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Formative assessment: Bridging the gap between high stakes testing and classroom learning Megan Montee Title III Directors Meeting May 5, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Formative assessment: Bridging the gap between high stakes testing and classroom learning Megan Montee Title III Directors Meeting May 5, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Formative assessment: Bridging the gap between high stakes testing and classroom learning Megan Montee Title III Directors Meeting May 5, 2009

2 This presentation will discuss how formative assessment can inform high stakes testing and classroom academic language development. Purpose

3 By the end of this presentation, you will be able to: Identify purposes and uses for formative assessment; Understand how formative and summative assessment can work together; Consider ways to make formative assessment systematic and integrated with instruction. Purpose

4 What Ive learned about your roles: Title III Directors o Other roles you may hold: Federal program director, Special Education coordinator, testing coordinator ESL Teachers o Types of classes you teach: pull-out, content-based, sheltered approach o Many of you work in multiple schools What Ive learned about the challenges you face: For teaching ESL For assessing students Context

5 Introduction and Overview Formative and summative assessment Academic language development Example: ELDA Standards Classroom applications Discussion Overview

6 Assessment as a part of a learning process (Shepard, 2000) Learning culture Training Classroom impact Assessment and learning culture

7 Instructors must understand language assessment in order to participate in the language learning culture (Shepard, 2000). Assessment and learning culture

8 Assessment PlanningCollectingAnalyzingReporting Definition of assessment (1/2) Assessment = process of planning, collecting, analyzing and reporting information about student learning Adapted from Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (1997). Managing the assessment process: A framework for measuring student attainment of the ESL standards. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

9 Assessment ApproachPurposeAudience Definition of assessment (2/2)

10 Assessment literacy = what instructors need to know about assessment (Stoynoff and Chapelle, 2005; Boyles, 2005; Stiggins, 1997). Language assessment literacy = what stakeholders need to know about language and assessment in order to conduct reliable, valid and fair assessments of all students Stakeholders = ALL participants including test developers AND instructors Background: assessment literacy

11 Effective Practices Acquired Through a Team Approach, West Virginia Department of Education Classroom assessment for learning Team Approach to Professional Growth Designing and Evaluating Performance Assessments Defining and Assessing 21 st Century Skills Link Between Assessment and Student Motivation Clear Learning Targets Selecting Appropriate Assessment Methods Effective Communication Student Involvement

12 When is it conducted? What information does it provide? How can the results be used? Formative During a course of instruction Provides feedback to the teacher and the learner about progress toward educational outcomes Results often used for planning instruction Summative At the end of a course of instruction Provides information on outcomes Results often used for assigning grades, program evaluation, or tracking Formative and summative

13 Formative assessment Summative Assessment Building academic language proficiency

14 BICS / CALP WESTELL Standards English Language Arts Math, Science and Technology Social Studies (1)Language used to convey curriculum based academic content and (2) the language of the social environment of a school. Academic language

15 Challenges Academic Content English Language Proficiency

16 Planning Collecting Analyzing Reporting Formative assessment

17 Begin with the end in mind Dont wait until the end to assess Integrate assessment and instruction Planning for formative assessment

18 Re-read your goals What did you promise? Can you do it? Examine your curriculum What are the big ideas to assess? What can help with daily, weekly and future planning? Match assessment to classroom Domain Theme Planning for formative assessment

19 Assess whats in the curriculum (academic language) Communicate what will be assessed Assess Short, daily Longer, weekly Longest, end of sequence If theres no time to assess it, theres no time to teach it. Classroom assessment tasks

20 Planning instruction Short-term Long-term Organizing/grouping students Supporting learning Diagnosing student needs Motivating students Providing feedback To students To parents To school/district Assigning grades Planning: formative purposes

21 Planning: determining Your purposes What do you want to know? How will you use this information? Validity and classroom assessment

22 A few examples What do you want to know? How will you use this information? Can my students use the vocabulary words we studied last week? Short-term instructional planning How well can my students write a research paper about a topic they select? Long-term instructional planning; assigning grades; diagnosing student needs; providing feedback to students How well do my students speak English at the beginning of a course? Long-term instructional planning; grouping students; providing feedback; motivating students High and low stakes assessment

23 Washback (Hughes 2003) Positive Negative Planning for positive washback

24 How can we plan for systematic formative assessment? Data collection Analysis Reporting Systematic assessment

25 Purpose: What is the best way to find out what I need to know? Use: What is the most appropriate and effective way to collect this information? Collecting data

