Professional Development

“Professional development is the key to teacher quality.”
- Dylan Wiliam

Now Available! Strategic Formative Assessment
Professional Development

The Case for Strategic Formative Assessment

Optional Introductory Training to Prepare for a Deep Dive into Strategic Formative Assessment
The development of formative assessment in the U.S. has focused primarily on the use of regular interim or benchmark assessments. While such regular testing is useful for monitoring student progress, a much greater impact on student achievement can be achieved by integrating strategic formative assessment into regular instruction—minute-by-minute, day-by-day. This optional one-day introductory training in strategic formative assessment, delivered by a certified Dylan Wiliam Center consultant, is perfect for kicking off one- or two-year strategic formative assessment implementation. 

  • Explore the need to increase educational achievement, what’s been tried, and why it hasn’t worked
  • Understand why strategic formative assessment must be the priority for every school
  • Identify what strategic formative assessment is (and isn’t)
  • Learn about practical techniques for implementing strategic formative assessment
  • Sustain strategic formative assessment with teacher learning communities (TLCs)

Setting the Destination with Strategic Formative Assessment

Establishing Standards-Based Learning Intentions & Success Criteria
This session focuses on establishing clear learning intentions and helping students understand the criteria for success. Participants will learn how to create a learning environment that produces successful, confident students and increased achievement. 

  • Understand how learning intentions and success criteria impact student achievement
  • Distinguish between learning intentions, context of learning, and success criteria
  • Develop and use appropriate learning intentions and success criteria to focus student learning
  • Plan for techniques to share learning intentions and success criteria with students

Navigating the Journey with Strategic Formative Assessment

Eliciting and Interpreting Evidence & Providing Productive Feedback

This session provides tools to help teachers engineer effective classroom discussions, activities, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning. A variety of practical techniques including designing diagnostic hinge questions will be discussed and investigated. Participants will learn how to provide effective feedback that moves student learning forward.

  • Understand the role that eliciting and interpreting evidence plays in improving student learning
  • Leverage effective discussions, tasks, and activities to elicit evidence of learning
  • Practice providing feedback that moves learners forward
  • Use student evidence to effectively adjust instruction

Empowering Students with Strategic Formative Assessment

Activating All Learners

Learn how to activate students as resources for one another and as owners of their own learning. Participants will discover how to create circumstances that help students assess their peers and “learn how to learn.” Practical techniques and cost-effective interventions to improve student achievement will be addressed.

  • Explore roles learners play in improving the learning of their peers
  • Plan for techniques that allow students to become resources for one another
  • Understand the impact that activating students as owners of their own learning has on student achievement
  • Evaluate techniques designed to promote self-regulated learning

Strategic Coaching

In this coaching session, a certified Dylan Wiliam Center consultant facilitates classroom observation and feedback and/or coaching to strengthen strategic formative assessment implementation. Strategic coaching sustains professional learning and builds capacity of all involved, from teachers to instructional learners to administrators.

  • Use a tool to observe teachers using strategic formative assessment techniques to provide feedback for growth
  • Develop a coaching approach to enhance implementation of strategic formative assessment techniques
  • Support teachers as they analyze data and adjust instruction to meet the needs of students

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About Teacher Learning Communities


We need to create environments in which all teachers embrace the idea of continuous improvement.

–Dylan Wiliam


Teachers need the best possible support to help them change their classroom practice and effectively implement formative assessment. As a result of the extensive work that Dylan Wiliam has done with teachers and administrators over the past decade on classroom formative assessment, he suggests that five key components are essential for effective professional development:

    • Choice
    • Flexibility
    • Small steps
    • Accountability
    • Support

These five processes are built into an ongoing, collaborative model of professional development: teacher learning communities (TLCs). TLCs focus on collaborative learning, where teachers meet monthly for at least 75 minutes, with a standard structure incorporating feedback new learning about formative assessment, and personal action planning.

The Embedding Formative Assessment Professional Development Pack gives educators the tools and resources they need to implement and sustain the TLC process over a two-year period. Dylan Wiliam explains how TLCs work:

Teachers don’t lack knowledge. What they lack is support in working out how to integrate these ideas into their daily practice, and this takes time, which is why we have to allow teachers to take small steps.

Would you like to learn more about teacher learning communities? Download the free paper from Dylan Wiliam now.