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Using Formative Assessment to Promote Student Understanding Stephen L. Chew, PhD Department of Psychology Samford University

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Presentation on theme: "Using Formative Assessment to Promote Student Understanding Stephen L. Chew, PhD Department of Psychology Samford University"— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Formative Assessment to Promote Student Understanding Stephen L. Chew, PhD Department of Psychology Samford University slchew@samford.eduslchew@samford.edu Twitter: @SChewPsych Palm Beach State College March 26, 2015

2 Popular Misconceptions Learning Styles Memory is like a camera Only guilty people confess to crimes Global warming denial Vaccines linked to autism Creationism

3 Misconceptions in Science Naïve Physics: – Newton vs. Aristotle – Seasons and the Earth’s tilt Naïve Biology – Evolution versus Lamarkianism Naïve Psychology – Use 10% of the Brain – Blind people have unusually sensitive organs of touch – Left Brain; Right Brain

4 Difficult Concepts Easily confusable – Punishment versus negative reinforcement Conceptually difficult (elemental interactivity) – Genetics and IQ – Statistical significance Intuitive Desirable Just World

5 Extramission Theory of Visual Perception (Winer et al., 2002) Vision involves active emissions from the eye. More than half of adults may believe in some version, depending on how tested Including students who have had S&P in General Psychology

6 Impact of Educational Experiences Winer et al. summarize studies in which People were tested before and after regular coursework on vision in Intro Psych. Were given a reading on vision just before being tested “Virtually no evidence of learning” from classroom or readings

7 But there is hope (sort of) College students, eighth graders and fifth graders were assigned to one of three conditions: 1.A videotaped lecture of a highly simplified explanation of vision 2.The lecture plus explicit refutational statements 3.A control group Subjects tested immediately and five months later.

8 Results All three groups showed reduced extramission beliefs on the immediate test – Fifth graders for both experimental conditions – Eighth graders for refutational statements only – College students refutational statements > video only > control But for two of the groups, the effects had disappeared five months later.

9 Winer et al. (2002) Conclusions “…belief is extremely resistant to standard educational experiences that seem as though they should counteract the misunderstanding.” “We assume… that if we were to spend more time giving several lessons on vision we could make a sizeable dent in this misconception.”

10 Misconceptions Survive Formal Instruction After the course is over, students revert back to original misunderstandings (if they ever changed to begin with). But they have more confidence in them because they have taken your course. (Landau, 2003) If you focus on teaching, then there is nothing you can do. If you focus on student learning, then this is a major problem

11 What do we do about them? Activation and Refutation: Alert learners to incorrect beliefs and then contrast with correct information Formative Assessments

12 Brief, low stakes assessments that give students (and teachers) feedback BEFORE exams/high stake grades Angelo, T. A. and K. P. Cross (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, Jossey-Bass. e.g. Minute papers, muddiest point, think-pair-share – Brief – Low stakes – Provide feedback to teacher and student – Before summative assessments

13 Formative Assessments Improve metacognition for students and teachers Address tenacious student misconceptions Illustrate desired level of understanding of knowledge for students – Preview exam type of questions/ reduce whining Promote student learning and understanding – Engagement, deep processing, recall practice, transfer and application of knowledge, peer learning Promote rapport and trust Model thinking for understanding

14 A Test of Critical Thinking In the box, draw a picture of what the dressmaker used to cut the fabric

15 Obviously Wrong Answers

16 And the Correct Answer is: The dressmaker used the scissors to cut the cloth for the dress.

17 How did critical thinking fail? Content was not enough What could you do to ensure critical thinking?

18 Alternate Test A. B. C. D. E. Which of the following is the correct answer?

19 If students don’t know what critical thinking looks like, they can’t accomplish it, even if they are capable of it

20 A Common Scenario A student studies hard for an exam and feels confident taking it. But the results are much worse than the student expected, leaving the student to grumble, “That sneaky instructor always asks tricky questions.” The instructor has delivered a brilliant set of lectures and is confident that the students have mastered the knowledge. But student performance on the exam reflects a poor understanding of the concepts, leaving the instructor to grumble, “Those lazy students just don’t pay attention.” Poor metacognition for both student and teacher; both are overconfident

21 Peer Instruction: Eric Mazur Mazur, E. (1997). Peer instruction: A user’s manual. Prentice Hall. Crouch, Catherine H. and Mazur, Eric (2001) Peer Instruction: Ten Years of Experience and Results. American Journal of Physics, 69, 970- 977.

