FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Nisreen Ahmed Wilma Teviotdale.
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FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Nisreen Ahmed Wilma Teviotdale
An overview of today’s session The aims of the session are: 1. To inform you about the nature of the TQEF project on Formative Assessment and future developments. 2. To enable you to differentiate between formative and summative assessment 3. To enable you to give your views as to the meaning and use of formative assessment. 4. To inform you about the use if ICT in the project.
Nature of the Project Support student retention, progression and achievement in a diverse student body through developing ‘fit for purpose’ approaches to formative assessment by compiling and providing rich resources for tailored solutions.
Project Outcomes Develop a dynamic, interactive resource to guide staff through the design and development of formative assessment Support staff and students to engage with formative assessment positively and creatively Improve student outcomes across all levels of course provision
What is assessment? “Assessment consists, essentially, of taking a sample of what students do, making inferences and estimating the worth of their actions”. (Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education. Brown. G, Bull. J & Pendlebury M.  P.8)
Task: In groups make a list of the features of summative assessment and then a list for the features of formative assessment.
Task: In groups, provide a definition of: Formative Assessment; and Highlight the key words you think are important.
Defining formative assessment Assessment for learning is any assessment for which the first priority in its design and practice is to serve the purpose of promoting students learning. It thus differs from assessment designed primarily to serve the purposes of accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence. An assessment activity can help learning if it provides information to be used as feedback, by teachers, and by their students, in assessing themselves and each other, to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. Such assessment becomes ‘formative assessment’ when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching work to meet learning needs. (Black et al 2002)
A widely quoted and influential idea about formative assessment comes from Roy Sadler who defines it as follows: ‘In assessment for learning, the learner’s task is to close the gap between the present state of understanding and learning goal. Self-assessment is essential if the learner is to do this. The teachers role is to communicate appropriate goals and promote self-assessment as pupils work towards the goals. Feedback in the classroom should operate from teacher to pupils and from pupils to teacher (Sadler, 1989)’.
Task Look at your definition and the words you’ve highlighted as important. Is what you have written similar to what has been stated by Black and Sadler? Which of the following would you associate with formative assessment ‘assessment for learning’ or ‘assessment of learning
What do learners need to know? Where they are in their learning; Where they are going; and How to get there.
Task: Set out which of the terms opposite are most likely to be identified with formative or summative assessment After learning During learning Feedback Of learning For learning Learning continuum Review/reflect Improve/enhance.
Formative Activities Formative assessment can come from a range of activities that tutors & students might normally associate with ‘teaching’ e.g. classroom questioning & feedback, group work and peer assessment on a piece of previously assessed work, feedback on draft or interim assessment. It is therefore the purpose of the assessment that makes it formative not the method, timing or activity: e.g. a timed examination can be used for formative purposes. “The primary distinction between formative and summative assessment relates to purpose and effect, not to timing” (Sadler 1989).
Examples of formative activities Questions asked individually or in class to diagnose understanding and to build understanding with students Written feedback and advice that focuses on the task and not the grade, feelings or ego of the student. Drafting assignments or a performance for feedback from tutors, self or peers.
Using exemplars of good and poor quality work to assess the quality of one’s and other’s work in relation to the assessment criteria Initial diagnostic assessment (tests, assignments etc) Tutorials or reviews-group and individual, peer or tutor-led Questions at the end of sessions to find out what was easy, difficult, what still needs to be learned.
Such activities can be very formal or quite informal; e.g. asking students what they want to get out of a session, or what they think they need to learn or to write down one new thing they learned and one thing they still don’t understand at the end of a session have a formative purpose but are quick and informal methods.
Task: Think about your teaching: How much formative assessment do you undertake? What barriers do you consider to be present which prevent the introduction of more formative assessment? What steps can you take to offer more opportunities for formative assessment?