Lesson 4: Key Ideas in Assessment

Assessment for Learning

Assessment for Learning (AfL) is the idea that learners should be part of the the assessment process. It includes building learners' awareness of their progress in learning and encourages peer and self-assessment. Students may be asked to help design tests or the rubrics for scoring. They may also provide their classmates with suggestions and support. Assessment for Learning helps students evaluate their strengths and areas of needed improvement.

In an article by Chappuis and Stiggins (2002), three key components of Assessment for Learning are discussed:

  • Student involved assessment. Students are not passive in the assessment process but are engaged in developing the assessment, determining what a good performance entails, and learning to score through models provided by the teacher.
  • Effective teacher feedback. Teachers are the models for students to learn what is important in their performance. So feedback should be clear, descriptive, and illustrated for students. Students need guidance in giving their peers feedback as well as in evaluating themselves. This goal is grounded in the teacher modeling effective feedback.
  • The skills of self-assessment. AfL should lead to self-directed learning, which requires learners evaluate themselves. This skill is not easy and requires guidance from the teacher. Students should be asked to think about their goals, their current ability, and how to work from one to the other. Feedback and self-assessment are critical parts of this process.

What is the difference between assessment of learning and assessment for learning?


Key ideas in assessment for learning and benefits of this approach.

Duration: 02:37