Teachers developing assessment for learning: impact on student achievement.

Wiliam, Dylan; Lee, Clare; Harrison, Christine and Black, Paul (2004). Teachers developing assessment for learning: impact on student achievement. Assessment in Education: Principles Policy and Practice, 11(1) pp. 49–65.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0969594042000208994


While it is generally acknowledged that increased use of formative assessment (or assessment for learning) leads to higher quality learning, it is often claimed that the pressure in schools to improve the results achieved by students in externally-set tests and examinations precludes its use. This paper reports on the achievement of secondary school students who worked in classrooms where teachers made time to develop formative assessment strategies. A total of 24 teachers (2 science and 2 mathematics teachers, in each of six schools in two LEAs) were supported over a six-month period in exploring and planning their approach to formative assessment, and then, beginning in September 1999, the teachers put these plans into action with selected classes. In order to compute effect sizes, a measure of prior attainment and at least one comparison group was established for each class (typically either an equivalent class taught in the previous year by the same teacher, or a parallel class taught by another teacher). The mean effect size was 0.32.

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