. And the other thing I loved about your comment, Dawn. She commented that she actually gives them all the same task. What's different about them is their level of support and scaffolding she gives them. You know, she breaks it down into smaller steps for students that find it harder. And less that's the more confident students make bigger leaps. So I think that is really, really valuable.

Skip to 9 minutes and 19 secondsIt's keeping all students on the same page, while letting them work to their capability at that moment. Thank you very much for that, Yeasmin. So I think you've got one from Jason now, haven't you, Yeasmin?

Skip to 9 minutes and 31 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZA: Indeed. And Jason raises a really interesting point about which of the students we might be spending time with. So his comment here actually is in response to another comment made by another participant. And the overall discussion is about where the teacher should spend the time in the room. So one suggestion made was that if the more able students are able to sort of get on with it, then the student can go and visit the less confident students. And Jason almost says the opposite here. He says, I suppose grouping the students who need more support together to practise something whilst providing the chance to work with a more confident student. So he's flipped it on his head.

Skip to 10 minutes and 16 secondsSo the discussion here really is about how could a teacher spend his or her time fairly and equitably across the room. Because there's an argument to say that they should be with the less confident student, and I would say the other. So these are things, you know, they're all right. They're all right. So as teachers, we just need to be very conscious that we are fair and that we are-- there's a perception of fairness. Whilst it's perfectly fine to be making-- supporting the students in becoming as independent as possible and working with each other as possible, whether it's mixed ability groups or whether it's setting groups, or however we group the students to get on with it.

Skip to 10 minutes and 59 secondsThe teacher needs to give the impression that they are available equitably to all learners. And that perception is really important to nurture that environment of safe learning. So ensuring that no pupil group is neglected, but-- Well, to begin with, let's start with good planning. It's OK to expect a greater level of independence from students who are confident, but also trying to build that independent thing with the less confident students as well. And actually, AFL works best when the most confident and the least competent students are-- they're not always-- we don't label them. We might find that for one task, you've got a particular student who's confident and somebody else who's not. And then for another task, it flips over.

Skip to 11 minutes and 52 secondsAnd so with good AFL, that often emerges. And so those labels, those old labels, they come away. And the students are very confident in order to self identify and move their own sort of temporary label if you like. So they might say, OK, sir, yeah, I do actually need a little bit more help on this particular task, but I'm OK with the next one. So being able to flexibly move around the room so that there's a feeling of the teacher as a resource that's available for all. So thank you very much, Jason, for your comment. I think on our next slide is a comment from Ann. So over to you, Jane, for Anne's comment.

Skip to 12 minutes and 34 secondsJANE WINTER: Yes, thank you very much for this, Ann. And she makes a point that one of the really positive things about ranking activities is you can choose ones where it's not always-- there's not necessarily a right or wrong answer. And she highlights what some of the benefits of that particular approach are. And it allows all your students to apply the knowledge they have, however much or however little knowledge that they have. And so everyone is involved in the activity up to the level of their confidence. So everybody is stretched by the same activity, if you've chosen things haven't necessarily got a right or wrong answer, where you could argue one way or you could argue the other.

Skip to 13 minutes and 22 secondsSo that is a really, really valuable thing to be able to do. And students bring what they've got to the discussion, but then learn from each other as well. So it doesn't hold anyone back. You haven't to put a lid on anyone's learning by trying to differentiate exactly what they need. So really, really valuable for involving everybody and keeping everyone completely engaged in the lesson and learning as much as they can. So thank you very much for that, Ann. Really useful point to bring up. And finishing with you, Yeasmin.

Skip to 14 minutes and 0 secondsYEASMIN MORTUZA: OK, so that brings us to the end of that video diary. So that was the first of three that we're doing for this course. The next one's coming up roughly in about a fortnight's time. There is a Q&A for this course as our experts will be taking on your questions. So the deadline for questions to be posted is the 5th of November. And the Q&A video should be up towards the end of November. So keep your comments coming in and please give us permission when you ask for it, if you'd like us to mention your comment and if you'd like everybody to learn from the issues raised.

Skip to 14 minutes and 34 secondsSo we really appreciate the honesty and transparency in learning that's going on in our learning community. And we do encourage people to comment and learn from each other. So thank you and see you online.

Mentors' video diary and your choice of comments

Jane and Yeasmin will be recording three video diaries during the course. Please keep an eye out for their requests to include your comments in the video.

Learning from others

To celebrate the contributions you have all made, we’d like you to look at the last two weeks’ learning. In the comments below, either:

a. Share a link to a comment made by another learner or mentor that has informed your thinking or practice.
b. Summarise a comment or discussion that has helped you reflect on how you teach.

Tip: To share a link to a comment, right click on the time/date of the comment and select Copy link address or Copy shortcut. You can then paste this into the comments below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre