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Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning Essay (Book Review)


The Most Appealing Ideas Expressed by the Author

In Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning, Jan Chappius provides a well-organized study guide for educators that could help improve their professional practices. To be more precise, the author presented seven strategies for learning assessment that are, in turn, subdivided into three categories in accordance with the following questions: “where am I going?”, “where am I now?”, and “how can I close the gap?”.

The seven strategies outlined and explained by the author represent the ideas that I found particularly appealing about this book. First of all, it is important to note that the strategies in the book did not propose anything groundbreaking that is not already known or done by most educators. However, the way in which they are organized creates a detailed plan ready to be implemented as a whole or broken down into separate parts.

One of the most practical elements, in my opinion, is the strategy number two that advises educators to rely on examples of strong and weak work. In particular, this practice allows for a clearer presentation of instruction that would help to ensure the learners’ understanding of their tasks. There is no better way of explaining new information to students than using visual aids and examples of what the expected work needs to look like and what kind of errors students should avoid making. Moreover, several strategies are focused on the facilitation of self-reflection and self-assessment among students.

I find this idea very appealing because it stimulates critical and analytical thinking and promotes independent evaluation of own work – a skill that is valuable in adult life. Overall, the approach taken by Chappius in the attempt to simplify the task of an educator by means of preparing a well-build plan that can be put into practice right away is very interesting. Educators have a lot of duties and responsibilities on a regular basis. A detailed plan with clearly outlined strategies could help organize their daily work or address individual problems and challenges.

The Implications of The Ideas in the Book for Me as an Educator

Reviewing the strategies from the perspective of an educator, I felt appreciation for the author’s work. In her book, Chappius created something that can be used as a handbook or a guide for educators willing to improve their formative assessment approach by making it more effective. Practically, the seven strategies are aimed at the elimination of confusions and distractions that bring fragmentation to an educator’s performance in terms of assessment.

In other words, for an educator, the systematized and structured plan ready for implementation in class could be extremely helpful. The plan is designed for the purpose of helping educators to facilitate an ongoing formative assessment process that would engage students, as well as teachers, and promote active learning through self-reflection and feedback.

Interestingly, one of the strategies presented by the author proposes the inclusion of students’ family members and caregivers as participants in their learning process. Specifically, the strategy advocates for the stimulation of students’ readiness to share the newly received knowledge with their parents and caregivers, thus establishing its repetition and application in practice. For an educator, this approach stands for a more interactive and encouraging form of communication with students and their families, as well as the engagement of their surroundings and communities in the learning process.

The Ideas That I Challenge

All in all, the book by Jan Chappius is a very useful toolkit for educators. The book provides a set of practical recommendations and pointers as to how everyday teaching practices can be improved in terms of formative assessment. The book is designed as a guideline for teachers. The strategies described by the author cover all the aspects of the process of formative assessment and are created to alleviate educators from confusions that can serve as barriers to effective assessment.

However, regardless of my admiration of the work that Chappius has done in order to produce this book, there are some ideas in it that I could challenge. For example, many of the strategies outlined by the author are focused on student’s application of self-assessment and self-reflection in order to drive better work. This strategy is very useful with older students whose idea of personal identity is clear and who can be engaged in self-criticism and self-reporting. At the same time, the same practice is very difficult (if not impossible) to apply with younger students whose level of self-awareness is low and is not ready to power reflective thinking.

In that way, the forms of formative assessment based on self-awareness, as well as the strategies that cover the respective activities can become quite challenging to apply. Consequently, it would make sense for the author to propose additional strategies or alternatives to educators who work with young students are have no choice but to be the only guides of valuable or informative assessment in the classroom. At that stage, using self-assessment as a part of learning process is not impossible but could hardly provide any benefits or result in productive criticism.

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IvyPanda. (2020, November 3). Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-strategies-of-assessment-for-learning/

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning." November 3, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/seven-strategies-of-assessment-for-learning/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning'. 3 November.

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