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RIDE 2010 presentation - Formative e-assessment: case stories, design patterns, and future scenarios



Research in Distance Education: impact on practice conference, 27 October 2010. Presentation in Assessment Strand by Dr Harvey Mellar, Institute of Education. ...

Research in Distance Education: impact on practice conference, 27 October 2010. Presentation in Assessment Strand by Dr Harvey Mellar, Institute of Education.
More details at www.cde.london.ac.uk.



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  • We define formative e-assessment as the use of ICT to support the iterative process of gathering and analysing information about student learning by teachers as well as learners and of evaluating it in relation to prior achievement and attainment of intended, as well as unintended learning outcomes, in a way that allows the teacher or student to adjust the learning trajectory
  • harveyLevel 2http://patternlanguagenetwork.myxwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/Groups.FormativeEAssessment/
  • Key findings from the literatureThe domain is complex and contentious:there is a wide heterogeneity in the literature, and frequent slippage between terms such as ‘assessment’ and ‘learning’, ‘formative’ and ‘summative’ and there are widely differing theoretical emphasesa wide variety of perspectives and practices exist which prioritise different educational goals; components have been identified to reflect a variety of actors, learning intentions, roles and activities, and the mechanisms involved in enabling progression of learning towards measurable attributesFrom: ‘practice’ assessment, or serial (or repeated) summative assessmentTo: synonymous with learning
  • What does ‘e’ add?Speed Storage capacityProcessingCommunication Construction and representationMutabilityAdaptivity’ is a core component of e-assessment processes indicating the flexible responsiveness on the part of learners and teachers which may or may not itself involve the use of technology.I. Speed Speed of response is often important in enabling feedback to have an effectSupports rapid iteration – in many cases the ability to give feedback quickly means that the student’s next problem solving iteration can begin more quickly.II. Storage capacityAbility to access very large amounts of data (so appropriate feedback/additional work/illustrations can be identified).III. ProcessingAutomation – in some situations the e-assessment system can analyse responses automatically and provide appropriate feedback.Scalability – can often be the result of some level of automation.Adaptivity – systems can adapt to students.V. Communication Often the advantage of the ‘e’ is that it enables rapid communication of ideas across a range of audiences, and the technology allows this range to be controlled it can be just one person, a group, a class or moreThis communication aspect means that aspects of communication can be captured and given a degree of semi-permanenceThis semi permanence supports the sharing of intellectual objects.V. Construction and representationRepresentation – the ability to represent ideas in a variety of ways and to move and translate between these representationsTechnology can support learners in the construction of representations of their own ideas.By representation technology enables concepts to be ‘shaped’ and therefore affects their meaning, i.e. representation makes use of symbols which help meanings developIn representing their ideas in digital artefacts (creating these intellectual objects) learners open up a window on their thinking.VI. Mutability Shared objects are not fixed, they can change/be changed easily and quickly.

RIDE 2010 presentation - Formative e-assessment: case stories, design patterns, and future scenarios RIDE 2010 presentation - Formative e-assessment: case stories, design patterns, and future scenarios Presentation Transcript

