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Formative Assessments. New Teacher Series Day 3 December 1, 2010 Stephanie Lemmer Sharon Dodson Today’s schedule. Survey The “ I Cans ” The 5 Keys of Assessments Purposes - Formative/Summative Learning Targets Assessment Maps.

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formative assessments

Formative Assessments

New Teacher Series Day 3

December 1, 2010

Stephanie Lemmer

Sharon Dodson

today s schedule
Today’s schedule


The “I Cans”

The 5 Keys of Assessments

Purposes - Formative/Summative

Learning Targets

Assessment Maps

what you need to make today successful
What you need to make today successful

Handout Packet

Content Expectations and/or learning standards for a course you teach

formative assessment critical learning objectives
Formative Assessment Critical Learning Objectives

At the completion of today, it is our goal that you will be able to state the following:

I can tell another person the difference between summative and formative assessments.

I can articulate critical learning targets to my students in student-friendly language.

I can match the appropriate type of assessment to a learning target for my students.

I can determine if feedback is descriptive or evaluative.

I can explain the importance of actively involving students in the assessment process.

5 keys of quality assessments
5 Keys of Quality Assessments
  • Key 1 – Purpose
  • Key 2 – Clear Learning Targets
  • Key 3 – Effective Design
  • Key 4 – Effective Communication
  • Key 5 – Student Involvement
personal reflection
Personal Reflection
  • Think of a time when you were assessed and it was a negative experience. What made it negative?
  • Now think of a time when you were assessed and it was a positive experience. What made it positive?
classroom assessments
Classroom Assessments

Think of the assessments you give. Why do you give them?

List all of the reasons that come to mind.

two purposes for assessment
Two Purposes for Assessment


Assessments OF Learning

How much have students learned as of a particular point in time?


Assessments FOR Learning

How can we use assessments to help students learn more?

assessments for and of learning
Assessments FOR and OF Learning

Watch the video clip of Rick Stiggins discussing the differences between assessments FOR and OF learning.

Track the differences on the chart.

In your own words, briefly summarize the difference between formative and summative assessments?

balanced assessment
Balanced Assessment


Formal and informal processes teachers and students use to gather evidence to directly improve the learning of students assessed


Provides evidence of achievement to certify student competence or program effectiveness

Assessment for learning

Use assessments to help students assess and adjust their own learning

Assessment for learning

Use classroom assessments to inform teacher’s decisions

Formative uses of summative data

Use of summative evidence to inform what comes next for individuals or groups of students

balanced assessment1
Balanced Assessment

“If we wish to maximize student achievement in the U.S., we must pay greater attention to the improvement of classroom assessment. Both assessment of learning and assessment for learning are essential. But one is currently in place, and the other is not.”

Rick Stiggins, 2002

assessment research
Assessment Research

0.7 Standard Deviation Score Gain =

  • 25 Percentile Points on ITBS (middle of score range)
  • 70 SAT Score Points; 4 ACT Score Points

Largest Gain for Low Achievers

needed improvements
Needed Improvements

Increased commitment to high-quality formative assessments

Increased descriptive feedback, reduced evaluative feedback

Increased student involvement in the assessment process

clear learning targets
Clear Learning Targets

Know what kinds of targets are represented in curriculum

Know which targets each assessment measures

Communicate the learning targets in advance in language students can understand

clear learning targets research on student benefits
Clear Learning Targets: Research on Student Benefits

Students who could identify their learning scored 27 percentile points higher than those who could not (Marzano, 2005)

we need clear learning targets to
We Need Clear Learning Targets to. . .

Ensure that there is a common understanding of what needs to be learned.

Know if the assessment adequately covers what we taught.

Correctly identify what students know and don’t know.

Have students self-assess or set goals likely to help them learn more.

learning targets
Learning Targets

Any achievement expectations we hold for students

Statements of what we want students to learn

which of these are actually learning targets
Which of these are actually Learning Targets?

Senior project

Model of a fort

Present a persuasive argument

State report


a social studies example
A Social Studies Example

World History

Korean War

Chapter 10

Create a timeline





Understand recurring conflicts that lead to war

Learning target

kinds of learning targets
Kinds of Learning Targets

Master content knowledge

Use knowledge to reason and solve problems

Demonstrate performance skills

Create quality products

learning targets by content area
Learning Targets by Content Area

What kinds of learning targets are most common in your content area?

Elbow partner share

converting learning targets to student friendly language
Converting Learning Targets to Student-Friendly Language

Identify important or difficult learning goal.

Identify word(s) needing clarification.

Define the word(s).

Rewrite the definition as an “I can” statement, in terms that your students will understand.

Try it out and refine as needed.

Have students try this process.

student friendly language
Student-Friendly Language

Word to be defined: SUMMARIZE

to give a brief statement of the main points, main events, or important ideas

Student-friendly language:

I can summarize text.

