18772737 - Helping Students Understand Assessment Formative...

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Unformatted text preview: Helping Students Understand Assessment Formative assessments promote learning when they help students answer three questions: Where am lgoing? Where am I now? and How can I close the gap? Jan Chappuis Ltrmg the List LlL‘L‘ULlC. many schools have begun to emphasue luunuuvc Assessman As teachers work to develop short - CyL'lL‘ UT Ctilllllltlll zleCSfilnt‘nIS Jud engage In Llut;t»tlrl\'t'n LlL'k'lSlUl't mnklng, they I) pic-ally remain in the central tlecisiun—tmtklng rule This upprnttcl't reflects the underlying assumption that tt‘ut'ht‘rs tuntml learning. Although teachers must create the trunclllluns lhr lenrmn‘r; lmwt'vt‘t. students ultimately tlet'itlc whether they feel t’ttpahlc nl' lt’flt‘ttll‘tg and whether they Wlll (lo the work, Therel'nrt“ students are equally important users nl lornmurt‘ assessment inlurmnutm The rt‘seurth tells us why. m mm x tut-1 5t l‘lkwl‘lm‘x \xh l ‘ Isl-1n I :I \l l‘t‘tnvt xi: ., 39 Necessary Components of Formative Assessment In their 1998 synthesis of research, Black and Wilt-am reported that forma- tive assessment produced significant learning gains, with effect sizes between 0.4 and 0.7. They noted, however, that in schools achieving these gains, students were the primary users of formative assessment information, in such schools, I Formative assessment began with offering students a ciear picture of learning targets. I Students received feedback on their work that helped them under- stand where they were with respect to the desired learning target. I Students engaged in self-assessment. I Formative assessment provided an understanding of specific steps that students could take to improve. Sadler (1989) had previously reported similar findings. In describing the role of formative assessment in developing expertise, he identified three conditions required for students to improve: The student comes to hold a concept of quality roughly Similar to that held by the teacher, is able to monitor continu- ously the quality of what is being produced during the act of production itself, and has a repertorre of altemative moves or strategies frotn which to draw at any given point. (p. 121) This research on effective formative assessment suggests that students should be able to answer three basic questions: Where am 1 going? Where am I now? and How can I close the gap? (adapted from Atkin, Black, 51 Coffey, 2001). The seven strategies described in the following sections can help ensure systematic student involve- ment in the formative assessment process (Stiggins, Arter, Chappuis, & Chappuis, 2004). Where Am I Going? Students need to knew what learning targets they are responsible for I t: f E t. A?! 3 U! C] To make significant achievements, students need to know what learning targets they are responsible for mastering, and at What level. mastering, and at what level. Marzano (2005) asserts that students who can identify what they are learning signifi- cantly outscore those who cannot. Strategy 1: Provide a demand under- standable vision of the learning target. Share the learning targets before you begin instruction, in language your Students can understand. For example, when introducing a reading compre~ hension unit calling for inference, you might say, “We are learning to infer. This means we are learning to make reasonable guesses on the basis of clues." Or provide students with a written list of learning targets described in student-friendly language, such as, We are learning about fractions. We are learning to I Read and write fractions with halves. thirds, fourths, and tenths. 40 Entitaritwnt. LFADFRSHtP/NOVEMBER 2005 I Read and write mixed numbers lwhole numbers plus fractions). l Change fractions written as tenths into decimals. When working with more complex content standards that call for perfor- mance assessment, such as “Writes clearly and effectively," introduce the language of the scoring guide that the school will use to define quality. To do this, ask students what they think constitutes good writing, and then help them identify where their concept of good writing matches the concepts in the scoring guide. if the scoring guide is above students reading level, you might want to create a student-friendly version. Strategy 2: Use examples of strong and weak work. To know where they are going. students must know what excel- lent