formative e-assessment: a scoping study


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formative e-assessment: a scoping study

  1. 1. Formative e-assessment: case stories, design patterns, and future scenarios Norbert Pachler, Caroline Daly, Harvey Mellar, Yishay Mor Institute of Education, University of London
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Scoping study commissioned by JISC </li></ul><ul><li>Short term, small budget, intended to inform future funding frameworks </li></ul><ul><li>Established a committed user group of higher-education teachers & researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Adopted and adapted the Planet Project's Participatory Methodology for Practical Design Patterns, and used the Planet platform </li></ul>
  3. 3. Methodology <ul><li>Desk research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frameworks in which to situate formative e-assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>5 Practical Enquiry Days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of collaborative reflection, report back from team, and guest plenaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Launch day, 3 Planet workshops, developers' day </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>t o develop a domain map for formative e-assessment </li></ul><ul><li>to c arry out a review of relevant literature </li></ul><ul><li>t o delineate a set of key processes involved in effective formative e-assessment practice through case studies and patterns </li></ul><ul><li>t o scope a vision for formative e-assessment </li></ul><ul><li>t o make recommendations for practice and policy making </li></ul>Project aims
  5. 5. Issues from the literature – consensus? <ul><li>Formative (e)-assessment is concerned with learners making progress towards measurable attributes/knowledge/skills/understanding </li></ul><ul><li>It is about working with mechanisms and practices which allow the gap to close between what they are currently able to achieve and what they might be able to achieve </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing learners’ active responsibility for their part in the learning process is a main feature across a range of contexts and technologies </li></ul><ul><li>… but not much further consensus…differences tend to focus around whether ‘assessment’ is treated as an ‘event’ or a ‘process’. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Teacher and learner roles <ul><li>Cox et al 2008 (practice-based element of dentistry): </li></ul><ul><li>'a feedback process that provides information that can be used to fine-tune or modify what has already been done ‘….but by whom? </li></ul><ul><li>What if… </li></ul><ul><li>the teacher/tutor is ‘monitoring’ rather than ‘changing’? </li></ul><ul><li>assessment processes are purely for self-assessment? </li></ul><ul><li>the responses are automated? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Feedback <ul><li>Bull & McKenna 2004 (computer-assisted assessment CAA)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>‘… assessments which assist learning by giving feedback which indicates how the student is progressing in terms of knowledge, skills and understanding of a subject. In CAA this often takes the form of objective questions with feedback given to the student either during or immediately after the assessment. Formative assessment may be monitored by the tutor, used purely for self-assessment, or used to contribute marks to a module grade’. (p. xiv) </li></ul><ul><li>What if… </li></ul><ul><li>feedback is complex (Shute 2008), or a two-way or multi-way process? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>- we contrast Bull with Nicol & Macfarlane-Dick’s 2006 criticisms of transmission-focused feedback: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ feedback messages are invariably complex and difficult to decipher’ in transmission contexts - students find it hard to take appropriate actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>feedback tends to emphasis only cognition, not motivation and beliefs which are vital to internalization of knowledge and understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transmission-based feedback is used in highly inventive ways, e.g. to direct learners within a carefully structured test environment towards appropriate pathways which enhance motivation and self-regulation (Winkley)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What types of knowledge, skills & understanding are to be included? </li></ul><ul><li>How do feedback patterns fit into broader conceptual frameworks for learning and teaching? </li></ul>
  9. 9. What is formative e-assessment? <ul><li>The contribution of more/faster/more frequent/ automated feedback to formative assessment ( Conole & Warburton, 2005 )?? </li></ul><ul><li>The use of digital means to support formative assessment?? </li></ul><ul><li>Formative features of assessment, which are afforded by specific features of digital media?? </li></ul>
  10. 10. “ 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)‏
  11. 11. Formative = feedback + moments of contingency &quot;... These create &quot;moments of contingency,&quot; 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.&quot; (Leahy, Lyon, Thompson, and Wiliam 2005)‏
  12. 12. Wiliam's 5 strategies
  13. 13. Conversational Framework (Laurillard)‏
  14. 14. Our Methodology <ul><li>Focus on practitioner participation </li></ul><ul><li>5 practical enquiry days </li></ul><ul><ul><li>+ on-line async. pre & post work </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Case stories -> design patterns -> scenarios </li></ul>
  15. 15. Problem: Bad Design
  16. 16.
