Session 16 – Thursday 7th October 2010

Session Title

Does APP work? What other formative assessment tools do you use? Do they work?

Summary of Session

Assessing Pupils Progress (APP) was the main focus of this ukedchat discussion. This tool within Assessment for Learning is mainly a formative assessment documenting strategy that is not compulsory within schools, with many primaries adopting the system, and a variety of secondary schools exploring within a variety of subjects.
The first part of the discussion explored definitions of APP and questioning the whole reasoning behind it, which proved to be a clarification process for some participants. There was clearly different definitions to APP, and how to use it, with calls on consistency across different schools. Where it is used effectively, staff have embraced the philosophy, but the use of evidence proved difficult for some colleagues to embrace. Plenty of tools were shared in helping this (see weblinks below).
There was a consensus that, if done carefully and consistently, APP could be one way of giving teachers their professional status. Is it really unreasonable that I should be expected to know where my pupils progress currently stands? I should not need a summative test to back that up. Instead, I should be able to confidently say where any pupil in my (primary) classroom stands academically, and show evidence to back that up – that is my job!

Eye-catching Tweets

@DrAshCasey – Is it too obvious to say that any assessment should be used as an aid/enhancement of learning and not for number counting
@dailydenouement – I find APP quite liberating in terms of marking – enjoy transparency of sharing AFs & then using level descriptors to give fdback
@wjputt – AforL is about learners knowing where they are and what they need to do to move on. Teachers & peers can help with this. AforL improves learning & learner capacity to develop as independent learners & indeed lifelong ones.
@OhLottie – Formative assessment at its simplest: If chn didn’t ‘get’ something today, then I don’t move on! I change my approach + try again.
@MrKp – APP for a whole class seems a huge job – and doing it for only 6 seems silly how do you square the circle?
@largerama – But is APP way forwrd for assessment? It is not a requirement for ICT in 2ndary now change of govt but is it best way to assess?
@sellyeve – every assessment approach has pros and cons – you need to have more than one method in the toolkit
@Ideas_Factory – Reception teachers have been doing this for years-assessment based on careful observation & recording of pupil work
@gideonwilliams – Have consistent school designed APP for all subjects use this to assess & monitor attainment/progress then link APP to eportfolio – APP with target setting could be real buy in for students – must be transparent and valued
@kvnmcl – Catching up on #ukedchat 1 point is a constant, APP means many things to many people. No consistency.
@mberry – Is anyone else here a little worried that AfL has come to mean APP in the eyes of so many?

Tweet of the Week

@Julian3576 Assessment is great when pupils reflect and reinforce own understanding and great when used to inform others.

Useful Links shared

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-bL1jBLeHU via @Julian3576 (system I developed to use with my class)
http://bit.ly/8qORcp via @colport (Google to support collection APP evidence – replacing ‘post-its’)
http://www.assessment-reform-group.org/publications.html via @Ideas-factory (Very very good website/assoc and brill publications)
http://fcr.me.uk/dfEVgq via @cleverfiend (asking the right questions)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzGvTELAz_k via @Julian3576 (Assessment should not just data points, but show learning taking place as it happens)
www.myebooklearning.com via @colport (E-portfolio as a means of storing evidence)
http://is.gd/fQ6en via @primarypete_ (APP target stickers)
www.PupilAsset.com via @KnikiDavies
http://bit.ly/a2pwBT via @ChrisPadden (One of my colleagues found flaws in the summative use of APP Writing)
https://www.simplyefficientsoftware.co.uk via @Julian3576 (have you tried?)
http://bit.ly/WelshAPP via @ChrisPadden (We made an assessment framework for the Welsh: APP for Wales)
http://bit.ly/c9hS3M via @tj007 (APP & Evernote)

Your host @colport

Primary School teacher based in Lancashire, currently teaching a Year 2 class.

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