Conference Sessions – Descriptions

 

Citation

Please refer to information and materials available on these pages, in this way:

Assessment for Learning: Canada in Conversation with the World (April, 2014) Website Canadian Conference on Assessment.
     Accessed at: http://assessment4learning.com/canadian-conference

Conference Sessions

Plenary Session,
Friday, April 11, 2014, 6:00 – 7:15 pm:

Assessment for Learning: Has the Warranty Run Out?

With Dany Laveault, Canada (Host), Joy Cumming, Australia, Susan Brookhart, United States,
Lisa Rodgers, New Zealand, Linda Allal, Switzerland, Kari Smith, Norway, Gordon Stobart, United Kingdom, Dylan Wiliam, UK/USA

“Formative assessment” and “Assessment for Learning” are now familiar concepts or at least they seem to be recognized as such by all teachers. As a consequence of teachers’ former – good or bad – experience, the definition of these concepts, their role and their impact are more scrutinized and questioned than ever before and even met with some scepticism. Depending on the jurisdiction, there have been several “waves” of assessment reforms, some more successful than others. While some of these reforms have been quite successful, in some other cases they have started with blind trust and conviction and ended in suspicion. The next wave of assessment reform will have to provide more stringent guarantees as to its impact on students’ learning and its benefits for both students and teachers.
<!–“Formative assessment” and “Assessment for Learning” are now familiar concepts or at least they seem to be recognized as such by all teachers. As a consequence of teachers’ former – good or bad – experience, the definition of these concepts, their role and their impact are more scrutinized and questioned than ever before and even met with some skepticism.

Depending on the jurisdiction, there have been several “waves” of assessment reforms, some more successful than others. While some of these reforms have been quite successful, in some other cases they have started with blind trust and conviction and ended in suspicion. The next wave of assessment reform will have to provide more stringent guarantees as to its impact on students’ learning and its benefits for both students and teachers.

This session’s question “Has the Warranty Run Out” was raised by Laveault in Solstrand and used by Stobart during our discussions. The question was asked to raise the issue of the validity of our knowledge base on how to make AfL work for teachers and students. Teachers, school administrators and policy developers have faced important implementation difficulties and formative assessment has not always met their expectations or what was promised to them by previous publications or reports. It has become a “political” issue as much as a “scientific” issue. Are educators and leaders still receptive to the message of AfL and what do we have in stock to convince them to still promote it?

Formative assessment is not a new product for teachers anymore. Some products needed to be called back. Several educators have experienced some more or less functional incarnations of AfL. Some of these assessment practices may be obsolete or a poor rendition of what formative assessment or AfL should be. What new science do we have, what new developments and improvements do we have to keep educators and school leaders to stay engaged or to engage successfully with AfL and want to purchase an extended warranty?–>

Download Presentation Notes (Allal)
Download Presentation Notes (Brookhart – slides)
Download Presentation Notes (US perspective)
Download Presentation Notes (Cumming)
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Plenary Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 9:00 – 10:15 am

Assessment in the Service of Learning: A Call to Thoughtful Action

With Lorna Earl, Canada (Host), Mary Chamberlain, New Zealand, Heidi Andrade, United States, and Dany Laveault, Canada

This presentation will be in two parts. The first part will focus on shifting power and skills to learners and ensuring that all other layers of the system support this shift. It will cover how assessment information can be used to provide real and practical learning benefits for students, teachers, leaders and policy makers, and what you might you see in a system that does this. The second part will focus on the intended and unintended consequences of assessment on student learning, motivation, and academic self-regulation. What we know about the impact of teacher expectations, classroom goal structures, types and sources of feedback, and teachers’ and students’ responses to feedback will be examined.
Download Presentation Notes (Andrade)
Download Presentation Notes (Chamberlain)
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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:45 – 12:00 noon:

How are policies in the area of Assessment for Learning impacting leaders and their work?