  17. 17. the limit on growth is not the capacity to produce, but the knowledge to do it right. Problem: The Design Divide the gap between those who have the expertise to develop high-quality tools and resources and those who don’t (Mor & Winters, 2008*)‏
  18. 18. Solution...
  19. 19. Design patterns Formative e-Assessment PED 5, Dec 2008 [describe] a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice (Alexander et al., 1977) ‏ C o n t e x t Problem Solution
  20. 20. Formative e-Assessment PED 5, Dec 2008 Problem Keep the rain out Context Cold, wet, poor. Method of solution Thatched roof Related Timber frame, Slanted roof, Chimney
  21. 21. example: activity nodes Formative e-Assessment PED 5, Dec 2008 Design problem Community facilities scattered individually through the city do nothing for the life of the city. Design solution Create nodes of activity throughout the community, spread about 300 yards apart.
  22. 22. Problem: acceleration <ul><li>The world is changing. Fast. Faster. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are learners. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are researchers. </li></ul><ul><li>We are all designers of our own and our peer's learning experiences. </li></ul>Son, this was my dad's mobile. I want you to have it.
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Participatory Methodology for Practical Design Patterns <ul><li>Problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Acceleration -> need for effective protocols for sharing of design knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interdisciplinary communities of practitioners engaged in collaborative reflection on a common theme of their practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>blended setting : co-located meetings + on-line collaborative authoring system. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Solution: a series of three* collaborative reflection workshops <ul><li>Case Stories Workshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engender collaborative reflection among practitioners by a structured process of sharing stories. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pattern Mining Workshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliciting patterns by reflecting on and comparing case stories. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Future Scenarios Workshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Validating and enhancing patterns by applying them to novel problems. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Workshop I: Sharing case stories
  27. 28. Problem: telling a good story is not so easy <ul><li>Inexperienced story-tellers might - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the context for granted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preach, apologise, market, or generalise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid inconvenient details </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interactive feedback should help, but peers might - </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be reluctant to criticize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attribute misunderstanding to their own faults </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Loose attention </li></ul></ul>
  28. 29. Three hats Solution: Three Hats
  29. 30. Some pointers for the case studies <ul><li>‘ E-assessment… there is still much work to be done. One of the most important messages…is simply the variety and scope for imagining new forms of assessment – and of using technology to support it in imaginative ways ’ (Whitelock and Watt 2008, p. 153)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Modernising assessment’ involves blurring the boundaries between formative and summative processes (Elliott 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than thinking in terms of ‘formative assessment’, it might be more appropriate to think in terms of how assessment can be used ‘formatively’ (Wiliam July 08)‏ </li></ul>
  30. 31. Cases Assessment focus Technology used Technology role Socio-ped setting Institutional setting HE under-graduate + post-16 self instant feedback to individual st bespoke string comparator accuracy of language items String comparison HE distance tutor self-assess-ment graphical feedback to tutors web-based tool tutor socio-emotive feedback Open mentor HE vet training WBL self peer-peer t-st, t-group reflection & multi-player feedback social networking/ mob device recording/ reflecting clinical exp. Como: mobiles + flikr HE under-graduate t-st deliver tutor feedback Audacity & dicta-phones concepts in sociology Audiofiles M-level ITE peer-peer t-st t-group represent & share thinking wiki academic writing in teacher ed Academic writing
  31. 32. A few cases <ul><li>Creature of the week </li></ul><ul><li>CoMo </li></ul><ul><li>Post 16 String Comparison </li></ul><ul><li>Open Mentor </li></ul><ul><li>... </li></ul>
  32. 33. Creature of the week (Judy Robertson)‏ <ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>large class (138), first and second year computer science students. assignment: create a virtual pet in Second Life. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engage and motivate the students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>show examples of good work which others could learn from </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>show students their work is valued. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>build a sense of community. </li></ul></ul>
  33. 35. CoMo (Niall Winters, Yishay Mor)‏ <ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Royal Vet College. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hospital rotations as part of their training. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow students to capture critical incidents in text and image. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support sharing of clinical experiences and co-reflection. </li></ul></ul>
  34. 37. Post 16 string comparison (Aliy Fowler)‏ <ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grammar school been piloting the ‘string comparison’ approach to language teaching at post-16 for AS and A2 level students. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sixth Form level, grammatical consolidation and whole-sentence translation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow students to practise written language independently and receive feedback on errors in order to improve their language skills. </li></ul></ul>
  35. 38. Solution A bespoke string (sequence) comparator was designed; uses fine-granularity sequence comparison to compare correct language strings to a user’s answer. Students answer questions and the comparator marks up errors in their input using colour coding (and font style) to highlight the different types of error. If an answer contains errors the student is given a second attempt in which to correct the submission based on the feedback received.
