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Formative assessment


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  • 1. Brandman UniversityFormative AssessmentEDUU 551 Application of ComputerMahmood Sedaghatian5/8/2010<br />Formative assessment has a long history. Formative assessments have evolved as a means to adapt to student needs. Historically formative assessments were of instructional units and diagnostic assessments were used for placement purposes. Formative assessments are part of instruction designed to provide crucial feedback for teachers and students. Assessment results inform the teacher of what has been taught well and not so well. They inform students of what they have learned well and not learned so well. As opposed to a summative assessment designed to make judgments about student performance and produce grades, the role of a formative assessment is to improve learning. As opposed to benchmark tests that are used to predict student performance on other tests (most often state assessments), formative assessments are intimately connected to instruction.<br />In using formative assessment, teachers are able to determine what standards students already know and to what degree, decide what minor modifications or major changes in instruction they need to makes so that all students can succeed in upcoming instruction and on subsequent assessments, create appropriate lessons and activities for groups of learners or individual students, and inform students about their current progress in order to help them set goals for improvement.<br />Student will also benefit by being more motivated to learn, take responsibility for their own learning, become users of assessment, and learn valuable lifelong skills such as self-evaluation, self-assessment, and goal setting.<br />There is a variety of formative assessment strategies used by educators in a teaching environment such as; classroom presentation, conference, essay, exhibition/demonstration, interview, learning log, observation, performance task, portfolio, question & answer (oral), quiz, test, examination, response journal, select response, and self-assessment. As a high school mathematics teacher, I use the following formative assessment strategies in my classroom:<br />In math education, it is really important for teachers to see how their students approach the problems and how much mathematical knowledge and at what level students use when solving the problems. That is, knowing how students think in the process of learning or problem solving makes it possible for teachers to help their students overcome conceptual difficulties and, in turn, improve learning. In that sense, formative assessment is diagnostic. To employ formative assessment in the classrooms, a teacher has to make sure that each student participates in the learning process by expressing their ideas; there is a trustful environment -in which students can provide each other with feedback; s/he (the teacher) provides students with feedback; and the instruction is modified according to students' needs. In math classes, thought revealing activities such as model-eliciting activities (MEAs) and generative activities provide good opportunities for covering these aspects of formative assessment.<br />Observation<br />Observation is a process of systematically viewing and recording student behavior for the purpose of making programming decisions. Observation can take place anytime or in any setting, to assist the teacher in making the decisions required for effective teaching. The teacher:<br />•watches students as they respond to questions, study, and complete assigned tasks;<br />•listens to students as they speak and discuss with others;<br />•observes nonverbal forms of communication (e.g., attentiveness to lessons, signs of frustration);<br />•observes the students in a variety of situations/settings;<br />•draws inferences on the basis of the observations gathered;<br />•observes the student's performance, and then records the observations on a recording device (checklist, rating scale, anecdotal record) that outlines the framework and criteria for observation.<br />Performance Task<br />The performance task is an assessment strategy in which students create, produce, perform, or present, in ways that engage “real world’, meaningful, and substantive issues or problems, in order to demonstrate a skill or proficiency such as a power point presentation. The teacher:<br />•observes a student or group of students performing a specific task;<br />•shares with the student the responsibility of developing and organizing the performance task, and setting the assessment criteria;<br />•makes assessment criteria (e.g., rubrics) available to students before the beginning of the task;<br />•provides models of achievement;<br />•provides comprehensive feedback to students about their achievement;<br />•assigns a level of proficiency based on the performance.<br />Question & Answer (Oral)<br />Question and answer is a strategy whereby the teacher poses a question and the student answers it by speaking rather than by writing. Question and answer helps to determine whether students understand what is being or has been presented, or to extend thinking, generate ideas, or solve problems. The teacher:<br />•notes how students answer questions during instruction to know if the students understand what is being presented or are able to perform skills;<br />•should ensure, by tracking, that all students participate, not just those who typically respond with answers.<br />Quiz, Test, Examination<br />The quiz, test, or examination is an assessment strategy that requires students to respond to prompts in order to demonstrate their knowledge (orally or in writing) or their skills (e.g., through performance). Quizzes are usually short, examinations usually longer. The teacher:<br />•designs the quiz, test, or examination (number and type of question, length);<br />•evaluates the responses;<br />•reviews ways to answer specific types of questions (e.g., short answer, essay questions);<br />•clarifies directional words used in questions (e.g., compare, contrast, explain, justify) and gives students practice in answering such questions;<br />•should provide students with a detailed marking scheme that outlines precisely how the questions will be scored;<br />•should provide students with models of effective answers;<br />•should compose sample answers for all questions before giving or marking a test;<br />•provides sample student model answers when reviewing the answers to the quiz, test, or examination.<br />.<br />