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Design Project: Formative Assessment in PBL Math

Formative Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom

The goal of this project is to introduce teachers to the concept of using formative to learn math using a project-based learning (PBL)approach, in addition to providing some examples of lessons that highlight the use of formative assessment, and to assist teachers in designing opportunities to use formative assessment to influence their own teaching.

Intent of Project

The intent of this course is to instruct educators on the benefits of using formative assessment and ways it can be implemented and effectively used in the classroom through providing authentic examples of its use in a high school mathematics classroom.

Topics that will be covered:

  • The importance of active and timely feedback
  • Instructional examples of formative assessment
  • Designing opportunities to use formative assessment in PBL instruction

Needs Assessment and Learner Analysis

1. Problem: "...assessment is overwhelmingly identified with the competitive evaluation of schools, teachers, and students, it is scarcely surprising that classroom teachers identify assessment as something external to their everyday practice." Often, assessment is used ineffectively and is implemented after a long period of instruction that 'count' towards a grade, rather than being used actively during instruction and used to inform instruction.
2. What is to be learned: Instructors will learn what formative assessment is, the benefits of formative assessment, and acquire some methods to incorporate critical feedback opportunities, during mathematics instruction in a project-based learning environment.
3. The Learners: Participants will typically be educators of any discipline with at least a Bachelor's degree and teaching certification. They are interested in providing frequent feedback to gauge student understanding and to help inform future instruction. Experience in a Project-Based Learning (PBL) environment is preferable but not required, participants should familiarize themselves through perusing the KNILT: Index of Mini-Courses on the topic of the PBL approach. Formative assessment activities can be easily adapted into any classroom and are beneficial to educators at any level. I surveyed teachers at my place of work who have years of experience in a PBL educational model and as a staff we all identified ways we were implementing formative assessment in their PBL classrooms. It was surprising to observe and extrapolate on the variety of ways we can obtain and provide effective and useful feedback.
4. Instructional Context: Participants will use a project format and the design process to re-design a lesson to incorporate formative assessment opportunities. Participants will be offered opportunities to reflect upon the presented material and their own understanding, project benchmarks to ensure success on the final product; these are themselves, formative assessment techniques.
5. Exploring the problem and solution:
6. Goals: Learners will be able to define formative assessment and will be able to identify types of formative assessment. Learners will want to design opportunities to provide important and frequent feedback.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Define and explain what formative assessment is and the benefits of using it in the classroom.
  • Identify various types of formative assessment as illustrated through authentic examples
  • Design formative assessment opportunities to enhance learning in an identified instructional area.

Task Analysis

Student will be able to demonstrate the application of formative assessment in developing an instructional lesson