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  • كلمة إسماعيل دراز

Formative assessment

Formative assessment 

Definition

         The term formative assessment "doesn't have a tightly defined and widely accepted meaning", Black and Wiliam operate an umbrella definition of "all those activities undertaken by teachers, and/or by students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.". Black and Wiliam later suggested that the characteristic which sets formative assessment apart from all other forms of teaching and learning theory is that “formative assessment is concerned with the creation of, and capitalization upon, ‘moments of contingency’ in instruction for the purpose of the regulation of the learning process.    

 Formative assessment is typically contrasted with summative assessment. The former supports teachers and students in decision-making during educational and learning processes, while the latter occurs at the end of a learning unit and determines if the content being taught was retained. Ainsworth p. 23 (2006.

Formative assessment is not distinguished by the format of assessment, but by how the information is used.

Rationale and practice

     Formative assessment serves several purposes:

  • to provide feedback for teachers to modify subsequent learning activities and experiences.
  • to identify and remediate group or individual deficiencies.
  • to move focus away from achieving grades and onto learning processes, in order to increase self efficacy and reduce the negative impact of extrinsic motivation.
  • to improve students' metacognitive awareness of how they learn.
  • "frequent, ongoing assessment allows both for fine-tuning of instruction and student focus on progress.

Characteristics of Formative Assessment:

     Formative assessment is essentially positive in intent, in that it is directed towards promoting learning; it is therefore part of teaching;

- it takes into account the progress of each individual, the effort put in and other aspects of learning which may be unspecified in the curriculum.

-it has to take into account several instances in which certain skills and ideas are used .

- validity and usefulness are paramount in formative assessment and should take precedence over concerns for reliability.

principles of good assessment:

  1. It clarifies what good performance is (goals, criteria, expected standards);
  2. It facilitates the development of self-assessment in learning;
  3. It provides high quality information to students about their learning;
  4. It encourages teacher and peer dialogue around learning;
  5. It encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem;
  6. It provides opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance.

7 It provides information to teachers that can be used to help shape teaching.

Examples of formative assessment:

  • A language teacher asks students to choose the best thesis statement from a selection; if all choose correctly she moves on; if only some do she may initiate a class discussion; if most answer incorrectly then she may review the work on thesis statements.
  • A teacher asks her students to write down, in a brainstorm activity, all they know about how hot-air balloons work so that she can discover what students already know about the area of science she is intending to teach.
  • A science supervisor looks at the previous year's student test results to help plan teacher workshops during the summer vacation, to address areas of weakness in student performance.
  • A teacher documents student work and student conferences to help plan authentic activities to meet student needs. 

Methods:

       There are many ways to integrate formative assessment such as model-eliciting activities that can be used as formative assessment tools in mathematics and science classrooms. Others developed strategies computer-supported collaborative learning environments ..

Purpose:

       Formative assessment, or diagnostic testing as the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards argues, serves to create effective teaching curricula and classroom-specific evaluations. By focusing on student-centered activities, a student is able to relate the material to his life and experiences. Students are encouraged to think critically and to develop analytical skills. This type of testing allows for a teacher's lesson plan to be clear, creative, and reflective of the curriculum (T.P Scot et al., 2009).

       Based on the Appalachian Education Laboratory (AEL), diagnostic testing emphasizes effective teaching practices while "considering learners' experiences and their unique conceptions" (T.P Scot et al., 2009). Furthermore, it provides the framework for "efficient retrieval and application"(T.P Scot et al., 2009). by urging students to take charge of their education. The implications of this type of testing,is developing a knowledgeable student with deep understanding of the information and then be able to account for a students' comprehension on a subject.

          Formative assessment in Second/ Foreign Language Education:

    As an ongoing assessment it focuses on the process, it helps teachers to check the current status of their students’ language ability, that is, they can know what the students know and what the students do not know. It also gives chances to students to participate in modifying or planning the upcoming classes (Bachman & Palmer, 1996). Participation in their learning grows students’ motivation to learn the target language. It also raises students’ awareness on their target languages, which results in resetting their own goals. In consequence, it helps students to achieve their goals successfully as well as teachers be the facilitators to foster students’ target language ability.

In classroom, short quizzes, reflectionals journals, or portfolios could be used as a formative assessment .

Benefits of Formative Assessments for Teachers :

  • Teachers are able to determine what standards students already know and to what degree.
  • Teachers can decide what minor modifications or major changes in instruction they need to make so that all students can succeed in upcoming instruction and on subsequent assessments.
  • Teachers can create appropriate lessons and activities for groups of learners or individual students.
  • Teachers can inform students about their current progress in order to help them set goals for improvement.

Benefits for students:

  • Students are more motivated to learn.
  • Students take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Students can become users of assessment alongside the teacher.
  • Students learn valuable lifelong skills such as self-evaluation, self-assessment, and goal setting.
  • Students become more adept at self-assessment .
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By :-Yasser Elsayed

                                  Head of supervisORS

                              Mr./Ismail Draz