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Formative Assessment

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Feedback, Feedback, Feedback – for Students and Teachers

Teachers: An Obvious Source of Feedback

Formative assessment is characterized by an abundance of specific, descriptive feedback that is provided at a time while the learning is still taking place. Through the formative assessment process, teachers also gain valuable information to help with planning for instruction. 

When true formative assessment is at work, the lines become blurred between instruction and assessment. 

View the following videos to hear how students and teachers feel about the feedback process. 

Video: The Impact of Teacher Feedback


The Impact of Teacher Feedback

A teacher at St. Jean Brebeuf School in Calgary structures her classes so that she has many opportunities to provide feedback to her students.

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Video: Just-in-Time Feedback


Just-in-Time Feedback

Teachers at Monsignor Fee Otterson School highlight the benefits of providing students with just-in-time oral feedback.

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Video: Feedback to Inform Practice


Feedback to Inform Practice

A secondary teacher at Hilltop High School in Whitecourt describes how she organizes her classroom in order to obtain feedback that informs her practice.

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Peers: A Valuable Feedback Resource Worth Developing 

Students need more feedback than teachers can possibly provide. Helping students learn to give and receive feedback is definitely worth the investment of time and energy. 

The following videos showcase effective peer feedback in action within Alberta schools.

Video: Establishing the Conditions for Peer Feedback


Establishing the Conditions for Peer Feedback

Teachers from Percy Baxter Middle School found that peer coaching can only be effective when a supportive environment is established and students are able to develop the appropriate skills.

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Video: Helping Students become Resources for One Another


Helping Students become Resources for One Another

Grade 6 students and their teachers from Medicine Hat Public Schools are experiencing the benefits of peer feedback.

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Video: The Impact of Peer Feedback


The Impact of Peer Feedback

A teacher at St. Jean Brebeuf School in Calgary utilizes peer feedback to impact student learning.

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Self-reflection: An Essential Life Skill

While teacher and peer feedback is helpful, students ultimately need to develop the skill of self-reflection. In order to build confidence and encourage students to take risks with their learning, it is essential that self-reflection not contribute to a student’s grade.  The video resources in this section showcase students working with the skill of self-reflection.

Video: Developing the Skill of Self-Reflection


Developing the Skill of Self-Reflection

A teacher at Monsignor Fee Otterson School helps students develop the skill of self-reflection.

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Video: Engaging Students through Effective Questions


Engaging Students through Effective Questions

A teacher at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Calgary uses 'paper tweets' to help her students reflect on their learning.

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Formative Assessment – Planned or Spontaneous? 

Actually, both approaches can be effective. When teachers plan time for formative assessment opportunities, it is more likely that the resulting feedback can influence student learning. Planning effective questions that probe for student understanding and uncover student misconceptions can be particularly effective. 

However, don’t overlook the just-in-time opportunities that present themselves as the learning process unfolds.

Video: Planning for Day to Day Assessment


Planning for Day to Day Assessment

Planning for assessment is part of day-to-day instruction for a teacher at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Calgary.

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Video: Engaging Students in their Learning


Engaging Students in their Learning

Teachers at Holy Spirit School in Sherwood Park share how the use of mini white boards provides opportunities for students to be deeply engaged in the assessment process.

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Scaffolding: Building a Temporary Structure to Support Learning

What does it mean to analyze? support a position? evaluate a procedure?

These higher level thinking skills can sometimes be hard to describe and demonstrate. Check out the Materials section of the AAC website for examples of how these skills can be developed within a formative assessment framework. Numerous templates are also available that can be adapted for any grade or subject. 

Learn More about Formative Assessment from AAC Publications

Scaffolding for Student Success

What do we do when students don’t understand? We scaffold to support student learning. Scaffolding for Student Success is an AAC professional resource that provides a variety of effective tools to scaffold student learning.

Assessment Conversations: Engaging with Colleagues to Support Student Learning

This new AAC resource has been 'made for Alberta'. It is a practical resource that every system leader, school leader and teacher can turn to for background information, answers to perplexing assessment questions, and concrete ideas for moving assessment practice forward in classrooms, schools and jurisdictions.
This publication has been written with the professional practice standards in mind. Consider this newest AAC resource to be an integral part of planning for implementation of the new standards - for teachers, school leaders and system leaders.

What Matters Most about Assessment

This handy flip book is a valuable reference guide to key principles of sound classroom assessment practice. When used in conjunction with the new AAC ‘Go’ page, www.aac.ab.ca/go, teachers can access resource listings for a variety of videos, professional learning materials, and samples of assessment tasks and techniques.

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