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 a 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
  • Understand how the LSI TrackerTM enables teachers to plan lessons

Navigating the Journey with Strategic Formative Assessment

Eliciting and Interpreting Evidence & Providing Productive Feedback
This session provides tools to help teachers plan techniques and hinge questions that engage students in productive intellectual discussion. It also covers interpreting that evidence, using it to adjust instruction, and providing meaningful feedback that moves learners forward.

  • Understand the importance of planning for evidence of student learning
  • Leverage diagnostic questions, discussions, and statements to elicit evidence of learning
  • Understand the purposes and characteristics of well-written hinge questions
  • Use LSI TrackerTM software to monitor student performance based on evidence

Empowering Students with Strategic Formative Assessment

Activating All Learners
Learn how to facilitate active learning and support students on their journey to critical thinking, increased rigor, and higher achievement. As students play a part in deciding what they will learn, they understand that teachers need to know where they are in their learning to help them. Design questions, discussions, and activities not to “catch students,” but to diagnose and determine next steps.

  • Explore roles learners can play in improving the learning of their peers
  • Use collaborative and cooperative techniques to improve learning 
  • Learn techniques that allow students to become resources for one another
  • Plan for techniques and use data from the LSI Tracker to activate students as owners of their own learning

Strategic Coaching

In this on-site coaching session, a certified Dylan Wiliam Center expert 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 from the Tracker software 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.