Assessment at King's
Assessment has been an important area of research and teaching in the Department of Education & Professional Studies for over twenty years. Individually and collectively, members of the Assessment Group have made a substantial contribution to the development of theory, policy and practice, both nationally and internationally.
Assessment for Learning (AfL)
The work of the King’s Assessment Group into Assessment for Learning (AfL) over the last ten years was based on the 1998 review of research by Black and Wiliam entitled Assessment and Classroom Learning. A booklet which summarised that review and discussed the implications of its findings was also published in 1998. It was entitled Inside the Black Box: raising standards through classroom assessment. This work was initiated by the Assessment Reform Group (ARG), with grants from the Nuffield Foundation.
King's-Medway-Oxfordshire Formative Assessment Project (KMOFAP)
The initial Assessment work was then developed through collaboration with schools. The King’s-Medway-Oxfordshire Formative Assessment Project (KMOFAP) started in 1999, with support and funding from the US National Science Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation, for two years. A distinguishing feature of this project has been the strong interaction between development of practice and research. This led to a further booklet Working Inside the Black Box, and a book for teachers Assessment for Learning: putting it into practice. Both of these have proved to be very popular.
The KMOFAP project’s success in developing the implementation of formative practice in classrooms led to a number of other professional development projects and consultancies in the area of classroom assessment. These included our leading role in the Assessment is for Learning Project in Scotland, which initially was a national project with a small number of primary and secondary schools in each of the local authorities (LA) and developed into more intensive implementation at local authority level as part of a follow-on project. A second project was undertaken in States of Jersey, which led the island to remove national testing at KS1, KS2 and KS3 in order to set up the culture for developing AfL practice successfully.
Two other projects in Stirling and Stockton-on-Tees enabled the group to further develop the collaborative action research approach of the KMOFAP project and led to teachers documenting and evidencing their professional learning journeys. Ideas and ways of working from these projects have been influential in supporting the implementation of AfL in many schools and local authorities in the UK and abroad, and we have also responded to numerous request to give talks and lead INSETS, from LAs and from individual schools