  • Formative e-assessment: case stories, design patterns, and future scenarios
    Harvey Mellar
    London Knowledge Lab
    Institute of Education, University of London
  • Overview
    Short term, scoping study commissioned by JISC, and supported by the Centre for Excellence in Work-based Learning for Education Professionals
    • Methodology
    • Desk research
    • Literature review
    • Comparing frameworks
    • Five Practical Enquiry Days
    • Combination of collaborative reflection, report back from teams, and guest plenaries
    • Launch day, three Planet workshops, developers' day
    (Adopted and adapted the Planet Project's Participatory Methodology for Practical Design Patterns - http://patternlanguagenetwork.wordpress.com)
    • Wiki for collaborative authoring of patterns http://purl.org/planet/Groups.FormativeEAssessment/
  • What is formative assessment?
  • A definition
    “An assessment functions formatively when evidence about student achievement elicited by the assessment is interpreted and used to make decisions about the next steps in instruction that are likely to be better, or better founded, than the decisions that would have been made in the absence of that evidence”
    (Dylan Wiliam)‏
  • Five strategies
    Feed up
    Feed back
    Feed forward
    Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31.
  • Moments of contingency
    Teachers design their instruction to yield evidence about student achievement, by carefully crafting hinge-point questions, for example. These create ‘moments of contingency’, in which the direction of the instruction will depend on student responses. Teachers provide feedback that engages students, make time in class for students to work on improvement, and activate students as instructional resources for one another.
    (Leahy, Lyon, Thompson and Wiliam, 2005)
  • Participatory Methodology for Practical Design Patterns
  • 8
    Case Stories Workshop
    Engender collaborative reflection among practitioners by a structured process of sharing stories of successful practice
  • 9
    Pattern Mining Workshop
    Shift from anecdotes to transferable design knowledge by identifying commonalities across case stories, and capturing them in a semi-structured form
  • C o n t e x t
    The core template
    • Context
    • Where, when, who (all the things you can’t change)
    • Problem (pick one!)
    • We want to do A under condition B but are constrained by C
    • Solution
    (in any order that
    works for you)
    Cookbook: ingredients, procedure, expected outcomes
    What are we trying to achieve / solve?
    When, Where, Who
  • 11
    Future Scenarios Workshop
    Validate design patterns by applying them to novel real problems in real contexts
  • Cases
  • Creature of the week (Judy Robertson)‏
    Large class (138), first and second year computer science students. Assignment: create a virtual pet in Second Life
    • Engage and motivate the students
    • show examples of good work which others could learn from
    • show students their work is valued.
    • build a sense of community.
  • CoMo (Niall Winters, Yishay Mor)‏
    • Royal Veterinary College
    • Hospital rotations as part of the training
    • Allow students to capture critical incidents in text and image
    • Support sharing of clinical experiences and co-reflection
  • Open mentor (Denise Whitelock)‏
  • patterns
  • Try Once, Refine Once(Aliy Fowler)‏
  • Problem
    Lack of immediate feedback for students leads to fossilisation of errors and misconceptions
    providing immediate feedback in an iterative fashion can also hinder effective learning since students are able to "grope their way" step-by-step to a correct solution without necessarily having to think about each answer as a whole.
  • Context
    Class size
    • Large (30-300)‏
    • Skillsfacts
    Mode of instruction
    • Blendedon-line. Computer tested
  • Solution
    • Students are posed questions of a type which elicit answers that can contain multiple errors
    • If a student's answer is entirely correct a mark of 100% is awarded
    • If their answer contains errors, a mark is given which contributes to a percentage of the total mark for the question, along with detailed - yet generic - feedback on the location and type of the errors
    • Students are then permitted a second attempt in which to refine their answer
    • The mark for the 2nd attempt contributes to remaining percentage of the total mark for the question
    • Feedback on any remaining errors is also given, along with the correct answer(s)
    • No further attempts are permitted
  • Feedback on Feedback(Linda McGuigan)‏
  • Problem
    Good feedback should
    • Alert learners to their weaknesses.
    • Diagnose the causes and dynamics of these.
    • Include operational suggestions to improve the learning experience.
    • Address socio-emotive factors.
    Tutors know this, but are pressed for time, or are not aware of their feedback strategies
    Large teaching organisations are not equipped to provide tutors with personal feedback on their teaching
  • Context
    Large scale, technology supported, graded courses
    • many tutors instructing many students
    Feedback is mediated by technology that allows it to be captured and processed in real time
    Topic of study is subject to both grading and formative feedback
  • Solution
    Embed a mechanism in the learning and teaching system that regularly captures tutor feedback, analyses it, and presents them with graphical representation of the types of feedback they have given. Ideally, this should also include constructive advice as to how to shift from less to more effective forms.
    In computer supported environments (e.g. VLEs), this mechanism could be integrated into the system, providing tutors with immediate analysis of their feedback, as well as long-term aggregates.
  • High achievers
    When using Try Once Refine Once, there is a risk that high-achievers do not receive feedback
    • Use Showcase Learning to celebrate students’ work and provoke feedback from peers and tutors
    • Use Feedback on Feedback to alert tutors to the problem
  • Augmented domain map
  • Reminder of the five strategies
    Feed up
    Feed back
    Feed forward
    Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31.
  • http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/projects/scopingfinalreport.pdf
  • Practical design patterns for teaching and learning with technology
    A book for Sense Publisher's 'Technology Enhanced Learning' series
    Editors: Yishay Mor (London Knowledge Lab), Steven Warburton (King's College London) and Niall Winters (London Knowledge Lab)