The Journey – Improving Writing Through Formative Assessment Presented By: Sarah McManus, Section Chief, Testing Policy & Operations Phyllis Blue, Middle Grades English/Language Arts Consultant Accountability Conference February 11, 2008
Where do we want to go? Where are we now? How do we close the gap? In North Carolina…..
Concern from the classroom? Too much time spent on measuring the learning rather than promoting and helping learning to occur Most summative assessments look like mini state tests Forced to teach to the test Less motivated students
Focus on teaching and learning. Clear Purpose Clear Targets Sound Design Effective Communication Student Involvement
There is an emphasis on: The test State test results Practice items Alignment Remediation What is getting the most attention and what is getting left behind? There is little emphasis on: Student learning Developing self-directed learners Increasing student motivation Delivering quality professional development for teachers content delivery classroom assessment
Classroom Assessment (Formative and Summative) Interim/Benchmark Assessments (Summative) Statewide Assessments (Summative) Aligned to State Standards
Support teachers in their efforts to use: Increased commitment to a high-quality formative assessment as a process. Increase the use of descriptive feedback and reduce evaluative feedback. Increase student involvement in classroom assessment (formative and summative).
Focus on the Importance of Classroom Assessment Guides students judgment of what is important to learn Affects their motivation and self perceptions of competence Structures their approaches to and timing of personal study… Consolidates learning Affects the development of enduring learning strategies and skills It appears to be the most potent force influencing education. Crooks (1988)
Teachers use a variety of methods to assess what each student has learned. Teachers use multiple indicators, including formative and summative assessment to evaluate student progress and growth. Teachers provide opportunities, methods, feedback, and tools for students to assess themselves and each other. Teachers use 21 st Century assessment systems to inform instruction and demonstrate evidence of students 21 st Century knowledge, skills, performance, and dispositions. Standard IV: Teachers Facilitate Learning For Their Students
BALANCED ASSESSMENT SYSTEM FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT A process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides immediate feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to help students improve their achievement of intended instructional outcomes. A tool used after instruction to measure student achievement which provides evidence of student competence or program effectiveness.
FORMATIVE SUMMATIVE Occurs During Instruction Not Graded Process Descriptive Feedback Continuous Students & parents are partners in the process Assessment for learning Occurs at the end Graded Product Evaluative Feedback Periodic Assessment of learning COMPARISON OF ASSESSMENTS
Both formative and summative assessment are valuable and important Without both the classroom assessment system is not balanced
Research Research shows that if students are formatively assessed, learning will improve. When learning is improved, students are able to demonstrate that learning in a variety of ways including scoring well on standardized assessments like the EOG and EOC. Black and Wiliam (1998)
Feedback Frequently feedback is used to push students to do more or to do better, without being specific enough to help students know what to do. This type of feedback is generally ineffective. (Hattie & Timperley, 2005) Effective feedback points out successes and gives specific information about how to improve the performance or product. (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Black, et al, 2002; Bloom, 1989; Brown, 1994) When teachers substituted comments for grades, students engaged more productively in improving their work. (Black, et al, 2002) Intensive correction, where the teacher marks every error in every paper a student writes, is completely useless. Marking all errors is no more advantageous in terms of student growth than marking none of them. (Hillocks, 1986)
Goal #1 Only feedback leads to higher learning gains than grades alone or grades with comments
Goal #2 Focusing feedback (oral and written) on success and improvement needs against the learning target of the task leads to students embedding their improvements and applying them in subsequent work
Goal #3 Students need time to make improvements on their work
Goal #4 Improvements should focus on either 1)Short-term improvement on the work marked, or 2)Longer-term targets
Goal #5 Teachers should model feedback processes aiming for maximum student control over marking (self-monitoring).
Next steps… Join the Online Professional Development Community Increased commitment to a high-quality formative assessment as a process Increase the use of descriptive feedback, reduce evaluative feedback Increase student involvement in the assessment process
Contact Information Sarah McManus Section Chief, Testing Policy and Operations NC Department of Public Instruction Accountability Services Division firstname.lastname@example.org Phyllis Blue Middle Grades English/Language Arts Consultant NC Department of Public Instruction email@example.com
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