Journey to Excellence

Assessment strategies - Dylan Wiliam

Play Controls


Dylan Wiliam outlines five key assessment strategies and how they interconnect. Listen as he describes the roles and relationships of teachers, learners and their peers.


If we take the three central processes in assessments of making sure that: you are clear about where the learner is going; you are clear about where they are and you want to establish how to get there; and you think about the role of the teacher; the role of the other peers in the classroom and the learner themselves. You end up with five, what we call, key strategies.

The first is the teacher's role in making sure that you know where the learner is through questioning, classroom tasks, dialogue - it's finding out where the learner is. Then giving feedback to the students and not feedback that tells them they are doing okay and no they are not doing okay, but it's feedback that moves the learner forward. Then you have the role of peer, first of all helping each other understand success criteria. The teacher helps clarify what the lesson is about and what the learning is about and peers have a role in communicating this to each other as well. You have peers supporting each other - what we call activating students as teaching resources of one another. You have student self-assessment or activating students as owners of their own learning. That brings in all the stuff about metacognition; managing all your emotional reaction to school and to work. We get this complex of ultimately five processes.

There is a question in finding out where students are within their learning; the feedback that moves learners; making sure that everybody concerned is clear about the success criteria; student peer assessment and student self-assessment. Those we think are the five key processes or five key strategies for Assessment for Learning. Some which so… that we would say that if you are doing Assessment for Learning you are doing at least one of those - and if you are not doing one of those then you are not doing Assessment for Learning.


Related Videos

  1. Explore Alan McLean's views as he describes some features of a motivating teachers and how they create motivating learning environments.

  2. Listen to Dylan Wiliam review the benefits of self assessment and peer assessment as a key component of effective learning, and hear about some of the associated strategies.

  3. Listen to staff and pupils in a primary school describe the strategies and benefits of assessment for learning. Discover assessment is for learning. Staff and pupils from Longniddry Primary School describe strategies and benefits of the assessment for learning programme, in particularly modelling.

  4. Discover how a primary school makes use of assessment for learning strategies to support learning. Teaching staff describe approaches to self and peer assessment.. Discover how a primary school makes use of assessment for learning strategies to support pupil learning. Approaches to self and peer assessment are reviewed by teaching staff.

  5. Listen as staff and pupils at this primary school describe the key benefits of using ICT such as podcasting and blogging. Staff and pupils at this primary school review key benefits of using ICT such as podcasting and blogging.

  6. A teacher with responsibility for pupil support explains how he assesses the needs of a child with social and emotional problems, and the strategies he uses to engage the pupils in learning. Part two of the 'Planning an appropriate curriculum: responding to individual needs' video from the HMIE Supporting Children’s Learning DVD.

  7. Listen to the class teacher and pupils in a primary school talk about the benefits of developing thinking skills. Explore thinking skills. The class teacher and pupils within a primary school describe thinking skills and the benefits of using thinking skills

  8. Staff outline this school's staged intervention strategy, which is aimed at meeting the learning, social and emotional needs of all learners. Find out about the practice and outcomes of the strategy. St Luke's High School has developed a staged intervention strategy to ensure that students' individual needs are met, whilst providing its students with more choices and more chances. The Headteacher and staff outline the staged intervention strategy, discuss how it supports pupils and teachers, and reflect on how it helps to promote inclusion across the school.

  9. In this clip Dylan Wiliam outlines the social pressure facing learners when making choices about whether and how to engage in learning tasks. He also highlights the importance of growth pathways.

  10. Explore the key features of excellent practice in schools including: an appropriate pace of work; appropriately challenging tasks; providing support and feedback based on teachers having a thorough knowledge of the understanding and learning needs of individual learners; and learners discussing their own ways of learning and their success and progress.

In association with Education Scotland