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Using formative assessment. Aims of the session This session is intended to help us to consider: the reasons for assessment; the differences between formative.

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Presentation on theme: "Using formative assessment. Aims of the session This session is intended to help us to consider: the reasons for assessment; the differences between formative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using formative assessment

2 Aims of the session This session is intended to help us to consider: the reasons for assessment; the differences between formative and summative assessment; some difficulties commonly experienced with formative assessment; alternative methods for formative assessment; the type and quality of feedback given to learners; the implications that assessment has for teaching.

3 We assess learners to: diagnose difficulties and so inform teaching; celebrate achievement, rewarding effort and success; motivate learners by showing them what we value and what they still need to learn; select learners for groups, courses, schools; maintain records so that teachers or parents can be informed of progress; assess teaching methods to see which work more effectively.

4 Summative and formative assessment Summative – summarises and records overall achievement at the end of a course, for promotion and certification. Formative – recognises achievements and difficulties at the beginning or during a course, so that teachers and learners can plan appropriate action.

5 How do we assess formatively? Think of two learners, one who is finding the topic straightforward and one who is finding it difficult. Describe these learners’ strengths and difficulties to your partner in detail. Explain how you know about these strengths and difficulties. What evidence do you have?

6 Difficulties in formative assessment Teachers’ tests encourage rote and superficial learning. Questions and methods are not shared or critically reviewed. Quantity takes precedence over quality. Marks and the grades take precedence over constructive advice. Learners are compared with one another; personal improvement is devalued.

7 Feedback to learners serves social and managerial functions, often at the expense of learning. Teachers’ tests imitate external tests, and enable predictions to be made rather than to identify learning needs. Collecting marks to fill in records is given higher priority than the analysis of learners’ work to discern their learning needs. Little attention is paid to the records of learners’ previous assessments. Difficulties in formative assessment

8 Improving formative assessment Watch and listen before intervening. Assess groups as well as individual learners. Use divergent assessment methods. Share objectives, encourage self- and peer-assessment. Give useful and constructive feedback. Change teaching to take account of assessment.

9 Divergent assessment strategies Questioning with mini-whiteboards. Learners producing posters.

10 Examples from posters Numbers –Look at the following poster and consider what it tells you about the children’s understanding of the aspects of number that they write about


12 Learners assessing work. –Produce work that contains common errors. –Ask learners to imagine they are teachers. –Ask them to mark the work. –If they think that a mistake has been made: underline the mistake; write the correct answer by the side; try to explain the thinking that led to the mistake and write advice to the person who made it. Divergent assessment strategies

13 Examples based on SATs answers Angles in a triangle Multiples of 3 and 4

14 Learners producing a mathematical dictionary for a topic. –Give learners a list of words or phrases relating to a particular topic. –Ask learners to: write down a full explanation of the meaning of each word or phrase; create an example showing how the word or phrase should be used. Divergent assessment strategies

15 Learners making up their own tests. Towards the end of a topic, each group of learners: –writes down the two most important ideas in the topic; –makes up a question that would test whether or not someone understands each idea; –produces a perfect answer and a mark scheme. Assemble the questions into a test. Make sure children know that the test is made up of their questions. Children do the marking. Divergent assessment strategies

16 Learners producing a short revision guide for a topic. The revision guide should –explain key terms and words; –provide worked examples of problems and questions for the reader to try; –show examples of where the ideas are used in everyday life; –provide full answers at the back. The guides can be exchanged and checked by other learners. Divergent assessment strategies

17 Learners interviewing each other. –What do you think you were expected to learn in this activity? –What have you learnt? –What are the most important ideas? Explain one of them. –What did you feel you understood well? Give one example. –What did you find hard to understand? –Is there still something you are confused by? –What mistakes did you make? Why did you make them? Divergent assessment strategies

18 Useful feedback: focuses on the task, not on marks or grades is detailed rather than general; explains why something is right or wrong; is related to objectives; makes clear what has been achieved and what has not; suggests what the learner might do next; describes strategies for improvement.

19 Meeting the needs of all learners ‘When we try to meet the needs of learners, we may find that we need to be more relaxed about covering the syllabus. We need to address their learning needs, not our own predetermined agenda.’ How do you respond to this?

20 How do we meet individual needs? Differentiate by quantity? –When learners are successful, do you give extra work? Differentiate by task? –Do you give each learner a different activity? –Do you allow learners to choose activities? Differentiate by level of support? –Do you give all learners are given the same task, then offer different levels of support? Differentiate by outcome? –Do you use open activities that encourage a variety of possible outcomes and offer learners the opportunity to set themselves appropriate challenges?

21 Follow up task Use one of the divergent assessment strategies with you class Come to the final meeting prepared to share your experiences Bring examples of children’s repsonses with you

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