Utilizing Formative Assessments
Author: Valerie Anwari
This course will define formative assessment and discuss the benefit of using a variety of formative assessments to increase student learning. Learners will reflect on current assessment practice and will create an assessment plan that incorporates a variety of formative assessments.
After completing this course, the learner will
- Understand formative assessment and the reasons for its use
- Reflect on current practice in assessment strategy and current research on formative assessment
- Analyze current assessment choices for existing lesson, unit, or course
- Design a new assessment plan modeled on formative assessment for an existing lesson or unit
Welcome to the course Utilizing Formative Assessments. This course will touch on the main points of formative assessment and further reading will be suggested for a more in depth study.
In education today the main focus is on summative state and national tests that rank students and schools based on the results. These test results can tell us what a student has memorized but do not clearly show what a student has learned or understood along the way. Teachers also struggle with the strain of preparing students for these summative tests and can feel there is little time to manage additional testing and new ways of delivering instruction on their own. Despite this initial hesitation, many schools and teachers are implementing formative assessment practices.
Formative assessment is a good way to uncover student misconceptions and provides a way for teachers to discover student learning on a continual basis and involves the student in the learning process. This is done through the use of meaningful feedback to the student and teacher throughout the learning process. The feedback is not meant to be a grade but a 2 way discussion between student and teacher on how the student is progressing. Studies show that formative assessment can improve student achievement and help students become reflective learners more in control of their learning, setting the stage for life long learning that is critical for the 21st Century. Formative assessment is not something that can be integrated immediately and completely into a course but happens slowly and is not necessarily a straight forward process. Teacher professional development is an integral part of implementing formative assessment practices and is something that will need continual attention in the educational community.
Course and unit objectives that are comprehensive in nature can point a teacher to various assessment options and can be reviewed when creating formative assessment. While the design of course and unit objectives are not part of this course, it warrants a mention here as they can aid the construction of assessments and the development of detailed rubrics.
In this course, we will explore summative vs. formative assessment, the benefits of formative assessment, and different ideas to implement formative assessment in your classroom. Learners will also reflect on current assessment strategy and develop formative assessments that can be put into practice immediately in the classroom. Please click on the link below for Unit 1 to get started.
Boston, Carol (2002). The concept of formative assessment. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(9). Retrieved May 5, 2008 from http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=8&n=9.
Chappuis, S., & Chappuis, J. (2007). The Best Value in Formative Assessment. Educational Leadership, 65 (4), 14-18.
Gagne, R. M., Wager, W. W., Golas, K. C., & Keller, J. M., (2005). Principles of Instructional Design. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning.
Heritage, M. (2007). Formative Assessment: What Do Teachers Need to Know and Do? Phi Delta Kappan, Oct 07, 140-145.
Kaftan, J. M., Buck, G. A., & Haack, A. (2006). Using Formative Assessments to Individualize Instruction and Promote Learning. Middle School Journal, 37 (4), 44-49.
Mayer, R. E., (2003). Learning and Instruction. Teaching By Giving Productive Feedback (pp. 238-272). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall.
Montgomery, K. (2002). Authentic Tasks and Rubrics: Going Beyond Traditional Assessments in College Teaching. College Teaching, 50(1), 34-39.
Nicol, D. J. & Macfarlane-Dick D. (2006). Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31 (2), 199-218.
Priestley, M., & Sime, D. (2005). Formative assessment for all: a whole-school approach to pedagogic change. The Curriculum Journal, 16(4), 475-492.
Taras, M. (2002). Using Assessment for Learning and Learning from Assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(6), 501-510.
Wiliam, D., Lee, C., Harrison, C., & Black, P. (2004). Teachers developing assessment for learning: impact on student achievement. Assessment in Education, 11(1), 49-65.
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