Formative Assessment Tools

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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.

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Session Questions

1- How Do We Close the Learning Gap?

Assessment is THE tool to use that closes the learning gap. That gap, of course, is between where the student is now and where they need to be. Did you know that formative assessment can double student learning gains

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 

2- Why Does It Matter?

Feedback strategies are critical. We have to know how to offer feedback for two main reasons:

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:

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

Adapted from David Perkins (2003) The Ladder of Feedback and John Hattie (2014) The Power of Feedback. You can also: Get Your Own Copy in Google Slides format 

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:

Feedback works when:

More Resources on Feedback

Wondering how to structure your feedback? Follow these guidelines:

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.

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