I am 28 years old, and in my last semester of the CDIT Graduate Program at SUNY Albany. I have a dog, whom I spend most of my free time with. I waitress in the evening and substitute teach during the day. I have a wonderful boyfriend of a year and half. I have three sisters, their ages will surprise you, they are 25, 2 and 1. I have realy enjoyed watching the young ones grow and seeing how they learn and interact with the world around them. I enjoy sports, playing them and watching them, I go to a lot of sporting events, I play golf as often as possible. I do a lot of reading and spend a lot of time outdoors, well when it isn't extremely cold.
Formative Assessment Strategies
The purpose of this mini-course will be to provide teachers with more information on formative assessment, including what it is, why it is important and how to use it effectively. With the increased pressure that has been placed on student achievement, professionals are looking for ways to improve student learning and achievement and formative assessment is one approach to improving student outcomes.Studies have shown that formative assessment improves learning outcomes for all students, especially those that are struggling with learning. It has been shown to narrow learning gaps and improve student academic outcomes. Formative assessment helps to identify the difference between what students know and what they need to know, provides the teacher with feedback information so that the teacher can recognize the current level of learning, it creates a shared knowledge of learning which allows students to be more active learners and more engaged, and lastly, it breaks down a larger goal into smaller parts which allows for easier tracking of the learning process and status so that different necessary skills can be presented progressively and continuously to reach the ultimate learning goal.
Questions that will be addressed:
- What is formative assessment?
- Why should we use formative assessment?
- How and when do we use formative assessment?
- What are some formative assessment strategies?
- Instructional Problem:The instructional problem is that without using formative assessment there is less of a measure of student progress or a way to gauge ongoing student understanding. This is an important thing for teachers to learn to do because it provides them with information on the level of understanding of the students and therefore they can move through the lessons accordingly. Often, teachers use summative assessment which is assessment of learning and neglect to do assessment for learning. Formative assessment can be used to help differentiate instruction and improve student achievement.(Dodje, J.Scholastic) According to Linda Darling-Hammond, "the nature of assessment plays a significant role in shaping the cognitive demands of the work students are asked to undertake."(2008,p.64)It is also stated in this book that formative assessment is designed to provide feedback to students so that they can revise their understanding and their work.(2008,p.67)
- What is to be learned?:In this mini-course the material that is learned will be what formative assessment is, why it is important to use, how it is used and strategies. Learners will also apply the new information to their own lessons and reflect on and discuss the benefits
- Who are the learners?:The learners are educators who are interested in learning more about formative assessment and finding ways to gauge student learning and understanding progressively throughout a lesson.
- Context for Instruction:With this being an course delivered in an online format and conducted as a wiki there will be challenges. It is easily accessible but a group may not be working on it at the same time and will not have the ability to discuss it with each other, to solve this issue, there is a forum for discussion where the learners from this course can post about their experiences and read about the experiences of others.
- Exploring the Instructional Problem and Solution:The problem will be explored through a presentation and the new information will be applied to a previously taught lesson, after which the learner will discuss with peers the benefit of formative assessment and reflect on the experience.
- Goals of the mini-course: The goals of this mini course is for educators to gain a better understanding of formative assessment and why it is necessary. It will also provide strategies and the opportunity to apply those strategies to their own instruction and then reflect on the implementation.
By the end of this mini-course, teachers will be able to...
- Identify what formative assessment is and recognize why it is beneficial to use in the classroom.
- Investigate, experiment and analyze different examples of formative assessment.
- Translate what they have learned and apply formative assessment in their own lessons.
Lesson 1: Read through a power point presentation that discusses what assessment is. It will also show the difference between formative and summative assessment. Students will understand what formative assessment is and why it should be used and when it is used. Students will then watch a short video on the use of formative assessment in the classroom. At the end of the presentation, students will complete a quick and fun crossword puzzle to gauge how well they have understood the information. After the short crossword, students will be able to post thoughts and questions about what they have learned in this lesson.
Lesson 2: In this lesson students will have the opportunity to explore multiple formative assessment strategies, practice creating their own and share what they have learned through the process.
Lesson 3: Students will take what they have learned from this unit on formative assessment and recreate a lesson that they have used in their own classroom to include formative assessment. Students will then answer a few questions in the discussion area as well as post how it changed the effectiveness of the lesson and read the comments of others.
References and Resources
Darling-Hammond, L.(2008).Powerful Learning. Jossey-Bass:San Francisco, CA.
Dodge, J.(na).What are formative Assessment and why should we use them?.Scholastic Teaching Resources.