Overview of Research

Year 3 Support Materials

Year 3 HPE: Five station tabloid

Assessment Principle 2: Assessment should be educative

Often, formative assessment strategies, such as the one used in this snapshot, look like usual lesson activities and this is to be expected. In 2002, The Assessment Reform Group in the UK published principles for formative assessment. One of these principles is that assessment for learning should be central to classroom practice.

Much of what teachers and learners do in classrooms can be described as assessment. That is, tasks and questions prompt learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills. What learners say and do is then observed and interpreted, and judgements are made about how learning can be improved. These assessment processes are an essential part of everyday classroom practice and involve both teachers and learners in reflection, dialogue and decision-making (Assessment Reform Group, 2002).

Instructional activities are more likely to provide worthwhile information about where students are in their learning when the assessment component is carefully planned. The teacher in this snapshot deliberately devised an activity to elicit information about the students' ability to catch a ball and to use game tactics to gain possession of the ball. He has also planned for providing feedback to students and planned for how he will use the information to guide his lesson planning.

Formative assessment is an evidentiary process. Teachers and students both must gather and interpret evidence of student understanding or performance. Teachers interpret the meaning [sic] student work by giving feedback to students. Students interpret the meaning of their own work by self-assessment. Self-regulation theory considers teacher feedback part of external regulation of learning and student self-assessment part of internal regulation of learning.

Teachers who are expert at formative assessment collect information about their students' thinking, interpret the meaning behind their responses in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and consider what next learning experience or feedback will address those specific needs. Teachers who are not expert at formative assessment evaluate the correctness of their students' responses on tests and re-teach topics based on percent correct. In other words, teachers who are skilled at formative assessment focus on learning – what the students are doing – and teachers who are not skilled at formative assessment focus on teaching – what they should do ‘to’ the students next. Note that after interpreting work, teachers need a repertoire of follow-up strategies that are somehow different because of the formative assessment information. Teachers find acting on formative assessment information even more difficult than interpreting it (Brookhart, 2011, p. 3).

Assessment Principle 3: Assessment should be fair

In this snapshot, the teacher ensured that his assessment criteria reflected his learning objectives and that he observed individual students closely. It is therefore more likely that his task would result in a valid and fair assessment of his students’ skills.

Reflection questions
  • How do you incorporate your planning for assessment into your lesson plans?
  • How successful are you in acting on the formative assessment information you collect?
  • Do your follow-up activities look different somehow because of your assessment of your students?

Year 3 History snapshot: History baseball

Assessment Principle 1: Assessment should be an integral part of Teaching and Learning

Often, formative assessment strategies, such as the one used in this snapshot, look like usual lesson activities and this is to be expected. In 2002, The Assessment Reform Group in the UK published principles for formative assessment. One of these principles is that assessment for learning should be central to classroom practice.

Much of what teachers and learners do in classrooms can be described as assessment. That is, tasks and questions prompt learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills. What learners say and do is then observed and interpreted, and judgements are made about how learning can be improved. These assessment processes are an essential part of everyday classroom practice and involve both teachers and learners in reflection, dialogue and decision making (Assessment Reform Group, 2002).

Instructional activities are more likely to provide worthwhile information about where students are in their learning when the assessment component is carefully planned. The teacher in this snapshot has deliberately constructed the activity to elicit information about the students' ability to pose questions about historical understandings as well as questions about facts. He has also planned for providing feedback to students and planned for how he will use the information to guide his lesson planning.

Formative assessment is an evidentiary process. Teachers and students both must gather and interpret evidence of student understanding or performance. Teachers interpret the meaning [sic] student work  by giving feedback to students. Students interpret the meaning of their own work by self-assessment. Self-regulation theory considers teacher feedback part of external regulation of learning and student self-assessment part of internal regulation of learning.

Teachers who are expert at formative assessment collect information about their students' thinking, interpret the meaning behind their responses in terms of strengths and weaknesses, and consider what next learning experience or feedback will address those specific needs. Teachers who are not expert at formative assessment evaluate the correctness of their students' responses on tests and re-teach topics based on percent correct. In other words, teachers who are skilled at formative assessment focus on learning – what the students are doing – and teachers who are not skilled at formative assessment focus on teaching – what they should do "to" the students next. Note that after interpreting work, teachers need a repertoire of follow-up strategies that are somehow different because of the formative assessment information. Teachers find acting on formative assessment information even more difficult than interpreting it (Brookhart, 2011, p. 3).

Reflection questions
  • How do you incorporate your planning for assessment into your lesson plans?
  • How successful are you in acting on the formative assessment information you collect?
  • Do your follow-up activities look different somehow because of your assessment of your students?
References

Assessment Reform Group. (2002). Research-based principles of assessment to guide classroom practice. Retrieved http://assessmentreformgroup.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/10principles_english.pdf

Brookhart, S. (2011). The Use of Assessment to Support Learning in Schools �" Formative Assessment. Executive summary of address presented to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), India and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) International Educational Conference, New Delhi, India. Retrieved http://www.acer.edu.au/documents/Susan.Brookhart.pdf