Formative assessment - Wikipedia
TEACHERS' GUIDE TO ASSESSMENT | 3. CONTENTS 21st century schools that will improve educational outcomes . rigorous use of evidence supports the process of formative assessment to improve teaching and learning. Teachers that the needs of all students are being met.8 and in their lives outside school.9 . What Teachers Really Need to Know About Formative Assessment numerous sources and aligned around three significant concepts: (1) formative assessment is Consider each student's learning needs and styles and adapt instruction give an example of someone in literature or in real life who demonstrates that trait . Evaluation", specific to the needs of new teachers, should include the following core content: mind: what students need to know and will be able to do Page 3 How would I describe my long- and short-term planning process? .. Summative assessments or assessment of learning provides students with multiple.
Because there has been so much attention lavished on formative assessment lately, most of today's teachers and administrators have at least a rough idea of what it is.
If you asked them to explain it, they might tell you it involves testing students in the midst of an ongoing instructional sequence and then using the test results to improve instruction.
By and large, this explanation is correct.
Chapter 1. The Fundamentals of Formative Assessment
But a "by and large correct" explanation just isn't good enough when it comes to formative assessment. As you'll see in later pages, formative assessment is a potentially transformative instructional tool that, if clearly understood and adroitly employed, can benefit both educators and their students.
Mushy, "by and large correct" understandings of formative assessment will rarely allow the fullness of this assessment-based process to flower. That's why I'm now asking you to join me as I dig for a while into the innards of formative assessment.
Historical and Etymological Underpinnings There is no single officially sanctified and universally accepted definition of formative assessment. Educators have drawn our use of the term formative from Michael Scriven's groundbreaking essay about educational evaluation, in which he contrasts summative evaluation with formative evaluation. According to Scriven, if the quality of an early-version educational program is evaluated while the program is still malleable—capable of being improved because of an evaluation's results—this constitutes formative evaluation.
In contrast, when a mature, final-version educational program is evaluated in order to make a decision about its continuation or termination, this constitutes summative evaluation.
Scriven's insightful split of two program-evaluation roles was widely and rapidly accepted by educational evaluators. In fact, it was only during the past decade or two that educators began to discuss whether a distinction between the formative and summative roles of assessment could benefit teachers' instructional decisions.
When meaningful interest in this assessment difference finally blossomed, the essence of Scriven's original distinction between the two roles of educational evaluation was retained. That is, we continue to see formative assessment as a way to improve the caliber of still-underway instructional activities and summative assessment as a way to determine the effectiveness of already-completed instructional activities.
With these origins understood, it's time to press on toward the definition of formative assessment that we'll use in this book. These officials, typically referred to as "state superintendents" or "state commissioners," are either elected by popular vote or appointed by governors or state boards of education. The "chiefs" have enormous educational influence in their respective states, and inwhen CCSSO launched a major initiative focused on a more balanced use of educational assessment and a heightened emphasis on formative assessment, it was a significant policy shift likely to have long-lasting influence on practices in U.
A central activity in the CCSSO assessment initiative was the creation of a new consortium focused specifically on formative assessment. A CCSSO consortium is composed of key department of education personnel from those states that wish to participate. The chief mission of the four-day meeting was to reach consensus on a definition of formative assessment, with the ultimate aim of shaping the way U.
Prominent among the concerns of the FAST SCASS members was that the definition reflect the latest research findings regarding assessment practices found to improve the quality of students' learning. After considering a variety of earlier definitions, and after numerous foreseeable rounds of participants' wordsmithing, the FAST SCASS group adopted the following definition: Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes.
Formative assessment is a process, not any particular test. It is used not just by teachers but by both teachers and students. Formative assessment takes place during instruction. It provides assessment-based feedback to teachers and students. The function of this feedback is to help teachers and students make adjustments that will improve students' achievement of intended curricular aims. I took part in those October deliberations, and I was relatively pleased with the group's final definition and delighted that it was adopted without dissent.
But we're not going to use that definition in this book. Frankly, I believe that in our effort to scrupulously reflect the research findings available to us and satisfy the definitional preferences of all the meeting participants, our FAST SCASS group produced a definition that is verbally cumbersome.
Although I have no quarrel with what the definition says, it just doesn't say it succinctly enough. A More Succinct and Useful Definition What educators really need is a definition of formative assessment that helps them instantly recognize what's most important about this approach.
Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students' status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics. Their approach, called Cognitively Guided Instruction CGIborrows much from cognitive science, yet recasts that work at a higher level of abstraction, a midlevel model designed explicitly to be easily understood and used by teachers.
In a sense, the researchers suggest that teachers use this midlevel model to support a process of continuous formative assessment so that instruction can be modified frequently as needed.
Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: For example, direct modeling strategies are acquired before counting strategies; similarly, counting on from the first addend e. Because development of these strategies tends to be robust, teachers can quickly locate student thinking within the problem space defined by CGI.
Moreover, the model helps teachers locate likely antecedent understandings and helps them anticipate appropriate next steps. For example, a student directly modeling a joining of sets with counters e. In a program such as CGI, formative assessment is woven seamlessly into the fabric of instruction Carpenter et al, Intelligent Tutors As described in previous chapters, intelligent tutoring systems are powerful examples of the use of cognitively based classroom assessment tools blended with instruction.
Studies indicate that when students work alone with these computer-based tutors, the relationship between formative assessment and the model of student thinking derived from research is comparatively direct. Researchers compared achievement levels of ninth-grade students who received the PUMP curriculum, which is supported by an intelligent tutor, the PUMP Algebra Tutor PAT experimental groupwith those of students who received more traditional algebra instruction control group. The researchers did not collect baseline data to ensure similar starting achievement levels across experimental and control groups.
