Rethinking formative assessment a model and seven principles of good feedback practice
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Rethinking Formative Assessment: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Dr David Nicol Centre for Academic Practice University of Strathclyde Debra Macfarlane-Dick Careers Service & Teaching and Learning Service University of Glasgow. Background.

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Rethinking Formative Assessment: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

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Rethinking formative assessment a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

Rethinking Formative Assessment: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

Dr David Nicol

Centre for Academic Practice

University of Strathclyde

Debra Macfarlane-Dick

Careers Service & Teaching and

Learning Service

University of Glasgow


Background

Background

  • SENLEF project funded by LTSM

  • 50 case studies from Scottish HEIs

  • Literature review: model of formative assessment and feedback and 7 principles of good feedback practice + simple strategies

  • Web site

    http://www.ltsn.ac.uk/genericcentre/

    >projects>assessment>SENLEF


Definitions 1

Definitions (1)

Formative assessment refers to:-

‘….assessment that is specifically intended to provide feedback on performance to improve and accelerate learning’ (Sadler, 1998, p77)


Definitions 2

Definitions (2)

  • Who is involved in formative assessment and feedback?

    Tutor

    Peer

    External (e.g. placement supervisor)

    Computer generated

    Self


Why take formative assessment and feedback seriously

Why take formative assessment and feedback seriously?

  • Black and Wiliam (1998) – 250 studies

  • Real classroom situations – tutor, peer and self-feedback

  • Positive benefits on learning and achievement across all content areas/ skills and sectors.

  • Big impact on schools but what about HE?


Current thinking about learning assessment

Current thinking about learning & assessment

Teaching/learning paradigm

Transmission Constructivist.

[student-centred]

Assessment paradigm

Transmission

[teacher-centred]


Problems with transmission view

Problems with transmission view

  • Lifelong learning depends on self-regulation (Boud, 2000)

  • Feedback messages from teachers must be actively interpreted (Higgins et al, 2001)

  • Motivational beliefs both regulate and are regulated by external feedback (Dweck, 1999)

  • Teacher workload issues


How to conceptualise formative assessment feedback

How to conceptualise formative assessment & feedback?

…process that build up the students own skills and capacity to self-evaluate and self-correct. [throughout u/g degree]


Sadler s argument

Sadler’s argument

For feedback to benefit learning students must know:

1. What good performance is (goals, criteria)

2. How current performance relates to good performance (compare)

3. How to act to close the gap

No 2 means that students ‘must already possess some of the same evaluative skills as the teacher’ (Sadler, 1983).


Self regulated learning

Self-regulated learning

Self-regulated learning is an active constructive process whereby learners set goals for their learning and monitor, regulate, and control their cognition, motivation, and behaviour, guided and constrained by their goals and the contextual features of the environment. (Pintrich and Zusho, p64)


Research on self regulation

Research on self-regulation

  • The more self-regulated the student the better the learner – confident, persistent etc (Zimmerman, 2000; Pintrich & Zusho, 2002).

  • Students can learn to self-regulate through making learning explicit and meta-cognitive training (Boekaerts et al, 2002)

  • Monitoring and self-assessment are key components of self-regulation (Schunk and Zimmerman, 1994).

  • Formative assessment and self-regulation traditionally seen as separate paradigms


Rethinking formative assessment a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

Processes Internal to Student

C

B

Domain

Knowledge

Strategy

Knowledge

Motivational

Beliefs

D

E

F

Teacher set task

(goals/

criteria)

Student

goals

Tactics &

Strategies

Learning

Outcomes

G

Paths of internal feedback

Performance

A

Self-regulatory processes

(cognition, motivation and behavioural)

H

External Feedback

(teacher/peers/employers)

A Model of self-regulation and feedback


Key message

Key message

Formative assessment and feedback by others can only have an impact on learning when it influences a student’s own self-regulatory processes (adapted from Boud, 1995).


The seven feedback principles

The Seven Feedback Principles

How can assessment and feedback help to build a learner’s capacity to self-regulate?


Helps clarify what good performance is goals standards criteria

Helps clarify what good performance is (goals, standards, criteria)

Difficult to use feedback to self-regulate if students don’t understand goals

Research

Mismatches between tutors and students conceptions of goals/criteria (Hounsell, 1984; Norton, 1990; Channock, 2000)

Strategies

Exemplars of performance (Orsmond et al, 2002), students help construct criteria (Gibbs, 1999)


Facilitates development of self assessment in learning

Facilitates development of self-assessment in learning

Key process in self-regulation is self-assessment

Research

Training in self-assessment improves exam performance (McDonald and Boud, 2003)

SA integrated with external feedback improves performance. (Taras, 2003)

Strategies

Peer assessment, supporting reflection etc.


Delivers high quality information to students about their learning

Delivers high quality information to students about their learning

External feedback should help students trouble shoot and correct their own performance

Research

Shows feedback might be delayed, not relevant, overwhelming in quantity, focused on low level goals (Sadler, 1983)

Strategies

Offering corrective advice in terms of criteria

Reader response theory (Lunsford, 1997)


Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning

Encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning.

Students don’t understand the feedback given by tutors ( ‘essay is not sufficiently analytical’) [Channock, 2000; Hyland, 2000]

Research

Ideal feedback = two-way dialogical: teacher-student (Laurillard, 2003) not enough teachers

Strategies

Classroom technologies (Nicol & Boyle, 2003)

Peer processes (Gibbs, 1999)


Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self esteem

Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem.

Feedback has positive or negative effects depending on type, delivery etc.

Research

Feeback as marks versus comments (Butler, 19871988; Dweck, 2000).

Strategies

More low stakes assessments

Marks only after feedback used


Provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance

Provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance.

How do you ensure that students actually use the feedback information to improve.

Research

Little opportunity to resubmit (Boud, 2000)

Strategies

Feedback during the task (process)

Action points and resubmissions.


Provides information to teachers that can be used to shape teaching

Provides information to teachers that can be used to shape teaching.

Being sensitive to learner needs

Research

Teacher’s don’t necessarily adapt teaching to students’ needs (Ramsden, 1997)

Strategies

Angelo & Cross (1990) – one minute paper

Classroom Technology (Boyle & Nicol, 2003.

Student-requested feedback


Rethinking formative assessment a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

Processes Internal to Student

C

B

Domain

Knowledge

Strategy

Knowledge

Motivational

Beliefs

D

E

F

Teacher set task

(goals/

criteria)

Student

goals

Tactics &

Strategies

Learning

Outcomes

G

Paths of internal feedback

Performance

A

Self-regulatory processes

(cognition, motivation and behavioural)

H

External Feedback

(teacher/peers/employers)

1. Clarify task

goals

2. Encourage

dialogue

3. Provide quality

feedback

4. Facilitate

self-assessment

5. Provides

opportunities

to close the gap

6. Encourage

positive

motivational beliefs

7. Use feedback

to shape teaching

Supporting and building on student self-regulation


Rethinking formative assessment a model and seven principles of good feedback practice

New revised paper:

Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick (2004).

Title: ‘Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good feedback practice.’

To be published in: G. Gibbs (ed), Innovating in Assessment.

Available soon from: [email protected]


The end

The End


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