performance looks like. Ask students to evaluate anonymous work samples for quality and then to discuss and defend their judgments, using the language of the scoring guide in the case of performance assessments. Such an exercise will help students develop skill in accurate self-assessment. Teachers often use strong examples, or exemplars, but avoid using weak examples because they worry that students will accidentally emulate them. On the contrary, when students evaluate weak examples that mirror common problems, they become more proficient at identifying their own weaknesses and gain a better under- standing of quality. To introduce work samples to students, you might 1. Distribute to students a student- friendly version of the scoring guide you will use to evaluate their final products. 2. Choose one aspect of quality (one trait) to focus on. 3. Show an overhead transparency of a strong anonymous sample, but don’t let students know it’s a strong example. Have students work independently to score it for the one trait using the student—friendly scoring guide. You may ask students to underline the state- ments in the scoring guide that they believe describe the work they're exam— ining. 4. After students have settled on a score independently, have them share their scores in small groups, using the language of the scoring guide to explain their reasoning. 5. Ask the class to vote and tally their scores on an overhead transparency. Then ask for volunteers to share their scores and the rationale behind them. Listen for, and encourage, use of the language of the scoring guide. 6. Repeat this process with a weak anonymous sample, focusing on the same trait. Do this several times, alter- nating between strong and weak papers, until students are able to distin- guish between strong and weak work and independently give rationales reflecting the concepts in the scoring guide (Stiggins et al., 2004). Where Am I Now? When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she once brought home a math paper with a smiley face, a minus 3, and an M at the top. When we asked her what the M meant she had learned, she looked at us as though we were trying to trick her and replied, "Math?" When we asked her what that meant she needed to work on, she frowned and ventured, “Math?” The quality of the feedback, rather than its quantity, determines its effec- tiveness (Banged-Downs, Kulik, Kulik, 67: Morgan, 1991; Sadler, 1989). The most effective feedback identifies success and also offers students a recipe for corrective action (Bloom, 1984; Brown, 1994). Grades and other coded marks—such as J+ and 92%—do not tell students what areas they need to improve. Instead, such marks signal that the work on this piece is finished. Here are some simple actions you can take to provide effective feedback: I After students have practiced using a scoring guide with anonymous work and they understand the meaning of Students gain insight from explaining the learning that their work represents and what they plan to work on next. Papers marked like this one do not give students the information they need. At best, such marks might tell the student, “I’m doing OK in math," but they will not enable the student to assess his or her own strengths and weaknesses. You can use the following two strategies to help students identify how they are currently performing in relation to the learning and actions that are expected of them. Strategy 3: Offer regular descriptive feedback. Black and Wiliam (1998) recommend that to improve formative assessment, teachers should reduce evaluative feedback—such as “3+. Good work!” or “You didn’t put enough effort into this“—and increase descriptive feedback, such as “You maintained eye contact with your audience throughout your whole presentation" or “Your problem-solving strategy for dividing all the people into equal groups worked well right up to the end, but you need to figure out what to do with the remaining people.” the phrases in the scoring guide, high- light phrases that describe strengths and weaknesses of their work. If you are working with a multitrait scoring guide, limit feedback to one or two traits at a time. I Have students traflic light their work (Atkin et al., 2001), marking it with a green, yellow, or red dot to indi- cate the level of help they need. Allow students with green and yellow dots to provide descriptive feedback to one another, while you provide feedback for students with red dots. Strategy 