Why use low-stakes assessment in the classroom?
- It can have a powerful effect on knowledge retention (Karpicke and Aue, 2015).
- Low-stakes assessment can help teachers to identify learning gaps which need addressing (DfE, 2021).
- It should be frequent and spread across time (Roediger, 2013). Barton (2017) suggests using low-stakes assessment at the end of a lesson and then re-visiting the area about 3 weeks later.
- It can help children to identify their own learning gaps and strengths.
- Richmond and Regan (2021) have suggested that in the future primary schools may move away from high-stakes assessment (i.e., formal tests) and move towards low-stakes assessment as a way of assessing children.
What activities can be low-stakes assessment?
The DfE (2021) have suggested multiple choice quizzes or tests are the most effective methods of low-stakes assessment. They are scaffolded and support children to answer questions. Other activities for low-stakes assessment are:
- spelling or vocabulary tests (e.g., testing children's understanding of the key Mathematical language or terms)
- asking children to label diagrams from their memory
- asking children to re-call key Maths terms or rules
- Roshenshine (2012) talks about how teachers can use questions to ascertain how well children have learnt the material.
How can I use Abacus for low-stakes assessment?
Interactive games are available for Years 1-6. You can allocate games from different years if you want to support or stretch children and each game has 3 levels, so they are differentiated. These games present children with a fun and enjoyable way of re-calling information and if imbedded into regular classroom practice, they can support children to make progress.
In summary, there are lots of ways of using Abacus to provide your students with low-stakes assessment.
We’d love to hear your ideas and find out about what has worked best in your class! Let us know by emailing email@example.com
Bain, Ken (2004). What the Best College Professors Do. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Barton, 2017. Low Stakes Assessments: TES Maths Resource of the Week - Mr Barton Maths Blog. [online] Mr Barton Maths Blog. Available at: <http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/blog/low-stakes-assessments-tes-maths-resource-of-the-week> [Accessed 2 February 2022].
DfE, 2021. [online] Assets.publishing.service.gov.uk. Available at: <https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1033448/Teaching_a_broad_and_balanced_curriculum_for_education_recovery.pdf> [Accessed 2 February 2022].
Karpicke, J.D. and Aue, W.R., 2015. The testing effect is alive and well with complex materials. Educational
Psychology Review, 27(2), pp.317-326.
Richmond and Regan, 2021. [online] Edsk.org. Available at: <https://www.edsk.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/EDSK-Making-progress.pdf> [Accessed 28 January 2022].
Roediger III, Henry L. (2013). "Applying Cognitive Psychology to Education:
Translational Educational Science" Psychological
Science in the Public Interest. 14(1) 1-3.
Rosenshine, B., 2012. Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies that all teachers should know. American educator, 36(1), p.12.