Assessment and instruction go hand in hand in a classroom that focuses on the student. Join me as we explore a variety of digital tools and strategies to assess student readiness in order to make decisions about current and future instruction.
1- How Do We Close the Learning Gap?
Formative assessment is an ongoing, low-stakes assessment that provides feedback to both students and teachers regularly.
To gauge where students are in their learning, they must be assessed
- after learning
2- Why Does It Matter?
Feedback strategies are critical. We have to know how to offer feedback for two main reasons:
- Accelerate student learning
- Encourage student ownership of their learning
Types of feedback to offer are important to consider.
Formative evaluation, a.k.a. assessments, provide stakeholders with critical feedback students need to achieve learning objectives.
Feedback is MORE effective than formative evaluation (d=0.40). This enables them to close the gap between where they are, and where they need to be (the learning target or objective).
Feedback’s effect size depends its type:
- Tasks and Processes (d=0.62)
- Using Technology (d=0.61) (needs to be immediate and included "elaborated feedback" or describe what, why or how in your explanation)
- Timing (d=0.49)
- About the Self (d=0.13)
Powerful information! How do you address this in the classroom?
Any strategy with an effect size greater than 0.40 has the potential to accelerate student growth in one school year.
Alternative Assessments (d=0.36)
"The more usual assessment methods involve written summative or end of a course or series of lessons. Alternative methods include oral presentations, progress monitoring, and performance methods."
How Offer Effective Feedback
Feedback in the classroom can be defined as “information allowing a learner to reduce the gap between what is evident currently and what could or should be the case.”
A teacher providing feedback is effective when two conditions are met:
When the teacher shares specific learning goals
When the teacher discusses success criteria with students
Feedback works when:
Students learn and their work improves.
Students become more motivated. They believe they can learn, they want to learn, and they take more control over their own learning.
Your classroom becomes a safe space where feedback is valued and productive.
More Resources on Feedback
Wondering how to structure your feedback? Follow these guidelines:
Make sure the feedback is factual, objective, and safe.
Prioritize feedback to address the most important needs first.
Limit the feedback to two to three specific recommendations linked to the learning goal(s).
Ask a student to tell you what he thinks you are trying to say to him.
Provide elaborated feedback (describing the what, how, why) in manageable units (don’t overload).
Ask students: “In light of what I have provided you, what would you best do next?"
Practice testing has an effect size of 0.46. The Visible Learning Meta X database describes it this way:
Practice testing is a well-established strategy for improving student learning. The aim of practice testing is to support long-term retention.
It is also to increase access to retrieving the “to-be-remembered” information and is sometimes called retrieval practice, practice testing, or test-enhanced learning.
3- What Digital Tools Do We Have?
If we need to provide just-in-time feedback to students, how do we gather that data quickly? The answer is to use digital tools.
Divide up into groups of three. These will be your home groups.
Select which of the following topics is of MOST interest. Each person in the group must pick only ONE topic.
When prompted, split into expert groups of five to discuss YOUR area. You will explore the resources linked below. This jigsaw organizer may be helpful for you (here is a digital copy if you prefer to use that).
When time is up, report back to your home group. Share what you've learned with each other.
Be prepared to share takeaways and insights with the whole group.