26 Methods for collecting data (1/2) Formative assessment is defined by use, not the assessment method Some assessment methods are well- suited to formative assessment

27 Observations Checklists Oral presentations Essays / written compositions Traditional tests Portfolios / work samples Student self-assessments Classroom tasks (individual, pairs, group) Methods for collecting data (2/2)

28 Which mode(s) are you testing? What format is appropriate? Developing assessment tasks

29 Characteristics of good classroom assessment tasks: Standards-based Proficiency level appropriate Age/grade-level appropriate Tied to instructional goals Purposeful Clear directions Classroom assessment tasks

30 Prioritization and Sequencing Prioritization = how to decide which parts to assess Sequence = the order in which you assess How do we do this? When to assess

31 Questions to ask What did I promise? What goes together? Themes Domains How much is too much? 15 minutes or fewer rule; AND Not too choppy rule Setting sequences

32 Thinking beyond grades Quantitative information o Assessment level o Item/task level Qualitative information Looking at assessment data in content Other formative assessments Standardized test scores Other information about your students Using data to improve assessment and instruction Analyzing formative assessment data

33 Reporting formative assessment data Who needs to know the results of your assessments? Which reporting format is best for a group of stakeholders?

34 Reporting formative assessment data

35 Communicating results with students How can assessment results be reported to students? Make sure students know the purpose of the assessment before its administered Provide meaningful feedback to students When appropriate, review the assessment with students Ask for student input

36 The test is appropriate for my student population. The tests intended purpose matches my purpose for testing. The tests input is appropriate for the skills I am assessing. I have the necessary resources to administer the test. I have the necessary resources to score the test and analyze the results. I understand how to share the results with stakeholders. Testing checklist

37 Applications Some questions I encounter: How can formative assessment help me prepare my students for a standardized test? Is it wrong to teach to the test? Should formative assessments be mini- versions of the summative assessment?

38 Assessing Speaking Classroom-based Academic language Application: performance assessment

39 Standards for Speaking: Application: WESTELL standards 1. Connect: Establish a verbal connection with an interlocutor in order to talk about something 2. Tell: Provide basic information on a relevant topic in a conversation 3. Explain: Provide detailed information on a relevant topic in a conversation 4. Reason: Argue in favor of or against a particular relevant topic Note: Benchmarks are implied in the soft hierarchy of functions. (American Institutes for Research (2005))

40 Tell: Provide basic information on a relevant topic in a conversation Application: speaking standards Amount of language (words, sentences, extended discourse) Complexity of language Academic vocabulary Fluency and comprehensibility

41 Next steps How could this standard be assessed in the classroom? Daily Weekly End of instructional unit Assessment PlanningCollectingAnalyzingReporting

42 A collection of brief, accessible CAL digests on assessment and other relevant topics Draft of the ILTA Code of Practice Virtual Assessment Center, an introduction to language assessment from CARLA National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) Learning Teams for Assessment Literacy by Richard J. Stiggins Do educators know how to make use of the new avalanche of standardized test data? by Rebecca Zwick Assessment resources: web-based

43 Short, accessible book which introduces basic concepts of language testing and reviews 20 English language tests Stoynoff, S. & Chapelle, C. (2005). ESOL tests and testing. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. A practical guide to developing your own classroom assessments Brown, H.D. (2003). Language assessment: principles and classroom practice. New York: Pearson ESL. A book which provides a thorough but accessible overview of foundational concepts in language testing Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Handbook which explains the principles of backward design for classroom assessment McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Article on creating a culture of assessment Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29.7, Assessment resources: print

44 Possible next steps Review current practices Survey Meet with teachers Conduct a needs assessment What do teachers need to know about assessment? How could formative assessment be improved? How could analysis and reporting be improved? What resources are available? What resources are needed? Schedule time and support for assessment planning Review and discuss standardized test scores How can these be used to inform classroom instruction and assessment Provide training on formative assessment Standards expert Developing assessment tasks

45 Discussion and questions

46 American Institutes for Research. (2005). English language proficiency standards and test and item specifications. Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers (2nd edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Shepard, L. (2000). The role of assessment in learning culture. Educational Researcher, 29.7, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (1997). Managing the assessment process: A framework for measuring student attainment of the ESL standards. Alexandria, VA: TESOL. West Virginia Department of Education. Classroom assessment for learning: a journey to assessment literacy. References

47 Meg Montee Thank you


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