By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

In my last post about Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning by Jan Chappuis, I shared this self-assessment log that I created for my students to use based on the fourth strategy: Teach students to self-assess and set goals for next steps. Today, I share my thoughts on strategy 5: Use evidence of student learning needs to determine next steps in teaching.

This chapter gets at the heart of formative assessment. Chappuis starts by reiterating the twofold purpose of assessment: to tell us precisely what’s wrong with each student’s learning and to give us something to do about it.

Furthermore, Chappuis makes it clear that in order for formative assessment to work, instructors need to build something called a “feedback loop” into their sequence of teaching. In a well-designed feedback loop instructors (1) are constantly receiving information about student learning needs, (2) are applying specific teaching strategies to target specific learning needs, and (3) have enough time to act on the feedback they receive.

In strategy 5, Chappuis offers some practical tips for designing assessments so that they give instructors the right kind of information to act on. Strategy 6, which is covered in the next chapter, shows us how we can use the information gathered from assessments in order to benefit students.

As I thought about how to present the information in this chapter, I decided that an info graphic would be a handy way to put Strategy 5 to use and to access the information at-a-glance. Before you browse the graphic, though, I’ll offer this basic synopsis of the info contained therein:

  1. Chappuis classifies 3 different types of learning needs that students might have.
  2. Each learning need requires different intervention from the instructor.
  3. Different types of assessment can help instructors diagnose student learning needs in different ways.

So, without further ado, here is the infographic that I created to capture the heart of Strategy 5. (Click the image to open in a new window and zoom in)

Ish Stabosz - Strategy 5 Infographic


I hope you like my infographic (it’s my first ever!) and that the information from strategy 5 will help you better diagnose your students’ learning needs. Join me next time when I examine the 6th strategy of assessment for learning: Design focused instruction, followed by practice with feedback.

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