This is a series of blogs by Alex Quigley taken from his very useful website

He covers a wide range of topics but these three all look at the issue of developing better formative assessments in the light of the book Making Good Progress and work on deliberate practice.

This blog is from the perspective of an English teacher rethinking how to teach essay writing skills.

He discusses

  • The limitations of students writing multiple essays.
  • Argues that exam technique should come later in the course.

He discusses an example of the issues focusing on An Inspector Calls.

He discusses how quizzes might be used:

  • A quiz on the characters and themes to consolidate the base knowledge.
  • A short test on key quotations
  • Multi choice to gauge knowledge and understanding of social and political.
  • Debates on themes

There are a range of suggestions for creating and finding good multi-choice questions:

  • Qizzizz
  • Kahoot
  • Zipgrade (for class quizzing without the need for a device)
  • Memrise (languages)
  • Quizlet

In this blog there are further examples of using effective diagnostic assessments.


Alex breaks down writing an effective essay into 7 strands

From displaying knowledge of social context to writing with accuracy and clarity.

He then argues we should try and give opportunities so that student practise and are assessed on each strand.

The blog outlines some examples.

He continues to explore the strands and how he might use more specific and diagnostic assessments.