  36. 39. Open mentor (Denise Whitelock)‏
  37. 40. A few patterns.. <ul><li>Try Once, Refine Once </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback on Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom display </li></ul>
  38. 41. Try Once, Refine Once (Aliy Fowler)‏
  39. 42. 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 &quot;grope their way&quot; step-by-step to a correct solution without necessarily having to think about each answer as a whole.
  40. 43. Context <ul><li>Class size </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large (30-300)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills facts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mode of instruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blended / on-line. Computer tested. </li></ul></ul>
  41. 44. Solution
  42. 45. Feedback on Feedback (Linda McGuigan)‏
  43. 46. <ul><li>Good feedback should - </li></ul><ul><li>Alert learners to their weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnose the causes and dynamics of these. </li></ul><ul><li>Include operational suggestions to improve the learning experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Address socio-emotive factors. </li></ul>Tutors know this, but are pressed for time. Or not aware of their feedback strategies Large teaching organisations are not equipped to provide tutors with personal feedback on their teaching Problem
  44. 47. Context <ul><li>Large scale, technology supported, graded courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>many tutors instructing many students. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Feedback is mediated by technology that allows it to be captured and processed in real time </li></ul><ul><li>Topic of study is subject to both grading and formative feedback. </li></ul>
  45. 48. 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.
  46. 49. Classroom Display
  47. 50. Problem <ul><li>Rewards participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Relates to learner's personal experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Window on student conceptions . </li></ul>Using learner generated content.. <ul><li>Needs to collate works in a single easy to access location. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners uncomfortable about presenting their work in public </li></ul><ul><li>Legal or other restrictions on sharing work. </li></ul>
  48. 51. Context <ul><li>Class size: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small / medium (6-60)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mode of instruction: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blended (preferable)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time frame </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous, over a period </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pedagogy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Involves construction / media production </li></ul></ul>
  49. 52. Solution
  50. 53. Augmented domain map
  51. 54. Example scenario <ul><li>When using Try Once Refine Once , there is a risk that high-achievers do not receive feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>So - </li></ul><ul><li>Use Showcase Learning to celebrate students’ work and provoke feedback from peers and tutors. </li></ul><ul><li>Use Feedback on Feedback to alert tutors to the problem. </li></ul>
  52. 55. What does ‘e’ add to formative assessment? <ul><li>I. Speed </li></ul><ul><li>Speed of response is often important in enabling feedback to have an effect </li></ul><ul><li>Supports rapid iteration – in many cases the ability to give feedback quickly means that the student’s next problem solving iteration can begin more quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>II. Storage capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to access very large amounts of data (appropriate feedback/additional work/illustrations can be identified). </li></ul><ul><li>III. Processing </li></ul><ul><li>A utomation – in some situations the e-assessment system can analyse responses automatically and provide appropriate feedback. </li></ul><ul><li>S calability – can often be the result of some level of automation. </li></ul><ul><li>A daptivity – systems can adapt to students. </li></ul>
  53. 56. <ul><li>IV. Communication </li></ul><ul><li>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 more </li></ul><ul><li>This communication aspect means that aspects of communication can be captured and given a degree of semi-permanence </li></ul><ul><li>Semi- permanence supports the sharing of intellectual objects. </li></ul><ul><li>V. Construction and representation </li></ul><ul><li>Representation – the ability to represent ideas in a variety of ways and to move and translate between these representations </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can support learners in the construction of representations of their own ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>VI. Mutability </li></ul><ul><li>Shared objects are not fixed. They can be changed easily and quickly. </li></ul>
  54. 57. Conclusions <ul><li>Tip of the iceberg </li></ul><ul><li>Practitioners (educational / software) acknowledge the value of patterns, when served with side dishes of cases + scenarios </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative elicitation of patterns from cases could be a potent form of professional development. </li></ul>
  55. 58. Thank you The Formative e-Assessment project: Final report This event This presentation