NEW – President’s Message – September 2015

cafln-logo-red100The Canadian Assessment for Learning Network

September 2, 2015

Dear CAfLN members,

The Executive has just returned from an exciting summer retreat – mostly work, but a little water play too – and, as a result of our discussions, the coming year, only our third, promises to be our best yet.

While you will see the fruits of our work reflected on the website this Fall, I’d like to share some highlights:

  • A major purpose of our mission is to connect educators across the country who are committed to assessment for learning.  To that end, we will soon be inviting members to complete detailed personal profiles that will enable you to connect directly with other educators who share similar work assignments and interests
  • As well as developing our online and virtual communications, we are examining ways to encourage the creation of local CAfLN groups who are able to meet face-to-face, while staying connected to members across the entire network. Here, for example, is a brief report of a local network in BC:

     The annual CAfLN conference and symposium was held in Nanaimo in the spring of 2015. At that event a desire to continue to meet face-to-face regionally was expressed. On June 1st, 2015, an incredible group of approximately 45 mid Vancouver Island educators gathered in School District 69 to continue the AfL conversations that started at the CAfLN conference. The group was comprised of: student teachers, primary, intermediate, middle and high school teachers, counselors, learning services teachers, school and district based administration, Vancouver Island University staff and represented 4 school districts and VIU. Each person or team brought a resource, question and/or artifact; the group was welcomed and the networking began. Our gathering ended with participants being asked to provide feedback for future gatherings and the overwhelming response was the desire to have opportunities for ongoing conversation – both digitally and face-to-face.

School District 68 will be hosting the next face-to-face opportunity on Monday, Oct. 28, 2015. Please also follow the #CAfLNework and #noiiaesn Twitter hashtags. A Facebook page for the regional group is also being established.

Of course, our annual symposium and conference will continue to be exciting face-to-face events and plans for 2016 are well under way. We ask that you circle the dates on the calendar and note the venue – May 13 and 14 at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University, Kingston. We hope that such early notification will enable you to make funding and travel arrangements at the beginning of this school year. An early bird poster will be sent to you very soon, with details about the conference coming later this Fall. The conference theme for 2016 is “Moving it Forward: Assessment for Learning in Policy, Research and Practice”. In the meantime, be sure to visit our website ( for the latest details.

And so another summer draws to a close. Shorter than ever, by my reckoning! But a new academic year brings with it a sense of anticipation and excitement. Heeding the message of John Hattie, let’s pledge this year to reflect at the end of each day by asking, “What impact did I have upon all of those with whom I work?”

Have a productive and fulfilling year in whatever context you work. We look forward to meeting you in Kingston, if not before.

Damian Cooper

President, The Canadian Assessment for Learning Network

Posted in Events.