Secondary resource round-up: My top ten resources for assessment for learning

By Karen Hornby posted 07-06-2021 13:58


This week I've decided to pull together my top ten resources for developing assessment for learning (in no particular order!) :

1. BEST Evidence Science Teaching

Produced by the Salters’ Institute and University of York Science Education Group, BEST is a new collection of research-informed diagnostic questions, focused initially on science at ages 11-14. Teacher’s notes summarise the research evidence about the misconceptions that each question is based on, and the suggested response activities encourage meaning-making through small group discussions that help to challenge misunderstandings. These resources are ready to drop straight into schemes of work.

2. Guide to Assessment for learning

This excellent guide, written by Katie Bloom, is a great starting point for thinking about assessment for learning.  It unpacks five main strategies of AfL, and provides practical ideas for you to try out.

3. Project 2061: Science assessment

Explore misconceptions, with over 600 diagnostic questions you can drop into your lessons.  Each question has has gone through a rigorous developmental process, been revised and tested on large cohorts as part of Project 2061 research project.  They are different from most multiple choice science test items in that they assess students’ conceptual understanding, not just facts and definitions, and test for common misconceptions and alternative ideas students have along with their correct ideas.


4. Using the P-E-O technique

A good example of this technique for exposing students’ preconceptions. This paper describes how to use the P-E-O technique (Predict-Explain-Observe) to expose students’ preconceptions about buoyancy, but you can use the same technique across a range of topics


5. Children’s Ideas in Science

How to use a constructivist approach to teach selected topics, with plenty of resources.  The Children’s Learning in Science Project (CLIS) set out to explore children’s own ideas around the science topics they cover in school science lessons, and use this to help improve the way teachers develop students’ scientific understanding.


6. John Hattie: Learning intentions and success criteria  

John Hattie explains why we share them with students.

 Active Learning Through Formative Assessment (Clarke, S. 2008) gives a great description of how you can use learning intentions and success criteria

7. Create your own AFL box

From Mike Gershan, this resource contains everything you need to make AFL a part of your everyday teaching. From plenaries to whole-class feedback, from cards to dice, this resource makes AFL quick and easy whatever subject and age-group you teach.    

8. Peer and self-assessment guide

A straightforward guide to peer and self-assessment. Includes a step-by-step guide explaining how to embed it in your practice, examples of good practice, slides you can drop into your lessons and bonus features.


9. Strengthening teaching and learning in science through using different pedagogies

Within this resource are:

Unit 1 - Using group talk and argument: explores why using group talk and setting up conditions for healthy argument is important; provides guidance on how various groupings can be used in the laboratory and gives advice on choosing a stimulus for group talk.

Unit 2 - Active questioning: brings together advice on questioning as a tool for students’ learning and helps teachers to plan for questioning to stimulate higher-order thinking

10.  NFER Getting to grips with assessment

This is a useful and very readable leaflet for an overview of assessment, which helps you to consider how and why you are assessing students.

It is important to ensure that assessment activities are valid: that is, that they assess what you intend to assess.  On page 2 you'll find a good set of things to bear in mind when planning valid assessment.


What’s your top resource for AfL?  Join the discussion:   Resources for assessment for learning