Thinking About Assessment

In this Standards Unit: Improving Learning in Mathematics videos you can explore a range of opportunities for assessment of learning and reflect on how you might incorporate these strategies.


A short sequence giving an overview of assessment as part of the learning process in maths.

Listening to learners

In this section you can explore ways to assess mathematics learning by listening to learners. As you watch the video consider how the teachers and trainers use listening as part of the assessment process, and think about the following questions:

* How does the use of mini-whiteboards assist in assessing learning?

* How can you use the responses from more open questions to assess learning?

Assessment through activities

In this section you can explore how activities may offer opportunities for assessment. As you watch the video consider the following questions:

* How do the teachers and trainers in the video use the activities for assessment?

* How do the activities that you see offer opportunities for learners to assess their own learning?

Involving learners in assessment

In this section you will be able to explore strategies that offer opportunities for learners to assess their peers' or their own learning. In this video sequence you can explore different ways in which learners can review their own learning, and that of their peers. As you watch you might like to consider the following:

* What are the advantages in allowing learners to devise their own mathematical problems for other learners to solve?

* In what ways does discussion facilitate peer-assessment?

* How can note-taking be used to assess learning?

  • You might also reflect on what is gained by encouraging these forms of assessment.


In this section you are invited to consider ways in which you and your learners might take advantage of opportunities for assessing mathematical learning. A possible starting point for your own teaching is to use one of the ideas for a poster activity in the resource files for teachers and trainers. Many of the other ideas in the files, such as the card matching and jigsaw activities, offer opportunities for learners to take a more active role in their own assessment.

We suggest that you also look at the following sections:

* 'Thinking about questioning' to explore further how questioning can help assessment for learning;

* 'Thinking about discussion' to explore further the assessment opportunities that mathematical discussion offers.

You might like to look at the 'Planning learning' section, where you will find video sequences of whole sessions. We suggest you view these and reflect on how the teachers, trainers and learners featured are able to assess the learning in their sessions.

Assessing learning is explored in the book 'Improving learning in mathematics: challenges and strategies'. In the professional development guide you will find further ideas for developing this aspect of teaching.

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