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Formative and Summative Assessment to Improve Learning

Formative and Summative Assessment to Improve Learning

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Formative and Summative Assessment to Improve Learning

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  1. Formative and Summative Assessment to Improve Learning Dr. Sande Caton

  2. Assessments Why do we assess our students? • Individually, write at least three ideas you have about assessments • With one or two colleagues near you, compare your ideas and together, come up with one idea that you can all agree describes assessment • Share your best idea with everyone

  3. Assessments Formative Assessment Summative Assessment What’s the difference?

  4. Formative v. Summative Assessments Formative Summative • Assessment FOR learning • Planned and used during instruction • Use to adjust instruction / snapshot of learning / address misconceptions • Assessment OF learning • After instruction • Use to evaluate for accountability / provides a grade for students

  5. Formative Assessment Defined • There are many definitions of “Formative Assessment” by various scholars. They generally include several common components: • Systematic process to gather evidence of learning • Students communicate their level of understanding • During learning to allow for adjustment in teaching in time for students to correct course • Diagnose misconceptions

  6. Research says that… Formative Assessment • Improves student achievement/attitude/motivation • Allows students show their level of understanding as learning progresses • Helps academically challenged/struggling students to perform better • Gives instructors the information they need to determine what concepts should be re-taught and who is ready to advance

  7. Research says that… Quality Feedback • Addresses misconceptions and strengths • Guides student success – next steps toward a learning goal • Clearly communicates learning goals and expectations • Timely – quick enough to act upon to improve • Students MUST act on the feedback

  8. Strategies • Think about how we began the workshop. • Traditionally, instructors would ask for ideas, select participants who volunteer, and discuss responses • This would take up to five minutes • Only a few ideas would be heard – most would not • The workshop leader doesn’t know the background of most of the participants or how comfortable they are with assessment

  9. Strategies • Think about how we began the workshop • I asked you to individually write at least three ideas, collaborate with a colleague and share your best ideas • Why? • This also takes up to five minutes • Everyone’s ideas were heard and discussed • The workshop leader quickly assessed the background of most of the participants and how comfortable they are with assessment (prior knowledge)

  10. Vignettes • An instructor gives students a quiz often throughout the unit of study. • Instructor wants students to become more motivated with frequent feedback • Instructor wants students to see the types of questions they can expect on their summative assessment • This is NOT formative assessment • Students do not have the opportunity to improve on their past work (quiz information) • Instructor does not use the information to adjust instruction

  11. Vignette • Instructor reads a prepared statement and asks students to indicate with their hands (3 fingers = Absolutely; 2 fingers = Maybe; 1 finger = No Way) whether they agree. • Instructor sees every student degree of understanding • Instructor immediately decides whether to go on or revisit the concept to address misconceptions • This IS formative assessment • Students have the opportunity to tell the instructor whether they understand the concept • Instructor uses the student responses to adjust instruction if needed

  12. Strategies • Immediate (moment to moment) • Body language / facial expressions • Clickers – especially good for attention deficit • Finger voting (thumbs up/down, five point scale) • Entry/Exit cards • Minute paper / Quick write • Oral – justify reasoning • Partner collaboration (Think – Pair – Share) • Embedded instructor questions Try One Strategy

  13. Strategies • Often (daily to weekly) • One–to–one conversations with students • Composite best response (group work) • Discussion boards (all learn from feedback to one) • Error analysis • Graphic organizers / Anticipation guides • Quizzes • Role play / Interviews • Journaling / Reading questions / Embedded questions • Peer / Self assessment Try One Strategy

  14. Strategies • Periodically (several times during the course) • Chunk projects into manageable parts • Comment only grading • Debate preparation • Periodic surveys • Grade-to-date updates/conversations Try One Strategy

  15. Thoughts • Formative Assessment improves student achievement • Quality Feedback helps students to reach learning goals • There is enough time in any course to use Formative Assessment • Challenge: Select one strategy - try it in your next class • Watch for improvement in your teaching and student learning • Continue experimenting with different strategies (immediate, often or periodic)

  16. Final Thoughts Questions? Please feel free to contact me at