Formative e-Assessment: some theoretical resources

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Formative e-Assessment: some theoretical resources

  1. 1. Formative e-assessment: some theoretical resources Dylan Wiliam www.dylanwiliam.net
  2. 2. A brief history of formative assessment <ul><li>A kind of assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any assessment taken before the last one </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A purpose for assessing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Assessment for learning” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A function that the assessment outcomes serve </li></ul>
  3. 3. Feedback metaphor <ul><li>Feedback in engineering </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to explosive increase or collapse (bad!) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negative feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to asymptotic convergence to, or damped oscillation about, a stable equilibrium </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Components of a feedback system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>data on the actual level of some measurable attribute; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>data on the reference level of that attribute; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a mechanism for comparing the two levels and generating information about the ‘gap’ between the two levels; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a mechanism by which the information can be used to alter the gap. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To an engineer, information is therefore feedback only if the information fed back is actually used in reducing the gap between actual and desired states. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Relevant studies <ul><li>Fuchs & Fuchs (1986) </li></ul><ul><li>Natriello (1987) </li></ul><ul><li>Crooks (1988) </li></ul><ul><li>Kluger & DeNisi (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Black & Wiliam (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Nyquist (2003) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Formative assessment 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. Formative assessment therefore involves the creation of, and capitalization upon, moments of contingency (short, medium and long cycle) in instruction with a view to regulating learning (proactive, interactive, and retroactive).
  6. 6. Some principles <ul><li>A commitment to formative assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not entail any view of what is to be learned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not entail any view of what happens when learning takes place </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Types of formative assessment <ul><li>Long-cycle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Span: across units, terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Length: four weeks to one year </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Medium-cycle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Span: within and between teaching units </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Length: one to four weeks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Short-cycle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Span: within and between lessons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Length: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>day-by-day: 24 to 48 hours </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>minute-by-minute: 5 seconds to 2 hours </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Unpacking formative assessment <ul><li>Key processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing where the learners are in their learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing where they are going </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Working out how to get there </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learners </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Aspects of formative assessment Activating students as owners of their own learning Understand learning intentions Learner Activating students as learning resources for one another Understand and share learning intentions Peer Providing feedback that moves learners forward Engineering effective discussions, tasks and activities that elicit evidence of learning Clarify and share learning intentions Teacher How to get there Where the learner is Where the learner is going
  10. 10. Five “key strategies”… <ul><li>Clarifying, understanding, and sharing learning intentions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>curriculum philosophy (goals and horizons) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engineering effective classroom discussions, tasks and activities that elicit evidence of learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>classroom discourse, interactive whole-class teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Providing feedback that moves learners forward </li></ul><ul><ul><li>feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Activating students as learning resources for one another </li></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative learning, reciprocal teaching, peer-assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Activating students as owners of their own learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>metacognition, motivation, interest, attribution, self-assessment </li></ul></ul>(Wiliam & Thompson, 2007)
  11. 11. … and one big idea <ul><li>Use evidence about the outcomes of instruction to meet student needs </li></ul>
  12. 12. The learning milieu <ul><li>Feedback must cause a cognitive engagement in learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mastery orientation vs. performance orientation (Dweck) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth pathway vs. well-being pathway (Boekaerts) </li></ul></ul>

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