4: Teach students to self-assess and set goals. In giving students descrip— tive feedback, you have modeled the kind of thinking you want them to do as self-assessors. As a next step, turn that task over to students and guide them in practicing self-assessment and goal setting. You may find it useful to have students identify the strengths and weaknesses of their work be fore you offer your own feedback. Have them complete a form like the one in Figure 1 ASSOCIA'HON FOR SUPERVISION AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT 41 and staple it to their work when they turn it in. Respond with your feedback. either on the form or orally. To help students align their expecta- tions with yours, ask them to turn in a scoring guide with their work, high- lighting in yellow the phrases in the guide that they believe represent the quality of their work. On the same scoring guide, highlight in blue the phrases that you think describe their work, and retum the guide to them. Where the highlighted phrases are green (blue over yellow), your feedback matches the students self-assessment. Any highlighted phrases that remain blue or yellow. however. indicate areas in which the student probably needs to refine his or her vision of quality (Stiggins et al, 2004). If you are using a selected- response test, you can arrange the items according to the learning targets they assess and give students the list of learning targets correlated to the test item numbers. When they receive Name: One of the strongest motivators is the opportunity to look back and see progress. a time. This strategy breaks learning into more manageable chunks for students. For example, suppose that students are learning to design and conduct scientific investigations, and one part of the scoring guide describes the qualities of a good hypothesis. If students are having trouble formulating hypotheses, they can refer to that portion of the scoring guide as they differentiate between strong FIGURE 1. Student Self-Assessment Form My Strengths and Areas to improve Traitls): Name of Paper: their corrected test, students Date; can identify which learning targets they have mastered My Opinion and which learning targets My strengths are they need to work on further. They can then develop a plan for how they will improve the targeted areas. This prac- tice is especially effective if students have the opportu- nity to retake the test. How Can I Close the Gap? The final essential step in Work on My Plan What I will do now is What I think I need to work on is and weak examples of hypotheses, practice drafting hypotheses, give one another descriptive feedback on their drafts, and assess their own drafts’ strengths and weaknesses. Strategy 6: Teach students focused revi- sion. Let students practice revising their work before being held accountable by a final grade. You might begin with one of the anonymous, weak work samples that your students have evaluated (see Strategy 2). Focusing on just the single aspect of quality that they evaluated, ask students to work in pairs to either revise the sample or create a tension plan describing what the anonymous student needs to do to improve the work. Then ask students to apply the same process to their own work, either retising it to make it better or submitu ting a revision plan. For example, after assessing their draft hypotheses in science, students could use the scoring guide to write out what they need to do to improve their hypotheses. Strategy 7: Engage students in seljlrtjllectt'on and let them document and share their learning. We know the power of self-reflection to deepen learning for adults. It also works for students. One of My Teacher's or Classmate's Opinion Strengths include making formative assessment work is to keep students in touch with what they can do to close the gap between where they are now and Next time I'll ask for feedback from where they need to be. Strategy 5: Design lessons to focus on one aspect of quality at Source: From Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing It Right— Usrng It Wall, by R. J. Stiggins, .l. Arter. J. Chappuis, and S. Chappuls, 2004. Portland, OR' Assessment Training institute. Reprinted With permission. 42 EDL'LATIONAL ItaotitsnirtNovEMBrR 2005 the strongest motivators is the opportunity to look back and see progress. In a skill-based course, such as physical education, students can fill out a daily form that asks two questions: "What are two important things you learned from todays class?" and “What is one goal you have for tomorrow's class?