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Assessment for learning / Assessment in the classroom / HomeAn integral part of teaching and learningAssessment for learning is best described as a process by which assessment information is used by teachers to adjust their teaching strategies, and by students to adjust their learning strategies. Assessment, teaching and learning are inextricably linked, as each informs the others.Assessment is a powerful process that can either optimize or inhibit learning, depending on how it’s applied.For teachersAssessment for learning helps teachers gather information to: plan and modify teaching and learning programmes for individual students, groups of students and the class as a wholepinpoint students’ strengths so that both teachers and students can build on themidentify students’ learning needs in a clear and constructive way so they can be addressedinvolve parents, and families in their children's learning. For studentsAssessment for learning provides students with information and guidance so they can plan and manage the next steps in their learning.Assessment for learning uses information to lead from what has been learned to what needs to be learned next. Describing assessment for learningAssessment for learning should use a range of approaches. These may include: day-to-day activities (such as learning conversations)a simple mental note taken by the teacher during observationstudent self and peer assessmentsa detailed analysis of a student’s work assessment tools (which may be written items, structured interview questions or items teachers make up themselves).What matters most is not so much the form of the assessment, but how the information gathered is used to improve teaching and learning.1
Purposes of assessment / Assessment for learning / Assessment in the classroom / HomeTeaching and learningThe primary purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and teachers’ teaching as both respond to the information it provides. Assessment for learning is an ongoing process that arises out of the interaction between teaching and learning.What makes assessment for learning effective is how well the information is used.System improvementAssessment can do more than simply diagnose and identify students’ learning needs; it can be used to assist improvements across the education system in a cycle of continuous improvement: Students and teachers can use the information gained from assessment to determine their next teaching and learning steps.Parents, and families can be kept informed of next plans for teaching and learning and the progress being made, so they can play an active role in their children’s learning. School leaders can use the information for school-wide planning, to support their teachers and determineprofessional development needs.