Resource Corner: 2021 Assessment for Learning Conference Reflection, Resources & Recordings

Whew! The Assessment for Learning Conference, AFL 2021, just wrapped- and yet it feels like a new beginning. Given the ‘needs of now,’ this conference experience stretched from a January launch and call to action- to a May culminating event and provoking of the system. Along the way, we tested new ways to collide ideas, ritualized ways to host important conversations, and practiced ways to connect across the virtual space- toward a collective impact in the future of assessment.

350+ registrants strong, the community answered the call to action and the challenge to look closely at race, resources, power, systems and ourselves as core parts of a ‘just assessment system.’ This conference reminded us all- that it’s about the journey, and the time is now.

Click on the images to download the resources and watch the recordings.

Idea Collider Exhibition

Do you ever wonder what happens when you bring 20 passionate designers and educators together, from across the country, during a pandemic time to build on strong assessment for learning practices, with a focus on the ‘needs of now?’ We wondered, and we did it.


Radically Humanizing Accountability and Power: An Invitation to Abolition

Provocation by Dr. Robert S. Harvey, Superintendent & Chief Academic Officer, EHTP


The Road to Assessment Hell is Paved with Color-Blind Intentions

Provocation by Jennifer Randall, Ph.D. Associate Professor in Research, Educational Measurement and Psychometrics, College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Designed to Thrive: Creating High Quality Performance Assessment Experiences So That All Students Can Thrive

This session asked, “What kind of performance assessment experiences would we create to ensure that learners, especially those farthest from opportunity, thrive when we operationalize our current vision/profile of a graduate?” Participants explored the different features of high quality performance assessment (HQPA) and designed a prototype of a performance assessment experience that provides evidence of student learning/thinking of essential competencies. The session concluded with participants iterating on that prototype after centering the lived experience of a marginalized student their system may serve, and reflecting on the changes needed to ensure that ALL students thrive in their performance assessment system.

If you’re interested in this workshop, join ELP for a three-part workshop series in August 2021, led by Deeper Learning Coaches, Alcine Mumby and Abby Benedetto. Click on the image to access the registration link.


Rubric Revolution Brainstorm: How to Get Rolling with Round Rubrics?

This session was a collaborative brainstorm with anyone interested in iterating on the idea of a rubric that is round: rings around a center instead of rows in a grid.


SEL Buddies: Collaborative & Reflective Assessments that Forge Self-Learning and Relationships

This session shared what was learned from a “practice-research partnership” in which staff working in an alternative high school and researchers co-developed and piloted an authentic measure of SEL. The voices highlighted were that of school staff and a former student about their experiences with developing and implementing a collaboratively-designed tool for SEL assessment. Research partners shared the design principles that informed the development of the tool, and that were critical to providing students with authentic opportunities to build relationships with peers and adults, to grow in self-awareness, and to become agents in their own social and emotional learning. The SEL Buddies assessment model illustrates key design principles: socially-mediated, student-centered, and authentic audience and purpose. Researches buddied with the school, teachers buddied with researchers, and students buddied with each other. Students and teachers found the SEL measure a valuable way to capture and nurture SEL progress, while also building trusting relationships and community within advisory classes. Offering students opportunities to interact and provide feedback to their peers on self-defined struggles and goals were perceived as the most valuable aspect of the measure.

Additional Resources (SEL Tools, the STRONG framework, and examples of “The Gift”)

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