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Definitive difference between AfL and APP

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by MathsHOD, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. AFL is "Assessment <u>for</u> learning" - ie. assessment that helps a student make progress as opposed to assessment <u>of </u>learning which is just a kmeasure of where a student is at (such as GCSE exams).
    APP (Assessing Pupil Progress) is a tool that can be used as part of the wider AFL picture. It suggests a way that staff can monitor and record pupil competence at different parts of the subject and hence allow teachers to work with students to 'fill in the gaps'.
    Depending upon your point of view APP is somewhere between the greatest thing since sliced bread and now suddenly everys student will be able to become a genius as the gaps are filled or, at the other end of the spectrum, an administrative nightmare that will see teachers spending hours setting little APP assessment tasks and fillign in endless spreadsheets hence leaving no time to plan lessons or teach!
  2. Maths HOD sums things up nicely, except that I (I'm in his latter group who thinks APP is a nightmare, etc) think that APP has nothing to do with AfL and that it's just a summative teacher assessment.
    Having said that, the information needed to tick the APP boxes can be quite useful information to support AfL. It's just that APP then turns this good quality information into rubbish because the good information then has to be compared with a series of broad, vague APP statements, meaning that all you get in the end is a load of broad, vague information. Ultimately, APP then reduces all that good assessment information into a number and a letter.
    Better to collect the good information and not bother with APP at all.
  3. AFL is short term and informs your next day's planning.
    APP is a way of recording it
  4. DaveGale

    DaveGale Administrator

    At my school (in the maths department at least) we've taken APP to be making the pupils assess where they are and what they need to do next.
    This is by no means easy and there's a big part of me that thinks this is probably genuinely beyond the capabilities of some people (and I don't just mean students).
  5. As I only teach 11,12, 13 at the moment I haven't had to apply the new APP yet, my concern over the set tasks that have been made available so far (yes I know we can make our own) were they didn't challenge to high enough levels for the high ability students and I am concerned that a tick in october in an albeit supported situation doesn't mean true understanding next July.
    Any thoughts
  6. that maths btw
  7. both are part of a 'complete' view of student progress -

    AfL is the close up view - what we do day-to-day when feeding back to students about how to make progress towards the next level of whatever skill you are working on at that point

    APP (which is a process and NOT a document) is the medium-term overview of a students progress to date - to be done maybe only 3 times a year or so - it should inform planning for progress and teaching but isnt a teaching tool as such

    finally you have summative / transitional assessment - end of KS tests / TAs / external exams / etc

  8. dontdoit007

    dontdoit007 New commenter

    Thanks fcrump for sharing this - great bedtime reading!!
    btw have you been able to access the longer paper - "This is a summary, with an update, of the longer paper, Beyond APP : raising achievement at KS3 English with Assessment for Learning, which can be downloaded rom this webpage. " - it is just that there is no link to it in the pdf document.
    Thanks in advance

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