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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

56 Examples of Formative Assessment

56 Examples of Formative Assessment

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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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Lisa Dabbs's picture
Lisa Dabbs
Educational Consultant. Author. Speaker. Blogger.

Great set of resources for Formative Assessment. We talked about this in a recent New Teacher Chat #ntchat and had some great responses. One of the faves of many New T's are the use of mini whiteboards to check for understanding. There are some great ones on this pinterest link: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=formative%20assessment I especially like the idea of Think-Pair-Share. We need to get kids talking to each other more!

Ashley Cronin's picture
Ashley Cronin
Digital Resource Curator

Love all the different ways to collect information about student understanding! One more idea, related to Google forms, came up on Twitter yesterday. Google just expanded functionality/customizability in their forms so you can embed YouTube videos as part of collecting student feedback or checking for understanding. The Google Drive Blog also explains how you can use data validation to give students guidance when they enter incorrect answers.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program

These are some great tools! I love the mix of high tech and high touch tools you've included. I also find that it's helpful to be sure I'm clear about what I'm trying to measure- what are the form, content, and process standards I want the kids to meet? If I know that, I'm better able to determine what "counts" and what doesn't- and I'm less likely to get distracted when observing student work. (Plus, if I'm not clear, I can't expect my students to be clear!)

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

There are fantastic ideas in here- I especially like the Exit Slip- using that every so often to see what they are getting, while providing useful feedback for the teacher- Brilliant!

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

I wonder how many % of teachers USE these excellent ideas. is there anyone in a position to answer that?

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

Hi Martin, that's an interesting question and one where I don't think we can get a definitive answer. How would it be possible to even find out. I do think, though, that there are a couple of hopeful indicators that they are being used:

1) The fact that we're here talking about and sharing these resources, and that the discussion's participants are a mix of teachers, teachers of teachers, and people who support the work teachers do.

2) As the Online Community Manager at Edutopia, I can peak behind the curtain and tell how well a discussion is doing, and I can tell you that this particular discussion is one of our most popular.

That teachers are searching for and finding these resources doesn't guarantee implementation, but the odds are good some of it will be. Otherwise why go search for it?

Ron Peck's picture
Ron Peck
H.S. Social Studies teacher from Medford, Oregon.

I know that with the implementation of Common Core State Standards my district has stressed the importance of formative assessments. As a result I have increased my use of many of these ideas and tools. For example, I use Socratic Seminars, exit tickets, as I see it activities and peer editing just to name a few.
Additionally, I incorporate the use of online tools like Polleverywhere to check for understanding and increase student engagement. Of course I don't speak for everyone but I do know that a lot of connected teachers use some of these methods with their students.

We can only hope teachers are using some of the ideas presented here. Thanks for you question.

I'd be happy to help you with any of them if you like.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program

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.

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