09/04/2021

Assess@Learning policy experimentation – a Digital Formative Assessment to reshape learning and assessment approach in European schools

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assess@Learning policy experimentation plays its full role as it has the potential to help policy makers and schools to turn the challenges posed by the pandemic into an opportunity to transform education.

By forcing schools to close and adopt remote or hybrid teaching practices, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the learning methods of students and the support they need to become autonomous learners. The learning journey offered by A@L, based on a toolkit proposing concrete tools and strategies, will hopefully contribute to helping schools in reshaping their approach to learning and assessment and equip them to deal with the educational challenges of COVID and post-COVID societies.

A@L (2019-2023), coordinated by European Schoolnet and co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, aims to support the systemic uptake of digital formative practices in Europe. FBK-IRVAPP, two leading universities, and national public authorities from five countries (Estonia, Finland, Greece, Portugal, and Spain) are included in the A@L partnership that aims to bring together expertise to support schools to adopt Digital Formative Assessment (DFA) practices.

The A@L toolkit developed by the project offers key information and practical guidance around DFA practices to teachers, school heads, students, parents, and policy makers. Field trials to test the toolkit just started in March 2021, led by FBK-IRVAPP and European Schoolnet. Over 400 randomly selected schools from the 5 countries are invited to join. Schools in the test group will test the toolkit between October 2021 and April 2022, while schools in the control group will get access to the toolkit directly after the field trials.

The collection of additional qualitative evidence has started in February 2021. To that end, the 5 partner countries organise interactive workshops for students (Student Dialogue Labs - SDLs) and for all relevant stakeholders (Country Dialogue Labs - CDLs). Dialogue lab participants discuss topics around learning and assessment with the help of digital tools. This qualitative research is led by the University of Glasgow and the Queen's University of Belfast. These participatory workshops aim at encouraging open dialogue and exchange on assessment and learning between key actors: school heads, teachers, students, parents, and policymakers. These annual Dialogue Labs were highly praised in the TeachUP policy experimentation due to their interactiveness. Overall, SDLs and CDLs will be organised three times durinng the project; in Spring 2021, in Autumn 2021, and in Autumn 2022.

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