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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

56 Examples of Formative Assessment

56 Examples of Formative Assessment

Related Tags: Assessment
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29 Replies 100665 Views
Hi all, I've created a presentation (with some help from my colleagues) on different examples of formative assessment. You can view it here: https://docs.google.com/presentation/pub?id=1nzhdnyMQmio5lNT75ITB45rHyLI... Note the definition I'm using at the beginning of the presentation: A formative assessment or assignment is a tool teachers use to give feedback to students and/or guide their instruction. It is not included in a student grade, nor should it be used to judge a teacher's performance. Both of these would be considered summative assessments.

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Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal
Facilitator 2014

What a great question- anyone need a dissertation topic? I'd love to see some research around specific formative assessment strategies like these how frequently they're used!

While I certainly recognize that the plural of anecdote isn't data, I can say anecdotally that I observe lots of teachers using these and similar formative assessment strategies in a lot of different settings. I teach them as tools not only for gathering information, but also for clarifying exactly what teachers are shooting for in their instruction. As we like to say at Antioch, it's feeding two birds with one hand.

Martin Richards's picture
Martin Richards
I train educators to use a coaching approach in their teaching practice

It's a good question

It's a good question even if I did choose to frame it rather negatively. My curiousity was aroused by the image of a Teacher Tools shop where people were talking about the tools rather than using them. There are many useful tools here, agreed. And so my curiousity went to "Who's actually using them?"

"What persuades a teacher to pick up some of these tools, and use them?" is my question now. How can a teacher select the right tool for their class? The range of choices is becomingh so great that perhaps a guide is needed? Perhaps a criteria-driven "How to choose the Formative Assessment tool that's right for your students". Who's up for that? I ask because it's likely that some teacher somewhere has already thought this through and is willing to share.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

HI Martin!

I agree- I feel like there are many sessions at conferences talking about tools, but you wonder if this isn't like dumping someone in the middle of Home Depot and saying "Build Something." It's not as much about access to tools, but sometimes knowing what to do with them, and how to integrate them into your current work flow and projects. Now granted, knowing what tools are available and having a full toolbox is important- it gives you options. But if you don't really know the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver when you need to attach two boards together, you are going to get very different results, with varying degrees of difficulty in accomplishing your task.
I think we have to figure out a better way to get folks to start using tools- i think examples, help, hands on workshops help, anecdotal information from other teachers helps- you've got to switch people into a more experimental/lab mindset and encourage them to try new things. I find that many teachers are almost scared to try new things, and somehow, we have to try to lessen that risk aversion.

Martin Richards's picture
Martin Richards
I train educators to use a coaching approach in their teaching practice

Risk Aversion Minimised

Thanks Whitney Hoffman for describing the Home Depot scenario so clearly. We have an expression in Sweden "When you have just learned to use a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

You point at two aspects

A) There is a wide range of tools, and too few guides in how to choose the best ones - without otherweise randomly experimenting to see what works and what doesn't.

B) Teachers are averse to taking risks - which would solve A) above.

So the question has now evolved to "How can teachers be supported towartds taking greater risks?"

Perhaps it helps to know that other teachers have tried this and that tool, and have learned from choosing the wrong ones, and have learned to use the right ones. Perhaps a guide woyuld help. Perhaps not, since it minimises the essential risk-taking.

David Wees's picture
David Wees
Formative Assessment Specialist for New Visions for Public Schools
Blogger 2014

One of the things I am hoping to do, if I can find the time, is to take the strategies presented here and unpack them a bit. I'd like to show a video of a strategy in use, write down some ideas for when the strategy might be useful and in what contexts, and essentially make this presentation more than a list of random tools.

Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi David-

Don;t forget to check youtube and google- many times people have videos online already and you won't have to create your own. For example, there are tons of videos showing examples of differentiating and using smartboards- quality does range from awesome to awful- but worth a look first. If you have something particular, I'd be happy to try to find something and post a link- just let me know. Always good to share out with the community.

Martin Richards's picture
Martin Richards
I train educators to use a coaching approach in their teaching practice

Hi David Wees

Just so I understand, please say if you are inviting this community to take on the task of raising these tools to the next level, or are you claiming the task for yourself? I ask because I think it would be good to have the resource that you describe, and it need not be the work of any one person.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal
Facilitator 2014

David, we've been doing some of that work at Antioch. Not ready to put online yet, but we've been gathering video of teachers using some of the tools. It's been *really* interesting!

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Community Manager at Edutopia
Staff

Laura, will there be a way for the public to access those videos?

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal
Facilitator 2014

Eventually- but right now I have a poor, overworked graduate student doing the editing while she finishes her MEd. It may be a little while until they're ready for public consumption unless I find a grant to pay her beyond her work-study hours. :-)

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