The Glossary of Education Reform intended for Journalists, Father and ...

Conformative Feedback about Written Operate

When it comes to written assignments, feedback is intensely based on summative assessment, that is, getting a quality or a percentage assigned to the essay along with some basic comments. This feedback is typically received after the final variation of the assignment was passed in and students are now focused on learning the next topic. In this case, learners do not get the chance to re-think or re-write the task, and as a result will not see improvements on their up coming writing job. Therefore , as instructors, we must increase the amount of conformative feedback by making use of drafting and immediate responses, allowing for the expansion and improvement of scholar writing expertise.

1 . Studying Student Work

A lot of information may be learned coming from students’ homework, tests, and quizzes.This is particularly so in the event the students are required to explain all their thinking. Once teachers spend a bit of time and analyze college student work, they gain knowledge about:

  • A student’s current knowledge, thinking, and abilities about subject material
  • Strong points, weaknesses, and learning designs
  • Dependence on further, or special, assistance

This approach enables teachers alter their training to be more beneficial in the future.

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Expose Your Theme

The 1st paragraph of the essay can introduce the topic and supply direction for the whole essay. The introduction ought to discuss your primary idea, or what the composition is about, in that case state your thesis and points or arguments that support the thesis.

The introduction also sets the tone for your essay, and also you want to grab the reader’s attention with interest and clarity. For capturing the reader’s attention, you can make a challenging claim regarding the topic or perhaps present a lot of surprising (but factual) details.


Formative ExaminationIdeally, formative assessment approaches improve teaching and learning simultaneously. Course instructors can help students grow while learners simply by actively encouraging them to self-assess their own skills and know-how retention, and by giving clear instructions and feedback. Eight principles (adapted from Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick, 2007 with additions) may guide instructor strategies:

  • Retain clear standards for what describes good overall performance– Course instructors can clarify criteria for A-F rated papers, and encourage student discussion and reflection about these criteria (this can be achieved though office hours, rubrics, post-grade peer review, or perhaps exam as well as assignment wrappers). Instructors may also hold class-wide conversations upon performance standards at strategic moments through term.
  • Encourage students’ self-reflection– Instructors can question students to use course requirements to evaluate their own or a peer’s work, and also to share what types of feedback they find best. In addition , teachers can ask students to explain the attributes of their ideal work, either through writing or perhaps group discussion.
  • Give college students detailed, actionable feedback– Instructors can consistently provide specific opinions tied to predetermined criteria, with opportunities to change or apply feedback prior to final submission. Feedback can be corrective and forward-looking, rather than just evaluative. Examples include comments on multiple paper breezes, criterion discussions during 1-on-1 conferences, and regular online quizzes.
  • Inspire teacher and peer conversation around learning– Trainers can request students to talk about the formative learning procedure together. This kind of practice mostly revolves around midterm evaluations and small group feedback sessions, wherever students think about the training course and trainers respond to college student concerns. Pupils can also identify examples of reviews comments that they found valuable and make clear how they helped. A particularly useful strategy, course instructors can invite students to go over learning goals and assignment criteria, and weave pupil hopes in the syllabus.
  • Encourage positive mindset beliefs and self-esteem– Students could be more motivated and engaged when assured that the instructor cares about their development. Instructors enables for rewrites/resubmissions to sign that an project is designed to enhance development of learning. These rewrites might utilize low-stakes tests, or even automatic online screening that is anonymous, and (if appropriate) provides for unlimited resubmissions.
  • Provide for you to close the gap among current and desired overall performance– Associated with the above, trainers can improve student inspiration and diamond by making noticeable any opportunities to close spaces between current and wanted performance. For example opportunities intended for resubmission, certain action factors for producing or task-based assignments, and sharing study or process strategies that an instructor will use in in an attempt to succeed.
  • Gather information which may be used to help shape teaching– Teachers can feel free to collect beneficial information by students in order to provide targeted reviews and training. Students can identify where they are having difficulties, either on an assignment or test, or perhaps in created submissions. This approach also stimulates metacognition, while students are asked to consider their own learning. CTL staff can also perform a classroom declaration or execute a small group feedback session that can offer instructors with potential college student struggles.

Course instructors can find many different other conformative assessment methods through Angelo and Mix (1993),Classroom Assessment Tactics(list of techniques available here).

Summative AssessmentBecause summative assessments are usually higher-stakes than formative assessments, it is especially important to insure that the assessment aligns with the goals and expected outcomes of the instruction.

