Formative Assessments Formative Assessments are the most successful interventions in raising student achievement levels. This module will help to educate teachers on what Formative Assessments are and why it is important that all of our courses have the highest quality of formative assessments available to our students.
What are Formative Assessments?
A self-reflective process that intends to promote student attainment.
An assessment that takes place during the process of learning and teaching.
Designed to give feedback to students on their progress towards the development of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes, rather than assessment for marks or grades which are not given to students.
The gathering of information about student learning during the progression of a course or program to improve the learning of the students.
Formative assessments are designed to provide students and teachers with useful feedback on what is being learned.
Observations that allow one to determine the degree to which students know or are able to do a given learning task, and which identifies the part of the task that the student does not know or is unable to do. Outcomes suggest future steps for teaching and learning.
In Credit Recovery, all of these definitions fit in one way or another. Every definition has one key element that it revolves around: STUDENT LEARNING .
In our 12 courses, Formative Assessments are designed in Test Manager so that students get immediate feedback without waiting on the teacher to grade the assignment. The feedback is useful in the sense that there is teaching going on. Students are directed back to readings, videos, and other resources.
Why Are Formative Assessments So Important?
Formative Assessments in the face-to-face environment can take on many forms and are often very easy to implement in the classroom. There are a couple of reasons that formative assessments are so important in the virtual environment.
Face-to-Face Classroom Virtual Classroom Teacher can tell that students "get it" from non-verbal cues, such as nods and facial expressions. Student success becomes apparent in the Grade Center. When students show a lack of understanding, there are other students there to help guide their peers. Students lack the visual interactivity, relying solely on discussion boards, blogs, wikis, e-mail, etc.
These two reasons alone show us why it is so important to have "solid" methods of formative assessments in our courses. It is a way to show that the student and teacher are on the same page.
How Do We Do It?
Most of our formative assessments are built into the course in the Notes/Lessons section. However, these are not the only places where we see students struggle. How can we take the information that we see in Formative Assessments and help our students? If we see a student take a Formative Assessment multiple times with limited success, what should you do? Virtual teaching is different in some regards than the face-to-face, but it is still possible to assist the struggling student with the tools we have available to us.
What are those tools?
Utilize discussion boards to give feedback on various assignments.
Teacher feedback in assignment is critical!
Student reflection in blogs and wikis.
Individual assessment using WIMBA Classroom or Pronto sessions
Informal assessments built into Test manager with useful feedback
Synchronous weekly contact through phone calls
This list is just a start. I am sure that you are thinking of many more ways that you can help your students once you have realized that they are struggling. Don't ever wait for them to reach out to you! Monitor their work and be PROACTIVE ! Take the first step to making a difference with your Credit Recovery students.