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Concluding Week 1 of the course

Concluding Week 1 of the course
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Week one has provided the background, setting, and purpose behind AFL. Week two, we’ll begin the journey helping you to improve the way you question learners to tap into their thinking, to create and design questions that probe and reveal understanding, to strengthen the feedback from learners that you elicit so you can make better decisions about next steps, and so you can also anticipate how students might respond to questions so that you can plan how to use the evidence that this process generates. Some people call this process data-driven decision-making. But it seems to us that this is better thought of as a process of decision-driven data collection.
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After all, there’s not much point in collecting information from your students unless you know what to do with it. This is why multiple choice format can be so helpful in formative assessment. When you think about a multiple choice question, you will tend also to think about how to use the data that the question will produce, as well as about the underlying science. And with a multiple choice question, it is much easier to make sense of the responses of a large group of students.
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Now, at the risk of stating the obvious, the more you are able to put time into the activities of the course, including the work between weeks, and the more you could engage in discussion with other course participants, then the more difference this course will make to your practise as a teacher. Finally, I’d like to let you know that halfway through the course there will be a live session during which we will respond to a selection of questions that have occurred to you over the preceding weeks.
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You will find that jotting these down as they occur to you on the document you can download from this page or somewhere else convenient to you will itself help concentrate your mind on the course. We’ll explain how to submit your questions nearer the time.
In this video, Dylan Wiliam draws Week 1 to a close, and summarises the main focus of Week 2, which will be on ‘intentional dialogue’.
Dylan suggests you think of questioning as being part of a process of decision-driven data-collection: that is, questioning that has been designed to elicit information that you will be ready to use once you get it.

Reflection grid

Dylan also encourages you to record your questions about the course. We provide a reflection grid and encourage you to use this on a weekly basis:
As this example grid shows, you can record your successes and problems you identify from your teaching practice. The ‘eureka moments’ capture key incidents of positive change, for you or your students. For any outstanding questions, you may pick up the answers as the course progresses, and if not you can send your questions to Andrea as part of the course Q&A session:

Review your learning this week

Complete your first weekly reflection grid. Share in the comments below:
  1. Your key learning point for this week.
  2. What you wish to find out more about next week.
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