About the project
Education research indicates that digital formative assessment is beneficial for improving students’ learning. But there are still many open questions. How can teachers effectively implement DFA in their classroom? What are the ideal conditions for the uptake of DFA? How can we make digital formative assessment a Europe-wide practice? To answer these questions, Assess@Learning developed an online toolkit.
Our starting point
Digital formative assessment (DFA) actively engages both teachers and students in the learning process. By the information teachers receive about students’ level of understanding, they adapt their teaching to better meet the learning needs of individual students, while students learn better by receiving immediate feedback on their learning. However, DFA practices are not yet widely used across Europe. A@L will run field trials to test the impact of a DFA toolkit in five countries. The project (2019-2022) is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, with partners from Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom and coordinated by European Schoolnet.
The systemic online toolkit provides practical guidance, teaching scenarios and cases studies to all who need to be on board to successfully implement DFA. It targets teachers, students, school heads, parents and policy makers and shows the role of each in this process.
The Assess@Learning policy experimentation addresses a known system-wide problem, assessment, its fit for purpose in modern digital education systems and the need for a wider take up of digital formative assessment practices.
In order to achieve large-scale adoption of DFA practices, all actors in education must take action to support teachers in implementing it. The A@L online toolkit contains various examples of DFA-based activities to provide teachers with teaching scenarios to implement DFA in their classroom; case studies to school heads and policy makers to inspire them in supporting DFA in their own context; and information for students and parents, guiding them on the role they could play to support DFA.
Assess@Learning can benefit from the unique perspective and context in different countries from past cross-national policy experimentations carried out by European Schoolnet. Partners shape every step of the project: the development of the online toolkit, testing it in their own country and interpreting the results of the experimentation to inform future steps in their countries.
Combining qualitative and quantitative data.
In addition to the quantitative analysis of identifying the impact of the toolkit, Assess@Learning runs a series of dialogue labs in the five project countries: these are networking workshops where education stakeholders convene to discuss (1) the steps to take for the up-take of DFA practices; (2) the challenges to large-scale adoption of DFA; and (3) how these challenges can be overcome. The project will give voice to students and benefit from their perspective by organising Student Dialogue Labs.
Field trials in 5 countries
The five countries have different levels of implementation of DFA and digital assessment in general, as well as different cultural approaches to pedagogy and governance models. Assess@Learning brings together the different perspectives and expertise of these countries. This approach ensures that Assess@Learning will develop the guidelines that tackle all kinds of challenges to adopting DFA in schools.
Current state in the partner countries
In 2019/2020, Portugal has been implementing the Maia Project in the scope of formative assessment. This is a research project conducted at national level which aims to improve the assessment of students’ learning in the classroom with a view to help them to better succeed in their learning. This project targets mainstream education courses and vocational courses from primary to upper secondary education. It involves classroom assessment workshops where students have the opportunity to experiment with several formative assessment tools and techniques. Representatives of the teacher training centres at school level build teacher capacity so that each teacher can directly apply these tools and techniques with their own students. A core team consisting of delegates from the DGE/Ministry of Education, a higher education institution and school clusters/schools across mainland Portugal monitor this project.
The Assess@Learning policy experimentation is coordinated by European Schoolnet. The project is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
Eight partners in seven countries are part of this project: Ministries of Education, other public authorities and delegated bodies of public authorities. Each partner contributes to the project with their own point of view and expertise in digital formative assessment, covering theory, research, practice and policy.
- Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA), Estonia
- Finnish National Agency of Education (Opetushallitus), Finland
- Computer Technology Institute and Press "Diophantus", Greece
- Ministry of Education and Vocational Education and Training, Spain
- Ministry of Education and Science (DGE), Portugal
- European Schoolnet, Belgium - Network of public authorities
Research institute and universities
- Bruno-Kessler Foundation (FBK-IRVAPP), Italy
- University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
- The Queen’s University of Belfast, United Kingdom