Open-ended tasks and assessment techniques are used throughout the series to elicit the child’s view of themselves as learners and their views of the learning process. Open-ended tasks do not have correct answers or one particular answer. They take different forms in the series with gentle prompts and cues and offer opportunities for all learners even in the most diverse of classroom settings to participate in the task at hand. Different learners may use different types of thinking and use of open ended assessment techniques and tasks encourage student-to-student interaction, may elicit more complete and more complex responses, encourage students to question themselves, their peers and their teachers and stimulate thought and exploration. Open-ended activities work well in mixed-ability classrooms because they have “low floors” and “high ceilings.” This means they require minimal background knowledge and also have high or no limits on the knowledge and skill participants might use and learn.
Opportunities to Respond (OTR), also referred to as Active Student Response Strategies (ASRS) may be defined simply as teacher behaviour that prompts or solicits a student response (Simonsen, Myers & DeLuca, 2010). OTRs invite all learners to actively respond to teacher prompts. Use of OTRs in the classroom supports pupil learning, engagement and assessment. Use of OTRs provides an effective means of supporting individual student assessment in whole class settings. In addition, obtaining frequent responses from students provides continual feedback for the teacher on student learning and the effectiveness of instructional tasks and teaching.
Self-assessment helps learners actively control their own learning process, and as such is an important step on the way to greater learner autonomy.