With Louis Volante, Canada (host), Joy Cumming, Australia, Ernest Spencer, United Kingdom, Lisa Rodgers, New Zealand, and Caroline Wylie, United States

This session explores how policies in the area of assessment for learning are impacting leaders and leadership. Louis Volante (Canada), Joy Cumming (Australia), Lisa Rodgers (New Zealand), Ernie Spencer (United Kingdom), and Caroline Wylie (United States) will offer their perspectives on the session theme that is grounded in their research and field experiences. The international panel will also facilitate smaller group discussions during the session. The session will conclude with a report-back component that conveys the collective thoughts of the session participants.
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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:45 – 12:00 noon:

What Are The Ways Professional Learning is Changing to Make Assessment for Learning a Reality for Learners?

With Sandra Herbst, Canada (Host), Menucha Birenbaum, Israel, Jenny Poskitt, New Zealand, Graham Maxwell, Australia, Sue Swaffield, United Kingdom, and Jill Willis, Australia

As educators use assessment in the service of ADULT learning, they are changing the way we think and plan for professional learning. While many different models and theories inform our work, we continue to learn new lessons around implementation. In this concurrent session, Sandra Herbst, Canada (Host) along with Menucha Birenbaum, Israel, Jenny Poskitt, New Zealand, Graham Maxwell, Australia, Maria Ruiz-Primo, United States, Sue Swaffield, United Kingdom, and Jill Willis, Australia will share the lessons we’ve been learning around the world, engage in a dialogue with attendees, and conclude by ‘summing up’ new ideas and practices for the future.
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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:45 – 12:00 noon:

The role of teachers in the assessment of learning: professional judgment, the reporting process and the potential for change

With Anne Davies, Canada (Host), Ruth Sutton, United Kingdom, Vincent Geiger, Australia, Ernesto Panadero, Spain and Finland, Heidi Andrade, United States, and Michael Absolum, New Zealand

Recent research in Scotland and Alberta, Canada has affirmed that teacher’s professional judgment is more reliable and valid than external tests when they are involved in looking at student work, co-constructing criteria and scoring guides, scoring the work and checking with inter-rater reliability. At the same time, educators and education systems are revisiting the ways student learning and achievement is reported to parents/guardians.

For more than a hundred years, most students in Canada have received some sort of report card that used percentage grades, letter grades and/or comments to inform parents of how well students were learning. During the last few decades report cards in Canada have shifted from being ‘norm-referenced’ – where students were compared to other students – to being ‘criterion-referenced’ or ‘standards-based.’ The intention is that student learning is assessed and evaluated by teachers using informed professional judgment. This involves teachers comparing the evidence of learning to the quality expectations outlined by the curriculum and making an evaluation.

During the past several years there has been increased interest in moving away from a report card that is issued 3 or more times a year to a reporting process that keeps parents informed in a variety of ways such as online portfolio collections such as e-PEARL and parent-student-teacher conferences. At the same time many on-line grading programs have served to reinforce the giving of marks and grades. Schools, systems and teachers are caught in the muddle.

In this session five international guests will share the potential for positive changes through consideration of international perspectives, the promise of technology, and deep student involvement in the process of assessment.
Download Presentation Notes (Absolum)
Download Presentation Notes (Panadero)

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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:45 – 12:00 noon:

Lessons Learned: Implementation Accounts from Around the World – Ireland and Singapore

With Anne Looney, Republic of Ireland,
Karen Lam, Singapore, and Kelvin Tan, Singapore

Anne Looney, Republic of Ireland, has been engaged with others in leading the change work across the Republic of Ireland. When the work began there was no system of national testing or assessment in primary schools in the Republic of Ireland, although most teachers used standardized tests in reading and mathematics to provide them with information on student achievement in these areas. During this session Anne will describe how changes are unfolding in this unique context.
Download Presentation Notes (Lam, Tan)

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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 10:45 – 12:00 noon:

Soutenir l’apprentissage au moyen de l’évaluation : une question d’équilibre

With Louise Bourgeois, Ottawa, Canada

Il est déjà largement reconnu que l’évaluation, en particulier l’évaluation formative (évaluation au service de l’apprentissage), est un moyen efficace pour soutenir l’apprentissage. Malgré ses vertus démontrées dans de nombreuses études, l’évaluation formative peine parfois à garder sa promesse dans la pratique. Après avoir mis en place des interventions susceptibles de rehausser l’apprentissage, les enseignants remarquent en effet que plusieurs élèves profitent peu du soutien offert. L’intention de cette présentation est de donner l’occasion aux participantes et aux participants de mieux comprendre la démarche d’évaluation et de trouver des moyens pour que leurs interventions auprès des élèves soutiennent davantage l’apprentissage.
Download Presentation Notes (Bourgeois)

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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 1:30 – 2:45 pm:

How are Leaders using Assessment for Learning to Support Professional Learning, School Learning, and System Learning?