22 Properties of Conceptests (Mazur, 1997) Focus on a single concept Require conceptual understanding to solve Have adequate response alternatives – Ideally the incorrect answer choices should reflect the student’s most common misconceptions Be unambiguously worded Be neither too easy nor too difficult

23 The ConcepTest General Format 1.Present ConcepTest to class – 1 minute 2.Students given time to think – 1 minute 3.On a given signal, students indicate their answer by number of fingers. 4.Have the students pick someone around them, preferably with a different answer, to discuss their choices – 1- 2 minutes 5.Repeat step three to see how choices have changed 6.Explain and discuss the answer as a class – 2+ minutes

24 Newborn infants develop a powerful emotional bond… 1.Almost immediately after birth to both parents 2.Almost immediately after birth to the mother, but attachment to fathers often does not occur until the child reaches 1 or 2 years of age 3.Almost immediately after birth to caregivers who satisfy the baby’s physical needs, such as hunger. 4.To caregivers after about 6 to 8 months

25 Newborn infants develop a powerful emotional bond… 1.Almost immediately after birth to both parents 2.Almost immediately after birth to the mother, but attachment to fathers often does not occur until the child reaches 1 or 2 years of age 3.Almost immediately after birth to caregivers who satisfy the baby’s physical needs, such as hunger. 4.To caregivers after about 6 to 8 months

26 Misconceptions About Correlations A positive correlation is better than a negative one. Correlations imply causation.

27 ConcepTest for Correlations A marriage counselor studies four different tests designed to predict marital happiness to see which one is best. She administers the four tests to 80 couples who are about to get married. After two years, she measures the marital happiness of the couples and correlates it with each of the four tests with the following results: Test 1: r = -.73Test 2: r =.62 Test 3: r =.25Test 4: r =.10 If the therapist wants to pick the single best test to use in her work, which one should she choose and why?

28 Read

29 First Poll

30 Discuss

31 Second Poll

32 Factual Multiple Choice Which of the following is the strongest correlation? a.r = 0.10 b.r = 0.57 c.r = -0.63 d.r = 0.25

33 Probe for Understanding Samford decides that the ACT and SAT are obsolete, and decides to find a new college entrance exam to use for admissions. They have incoming freshmen take four new entrance exams. After the end of the first year, the student's GPA is correlated with each of the four scores. Test A: r = 0.10Test C: r = 0.55 Test B: r = -0.64Test D: r = -0.50 Which exam should Samford adopt? Explain your answer. To get full credit, you must choose the correct test and have the correct explanation.

34 Incorrect Answers and Explanations Test A because.10 has the highest correlation. This will show the best example of each student's scores.

35 Incorrect Answers and Explanations Test C: r = 0.55; because people who took test C made higher than the others, so their GPA would be higher. Test C, since you would want a positive correlation and not negative. Even though the test B correlation is greater, the correlation is negative which would mean their GPA's were low.

36 Correct Answer and Explanation Test B would be the best answer. Even though it has a negative correlation, it is the strongest (strength of correlations are determined in terms of absolute value).

37 Correct Answer and Incorrect Explanation, and Vice-Versa The Test B should be used because it's confounding variables are more close to an absolute value of -.64. The students already have enough stress as it is only the highest scores on the ACT and SAT should determine the status of entrance. I think they would pick Test C. Even though.64 is bigger, it is also negative, resulting in a negative correlation. They would want the test scores and the grades to be positively correlated.

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40 Advantages of ConcepTests They give feedback to both the student and teacher about the level of student understanding (formative assessment). They are highly engaging to students. They take little preparation or class time. They can be used with any size class. They stimulate class discussion. Students learn from each other as well as the teacher. They make students aware of intuitive but incorrect beliefs they hold about psychology. They give a preview to the class about the kinds of questions they can expect on an exam.

41 Think-Pair-Share Create a question that requires conceptual understanding or application of a concept, preferably one which also encompasses a common misconception. Think: Present the question and have students think of their answer Pair: Have students pair up and discuss their answers and reasoning Share: Discuss as a class

42 Think-Pair-Share for Study Videos Which of the following is an example of poor metacognition? 1.Joe failed an exam because he memorized definitions but his professor tested him over comprehension. 2.Amy felt confident she did well on the exam but was stunned to find out she barely made a D grade. 3.Cindy studied by reading her notes and her textbook over and over again, but still made a bad grade. 4.Sam thought he could learn the material well enough if he just read the chapter summaries, but he ended up failing the exam.

43 Another One Which of the following does NOT represent studying at a deep level? 1.As I read, I relate the information to what I already know. 2.As I read, I relate the information to my own personal experience 3.As I read, I think of the key distinctions between this concept and other concepts I’ve learned about. 4.As I read, I repeat the information to myself multiple times. 5.I often close the book and my notes and just try to write out all the information I can remember on my own.

44 Other Formative Assessments Concept Maps Question Generation Directed paraphrasing Application cards Headline Writing Minute Papers Exit Problems Exam Wrappers

45 Your Assignment Think of a difficult concept or misconception in your own area Create some formative assessments for the concept. Give it a try in your courses


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