However, they report that the groups were similar in terms of demographics. In fact, the average prior grades for the experimental group were lower than those for the control group. As a result, students on average learn more with the system than with other, traditional instruction see Box 6—2. On the other hand, some research suggests that the relationship between formative assessment and cognitive theory can be more complex.
Adapted from Koedinger, Anderson, Hadley, and Mark Used with permission of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Moreover, the assistance provided by teachers to students was less public. Hence, formative assessment and subsequent modification of instruction—both highly valued by these high school students—were mediated by a triadic relationship among teacher, student, and intelligent tutor.
Formative Assessment: Why, What, and Whether
Interestingly, these interactions were not the ones originally intended by the designers of the tutor. Not surprisingly, rather than involving direct correspondence between model-based assessments and student learning, these relationships are more complex in actual practice. And the Schofield et al. Yet these approaches remain under specified in important senses. In general, these programs leave to teachers the task of generating and testing these repertoires.
Thus, as noted earlier, the effectiveness of formative assessment rests on a bedrock of informed professional practice. Models of learning flesh out components and systems of reasoning, but they derive their purpose and character from the practices within which they are embedded. Similarly, descriptions of typical practices make little sense in the absence of careful consideration of the forms of knowledge representation and reasoning they entail Cobb, Many of the examples of assessments described in this report, such as Facets, intelligent tutoring systems, and BEAR see Chapter 4use statistical models and analysis techniques to handle some of the operational challenges.
Providing teachers with carefully designed tools for classroom assessment can increase the utility of the information obtained. A goal for the future is to develop tools that make high-quality assessment more feasible for teachers. The Quality of Feedback As described in Chapter 3learning is a process of continuously modifying knowledge and skills.
Sometimes new inputs call for additions and extensions to existing knowledge structures; at other times they call for radical reconstruction. She moved among groups, listening and adding comments. When she felt that discussions had gone as far as they could go, she asked each group to draw a picture of the instruments the children thought they would like to make, write a short piece on how they thought they would make them, and make a list of the materials that they would need.
R made a list of what was needed, noted which children and which groups might profit from discussing their ideas with one another, and suggested that the children think about their task, collect materials if they could, and come to school in the next week prepared to build their instruments. Some designs were simple and easy to implement, for example, one group was making a rubber-band player by stretching different widths and lengths of rubber bands around a plastic gallon milk container with the top cut off.
Another group was making drums of various sizes using some thick cardboard tubes and pieces of thin rubber roofing material. For many, the designs could not be translated into reality, and much change and trial and error ensued. One group planned to build a guitar and designed a special shape for the sound box, but after the glued sides of their original box collapsed twice, the group decided to use the wooden box that someone had added to the supply table.
In a few cases, the original design was abandoned, and a new design emerged as the instrument took shape.
At the end of the second week, Ms. R set aside 2 days for the students to reflect on what they had done individually and as a class. On Friday, they were once again to draw and write about their instruments. Where groups had worked together on an instrument, one report was to be prepared. On the next Monday, each group was to make a brief presentation of the instrument, what it could do, how the design came to be, and what challenges had been faced.
As a final effort, the class could prepare a concert for other third grades.
In making the musical instruments, students relied on knowledge and understanding developed while studying sound, as well as the principles of design, to make an instrument that produced sound. The assessment task for the musical instruments follows. The titles emphasize some important components of the assessment process. Page 29 Share Cite Suggested Citation: The K-4 science content standard on science and technology is supported by the idea that students should be able to communicate the purpose of a design.
The K-4 physical science standard is supported by the fundamental understanding of the characteristics of sound, a form of energy. Students demonstrate the products of their design work to their peers and reflect on what the project taught them about the nature of sound and the process of design. This can be public, group, or individual, embedded in teaching.
This activity assesses student progress toward understanding the purpose and processes of design. The information will be used to plan the next design activity. The activity also permits the teacher to gather data about understanding of sound. Observations of the student performance. Third-grade students have not completed a design project. Their task is to present the product of their work to their peers and talk about what they learned about sound and design as a result of doing the project.
This is a challenging task for third-grade students, and the teacher will have to provide considerable guidance to the groups of students as they plan their presentations. As described in the science standards, the teacher provided the following directions that served as a framework that students could use to plan their presentations. Play your instrument for the class. Show the class the part of the instrument that makes the sound. Describe to the class the purpose function that the other parts of the instrument have.
Show the class how you can make the sound louder. Show the class how you can change the pitch how high or how low the sound is of the sound. Tell the class about how you made the instrument, including What kind of instrument did you want to make? How like the instrument you wanted to make is the one you actually made? Why did you change your design? What tools and materials did you use to make your instrument?
Explain why people make musical instruments. In order to evaluate the student performance, the teacher used the following guidelines: Student understanding of sound will be revealed by understanding that the sound is produced in the instrument by the part of the instrument that vibrates moves rapidly back and forththat the pitch how high or how low can be changed by changing how rapidly the vibrating part moves, and the loudness can be changed by the force how hard you pluck, tap, or blow the vibrating part with which the vibrating part is set into motion.
An exemplary performance by a student would include not only the ability to identify the source of the vibration but also to change pitch and loudness in both directions.
Student understanding of the nature of technology will be revealed by the student's ability to reflect on why people make musical instruments —to improve the quality of life—as well as by their explanations of how they managed to make the instrument despite the constraints faced—that is, the ability to articulate why the conceptualization and design turned out to be different from the instrument actually made.
There is no one best assessment system for the classroom. What works for Ms.