With Ann Sherman, Canada (Host), Lenore Adie, Australia, Harm Tillema, Netherlands, Margaret Heritage, United States, and Chris Harrison, United Kingdom

Research has informed leadership practice both in terms of what needs to be learned about assessment for learning but also how it can learned by educators, schools, and systems. While many different ways of thinking about leadership informs our work, this session will focus on how leaders are using assessment for learning in support of their leadership role in ongoing change for improvement. Ann Sherman, Canada (Host) will be joined by Lenore Adie, Australia, Harm Tillema, Netherlands, Margaret Heritage, United States, and Chris Harrison, United Kingdom for this powerful international conversation.

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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 1:30 – 2:45 pm:

What New Relationships are Emerging Between Large-Scale and Classroom Assessment?

With Lorna Earl, Canada (Host), Paul LeMahieu, United States, Esther Care, Australia, Charles Darr, New Zealand, and Gordon Stobart, United Kingdom

Both large-scale and classroom assessment have been key elements in educational reform around the world, often occurring in very different contexts and conversations, with little common ground. Over the years, there have been many attempts to connect the two, with greater or lesser success and tensions between them have erupted in forums that are political, philosophical, technical and often emotional.

The international panel in this session will offer their perspectives on the relationships between large-scale and classroom assessment from the perspective of their different national contexts. They will also facilitate smaller group discussions during the session. The session will conclude with a report-back component that conveys the collective thoughts of the session participants.

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Choice – Concurrent Session,
Saturday, April 12, 2014, 1:30 – 2:45 pm:

Lessons Learned: Implementation Accounts from Around the World – New Zealand and Manitoba, Canada

With Mary Chamberlain, New Zealand, Michael Absolum, New Zealand, Sandra Herbst, Canada

Mary Chamberlain and Michael Absolum, New Zealand have led the way as New Zealand implemented major initiatives related to assessment for learning. During this session, they will share their unique context and the lessons learned regarding implementation while providing time for participants to connect the ideas to their personal context. This session will provide participants with both practical ideas and connections to a range of resources.
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Choice – Concurrent Session,
1:30 – 2:45 pm, Saturday, April 12, 2014:

Establishing Successful Teacher Learning Communities: Lessons Learned

With Dylan Wiliam, United Kingdom/United States

There is now substantial evidence that there is a “knowing-doing” gap in education. The problem is not that we do not know how to improve schools. The problem is implementing what is known to work in more classrooms. This is why approaches based on “sharing good practice” have been relatively ineffective. Teachers do not lack knowledge—rather they lack support in putting into practice changes in what they do in their classrooms, and this requires time. In this session, Dylan Wiliam will reflect on lessons he and his colleagues have learned over the last 10 years in establishing over 1500 teacher learning communities focused on classroom formative assessment all over the world. In particular, the session will examine the role of five central process elements in teacher learning: choice, flexibility, small steps, accountability, and support.
Download Presentation Notes (Wiliam)
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Closing Plenary Session:
3:00 – 4:15 pm, Saturday, April 12, 2014:

Where To From Here? What’s Next for Assessment for Learning?

With Rick Stiggins, United States (via video), Sandra Herbst, Canada, Dylan Wiliam, United Kingdom/United States, and Anne Davies, Canada

As we conclude Canada’s exciting conversation about assessment for learning with the international and national delegates, there are exciting possibilities to explore and some urgent work to undertake on behalf of students, schools and systems. Rick Stiggins, United States (via video), Sandra Herbst, Canada, Dylan Wiliam, United Kingdom, and Anne Davies, Canada will each respond to emerging challenges and questions and recommending ‘next steps’ for those in classrooms, schools, systems, research as well as all those attending Assessment for Learning: Canada in Conversation with the World.
Download Presentation Notes (Davies)
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