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The ‘How’ of Assessment for Learning

Dinjanglu Pheiga Gangmei

Dinjanglu Pheiga Gangmei
Assistant Professor, St. Ann’s College of Education

She is completing her PhD from EFL University, Hyderabad, M.Ed., and M.A in Sociology from Osmania University, M.A in Psychology from IGNOU. She has 8 years of teaching experience.

Assessment helps a student achieve higher in education.  Assessment is of two types, assessment for learning (AFL) which is also called formative assessment, and assessment of learning which is also called summative assessment.  In AFL, it is the purpose of assessment, rather than the nature of it, that is important.  The ‘attribution theory’ holds that people explain their own successes and failures to themselves in different ways, thereby, self-assessment is very integral to learning.  Metacognition suggests that all need to be able to reflect on their own learning and this too supports the idea of self-assessment.  AFL increases self-confidence and it increases independence of the students.

 AFL creates a learner-centred classroom and the following practical strategies that can be used.  Firstly, questioning, where closed or open ended, helps a learner in self-assessment and this information can be used by the teacher to plan their teaching.  Secondly, feedback on a particular piece of work helps bridge the gap between teaching and learning.  Thirdly, peer assessment or peer feedback, where the learners ‘think like teachers’ help assess one another and it builds up social skills.  Fourthly, self-assessment as Mary James says, ‘Students need to learn for themselves how they move up to the next level … they need to internalise the process. Learning cannot be done for them by the teachers.’  Finally, the formative use of school tests and exams gives the teacher important information about what subjects, ideas and skills that learners need to work on. The teacher can then focus on explaining the areas of the syllabus that gave problems to most learners.

To conclude, the right strategies in AFL help both the learning and teaching processes thus immensely impacting the education.

 Cambridge International Education Teaching and Learning Team. (n.d.). Gearing Started with Assessment for Learning. Retrieved from Cambridge Assessment International Education:


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