This means I can make a short statement of the main points or the big ideas of what I read.

student friendly language1
Student-Friendly Language

Word to be defined: PREDICTION

A statement saying something will happen in the future

Student-friendly language:

student friendly language2
Student-Friendly Language

Word to be defined: PREDICTION

A statement saying something will happen in the future

Student-friendly language:

I can make predictions.

This means I can use information from what I read to guess at what will happen next.

student friendly language3
Student-Friendly Language

Learning Target: “Deeply examine policy issues…”

Word to be defined: EXAMINE

A process by which problems, alternate views and reasons for differing views for a given situation are understood.

I Can Statement:

I can “examine.” This means I can state the problems, describe alternative views, and understand the reasons for these different views.

your turn
Your Turn…

Choose either “analyze” or “describe” and convert it into student-friendly terms


Student-friendly language:

clear and appropriate learning targets summary
Clear and Appropriate Learning Targets - Summary

Things to remember

Different types of targets

Clarify targets by using student-friendly language

Post targets or have students keep them (refer to targets)

Connect learning targets to learning activities and assessments

the assessment map

The Assessment Map

From Curriculum Documents to Learning Targets

work time

Work time

Use the Assessment Map to Define Learning Targets

sound assessment design
Sound Assessment Design

Select a proper assessment method

Select or create quality items, tasks, and rubrics

Sample—gather enough evidence

Control for bias

Design assessments so students can self-assess and set goals


Possible Assessment Methods

  • Selected Response
  • Extended Written Response
  • Performance Assessment
  • Personal Communication
sound design
Sound Design

Assessment methods match learning targets.

Sample is representative of what was taught.

Items, tasks and scoring guides are well-written.

Bias is avoided.

target x method match






Target X Method Match




target method match














Target - Method Match








Okay but not


Good Match

Good Match

Good match for

Some patterns

Of reasoning


Inferred by





Possibly okay

Good Match for

Oral comm. only

Good Match

Good Match for

Writ. comm. only

Good Match

the assessment map1

The Assessment Map

Identify your “I cans” as Knowledge, Skill, Reasoning, or Performance items

Next, select a method of assessment that would sample that ability effectively and efficiently.

effective communication
Effective Communication
  • “The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback. The simplest prescription for improving education must be ‘dollops of feedback’.”
    • John Hattie (1992)
  • “…all forms of feedback are not equally effective.”
research quotes on effects of feedback

Research Quotes on Effects of Feedback

Read the quotes provided on the handout.

Choose 1 quote that is most meaningful to you at this time.

  • On your own think about what you know to be the characteristics of effective feedback.
what makes feedback effective
What Makes Feedback Effective?
  • Describes features of work or performance
  • Relates directly to the learning targets and/or standards of quality
  • Points out strengths and gives specific information about how to improve
summary of the research
Summary of the Research
  • Formative classroom assessments should be frequent and provide many opportunities for feedback.
  • Feedback should give students a clear picture of their progress on learning goals and how they might improve.
  • Feedback on classroom assessments should encourage students to improve

Marzano, 2006

evaluative vs descriptive feedback
Evaluative vs. Descriptive Feedback
  • Evaluative feedback sums up achievement and assigns a label. It expresses a judgment.
  • Descriptive feedback offers information that can be used by students to take action to improve.
descriptive or evaluative
Descriptive or Evaluative?
  • Table Activity
    • Mark each example of descriptive feedback with a D and each example of evaluative feedback with an E. If you believe it is neither, mark it with an X.
effective communication1
Effective Communication
  • Provide students with descriptive feedback
  • Involve students in tracking and communicating about their learning
  • Use grading practices that accurately communicate about student learning

Student SELF-assessment is crucial for feedback to be used effectively. Students are the ones who must ultimately take action to bridge the gap between where they are and where they are heading.

The transition from feedback to self-monitoring can occur only when the student comes to know what constitutes quality.

--Sadler, 1989

student as user of assessment information sadler
Student as User of Assessment Information (Sadler)
  • Where am I going?
  • Where am I now?
  • How can I close the gap?
student motivation and involvement
Student Motivation and Involvement

Where am I going?

  • Provide a clear statement of the learning target
  • Use examples and models

Where am I now?

3. Offer regular descriptive feedback

4. Teach students to self-assess and set goals

How can I close the gap?

5. Design focused lessons

6. Teach students focused revision

7. Engage students in self-reflection; let them keep track of and share their learning

student involvement

Student Involvement

“The most important instructional decisions are made, not by the adults working in the system, but by students themselves.” CASL 2006

emily s story assessment for learning
Emily’s Story:Assessment for Learning
  • Read Emily’s story.
  • Note what Emily’s teacher did to enhance student involvement, motivation, and achievement.
  • Now read her writing samples.
  • What does Emily have to say about this? (video)
  • What does this look like in social studies?
involving the student
Involving the Student
  • Clear learning targets in student friendly language- made known at the outset to the student
  • Instruction that models what success looks like
  • Assessments that are fair – no surprises, no excuses