“ Student portfolios can also promote students‘ self- reflection. ln collecting their work and insights in portfo- lios, students have the oppor— iiiniiv to relleet on their learning. develop an internal feedback loop. and understand themselves better as learners. To Lise por‘tl'oli‘ns in this way. students must clearly undei'stai'id ilteii‘ learning, goals, the steps ihni they have taken tmvni‘d reaching those goals. and how [211' they have come. lnvoh in}: students in pm‘enteteneher conferences can neeoinplish the same purpose. Students gain insight l'mm explaining to their parents the learning ihgii their work represents. their strengths as learners, and what they plan to wort; on next. Students at the Center The seven sit’alegies Lleseribed here are designed to help students heilei‘ Linden Stillitl their learning goals. recognize their mm skill level in relation in the goals. and talte responsibility [or How Will You Assess Your Students? The current emphasis on assessment leaves teachers with the difficult task i‘egiel'iing, the goals. By expanding our l'oi'inaiive assessment pmei tees to 5)‘Sit‘lt‘liltl(;ill) involve students as deeir sum makers. teacher's aeknmvledge the eonii‘ihiiiinns lhtll siiiclenis make to their own success and give them the opportunity and structure they need to become active partners in improving their learning. References .-\tltii1.] .\‘l .lilnek l‘., & Coll-91] iltltlll CldX'x'l'tlllm tiuesxnit'iii “fill the National Stiemt‘ Etlltrtlllilil .Sitiiitltiirls. \-\-'ns'hingi.nn, Dt... Xiiimnal :\L‘.1Ll€lll_\' Press. Btlligt‘flilltn‘t'tin. R L . KLiIiic. Cl. LI. Ktilik. A i (it Morgan. .\-1 l tlQQIl The institutional elleet nl leetilraek in test, like events Rt'vii’iv of L'tlllulflilil Ri‘xumh. Mill. Zl 3—238 Black. i’ . (St \\'i|i;im. D (1998l liisitlc the bled; lien" liaising Nthilel'dS through classroom assess'ineni. Piii Di‘litl l'x'iipprm. Hillll. liU—ldl‘i of how to implement assessment in the classroom. Both practical and inspiiational, this series of handbooks and casebooks will foster insights into what students know, what they can do, and how they think mathematically. The practical handbooks will guide you through the major steps of applying high«quality assessment strategies in the classroom for each grade—band leveL The cases and discussion questions include detailed case studies of teachers who have struggled with assessment and succeeded, as well as extensive facilitator guidelines and questions. Available Now! Mathematics Assessment: A Practical Handbook for Grades K—2, 3-5, 6—8 or 9—12 Mathematics Assessment: Cases and Discussion Questions for Grades K—5 or 6—12 For more information, visit www.mctrn.0rg / catalog or call toll free (800) 235—7566. I I (A NATIONAL COUNCIL OF TEACHERS 0F MATHEMATICS NC TM ."\‘~*\li |i\ll|"'. ,‘1 1.1.1”! [.71 70 l amine; L11 W; F I WHEN... M Bloom. B. i [QB-ll. The search for meihntls til group llthll'ttL‘llOlt Ll?» elieetive its NHL" tthe ttitiii'ing. Etliitiiiiiiniil LL'tlLli'HlllP, “(8t 4—l 7 Brown. A. L. LNLH) 'l he LiLlVLll'lCL‘I'llt‘i'll of learning Etliii'itiiiiiiti! “('M'illtllc'l'. JfiiHl, ~L12. Mar'znnu. R LZUOSJ \l'litii Mules iii it'llt‘EllS tl-‘uuei‘l‘miiit presentaiionl Available mm:Inai’ZLinuantlusstieiiites coin/pill [Shtii'iVersmn.prli Sacllei', D. it. lth‘Ql. toi‘iiiative .issessiiieni and the design ntinstrtietttinal a) stems liiiii‘iniiimttlSilt-nit: l8. ll9—1~H. Stiggins. R _l .Ai'ier,_].. t'hamiuis. I . it Clttlppttts. 5. lZOO-l". Clam-mini thL’M- innit for“ student learning Divine tl ll‘ejlili using 1! well I'Jnrilitntl. UR. Assessment Tminlng ll‘tSIlLLlIC. Jan Chappuis IS an author and consul- tant at the Assessment Training Insti tute, 317‘ SW Alder St, Ste. 1200, Portland, OR 97204; 503—228-3014; ichappuis@assessmentinstcom. l Pl‘cr'c‘,‘ iiil‘ \l i‘E il‘tlkli‘x tuii eiici-ieu i \i iii-«.iiiii-ui :: 43 Copyright of Educational Leadership is the property of Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. The copyright in an individual article may be maintained by the author in certain cases. Content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2009 for the course EDP 351 taught by Professor East during the Spring '09 term at West Chester.

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18772737 - Helping Students Understand Assessment Formative...

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