Assessment for Learning (AfL) Research Scholars, a collaborative project for research and learning supported by the National Science Foundation, is committed to advancing the research base and leadership capacity supporting K-12 and higher education classroom student evaluation design, implementation, analysis, and application. The work of this project is completed by a dedicated group of both faculty and students, and is guided by five underlying principles:
- To improve student evaluations we must develop and work from a well articulated, coherent, and comprehensive set of goals and standards for assessments.
- Quality classroom assessments should play a central role in any effort to improve classroom-based student learning.
- Quality assessments are best developed through rigorous research including field testing, evidence gathering, and revision.
- Teaching practices and assessment materials should be highly interdependent. Integration of these two elements synergistically increases the effectiveness of both.
- Research addressing classroom assessment practices can inform policy and practice and in so doing narrow the gap between the ideal and the achieved instruction program.
Through this research we will contribute to the body of knowledge that enables all stakeholders to better support student learning with assessment for learning.
Some questions of interest include:
- What are the features of quality assessment for learning materials and practices?
- What benefits can formative assessments have for at-risk learners?
- What barriers must be overcome to implement assessment for learning?
- How are teachers effected by an increased emphasis on assessment for learning?
• Mallinson Institute for Science Education • Western Michigan University