Classroom Formative Assessment
1. Student Learning Outcomes
Dylan Wiliam, pioneer of the use of assessment for learning, advocates that when teachers make student learning outcomes explicit and share criteria for student success, learning can substantially improve (Ahead of the Curve, 192). To this end, our school division made SLOs a focal point for teacher learning in the 2008-2009 school year. The following links provide resources for teachers in providing opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning outcomes.
What does it look like when the curriculum outcomes are made explicit for students and strategies are used to involve students in understanding their own learning? Here are some practical suggestions which are loosely organized around six strategies (some suggestions might fit in more than one category):
Outcomes are written in student friendly language.
Outcomes are linked to classroom activities.
Outcomes are linked to assessment and evaluation.
Outcomes are referenced before, during and at the end of the lesson.
Outcomes are dynamic, not static. In other words, as learning progresses the understanding of the outcome develops more depth and meaning.
Students routinely use the outcomes in their learning--they are involved metacognitively in their learning.
Want to share your tactics in making the learning destination explicit? Email your pictures or files to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Understanding Quality
There are several ways to help students understand what quality work looks like. Jan Chappuis explains that an effective formative assessment practice is the use of strong and weak examples of student work. Students come to understand the meaning of proficiency in regard to learning outcomes when they can assess samples that display student work that meet the outcomes on a variety of levels. An appropriate tactic would be for students to use rubrics to score assignments or test questions which would build an understanding of the rubric itself. This, in turn, would allow them to self-assess as they engage in their own activities.
Anne Davies suggested a four step approach to the co-construction of criteria with students:
Here is an excellent example of how the co-construction of criteria works.
3. Feedback for Learning
The most important aspect of providing feedback to students is to separate descriptive feedback from grading. Teachers should not grade all student work, but provide comments that allow the student to learn from making errors in a non-punitive way. It is the quality of the feedback that provides the best learning for the student. Here are some points to remember in giving feedback:
4. Student Goal Setting and Self Assessment
Chappuis (2009) explains that when students set specific and challenging goals for themselves, they should do so in regard to the curriculum outcomes--not to the attainment of specific grades. If the outcomes are met at a higher level, the grades will follow. Student goals should answer these three questions:
Goals can be set and amended at any time of the school year. They are most often set with teachers and parents input, with an identification of the supports needed to meet the goals and with discussion as to how the student will know if and when the goal is met. Goal-setting involves reflection, collection of information and understanding of standards. The following files might help in setting student goals:
6. Focussed Revision
Two suggestions right now, but much more in development!
Last Updated on Friday, 08 April 2011 14:17