  • Use a Rubric or Table of Specifications– Instructors can use a rubric to lay out expected performance criteria for a range of grades. Rubrics will describe what an ideal assignment looks like, and summarize expected performance at the beginning of term, providing students with a trajectory and sense of completion.
  • Design Clear, Effective Questions– If designing essay questions, instructors can insure that questions meet criteria while allowing students freedom to express their knowledge creatively and in ways that honor how they digested, constructed, or mastered meaning. Instructors can read about ways to design effective multiple choice questions.
  • Assess Comprehensiveness– Effective summative assessments provide an opportunity for students to consider the totality of a course’s content, making broad connections, demonstrating synthesized skills, and exploring deeper concepts that drive or found a course’s ideas and content.
  • Make Parameters Clear– When approaching a final assessment, instructors can insure that parameters are well defined (length of assessment, depth of response, time and date, grading standards); knowledge assessed relates clearly to content covered in course; and students with disabilities are provided required space and support.
  • Consider Blind Grading– Instructors may wish to know whose work they grade, in order to provide feedback that speaks to a student’s term-long trajectory. If instructors wish to provide truly unbiased summative assessment, they can also consider a variety of blind grading techniques.

The downloads section (bottom) features a printable handout version of this web page.


Figure 1: Bridging the gap between performance and desired goal.

Wiliam & Thompson (2007) furthered this idea and concluded that three essential processes were vital to the effective use of formative assessment.

Establishing where learners are in their learning

Establishing where learners are going

Establishing how to get there

These three basic concepts would form the basis on which the government were to introduce their ˜Assessment for Learning’ strategy in 2008. The government referred to this strategy as Assessment for learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.

A study conducted by Crooks in 1988, found that effective assessment practice could have a considerable positive impact on students’ attainment and attitude. He argued that effective use of formative assessment could consolidate pupils’ learning, increase their self-motivation and teach them the fundamental learning strategies underpinning a successful education. Crooks referred to formative assessment as being one of the most potent forces influencing education. Crooks split his findings into two categories, outlined below in Figure 2.

Short term effects

Medium/Longer term effects

Focusing attention on the important aspects of the subject.

Giving students opportunities to practice skills and consolidate learning.

Guiding further instructional or learning activities within the course.

Formative Assessment in Relation to Constructivism

Constructivism is a relatively new theory in explaining how humans acquire and develop knowledge. Constructivists believe that learners are better able to process, comprehend and understand information if they have had some input in the construction of this information. Constructivists believe that learning is a social advancement that involves language, real world situations, and interaction and collaboration among learners not simply a process by which one is fed and absorbs information. The learners must be the central focus and hub of the learning process (Piaget, 1974). Constructivists believe that learning is affected by the environment the learner inhabits, their own personal opinions and beliefs and their physical and mental maturity. A learner must possess the self-motivation to want to learn in order to begin the process of doing so by selecting information, converting it to a format that they understand, formulating their own hypotheses and testing these theories and ideas by experimentation and interaction which will ultimately lead to the formulation of their own knowledge.

If a teacher is to adhere to the constructivist way of thinking, the teacher becomes a facilitator rather than simply the imparter of knowledge. It becomes their responsibility to plan, organize, guide, and direct the learner, who is held responsible for their own learning. The teacher supports the learner by suggesting ideas that are shaped from both spontaneous and planned activities, setting challenges that stimulate motivation and inspire creativity, and with the setting of tasks that encompass and promote independent thinking and new ways of learning information.

Lave (1988) stated that traditional learning situations in which students are passive recipients of knowledge are inconsistent with the learning situations of real-life. In the modern day classroom, research into constructivist theory has led to the introduction of ˜authentic learning experiences’. Authentic learning experiences have been implemented to bridge the gap between the content of the curriculum and real life application. In more traditional, arguably ˜outdated’, teaching methods subject knowledge was taught as a concept that simply had to be learnt for the sake of education usually in order to pass some form of summative assessment, most often an exam. Constructivist theories argue that it is the ability to apply this subject knowledge to the real life contexts in which it would be required that holds the key to successful education (Browns, Collins & Duguid, 1989). The information is given a relevance which triggers the learner to want to obtain knowledge, rather than simply because they have been instructed to do so (Gardner, 1991). Constructivists argue that this approach creates an effective foundation for each pupil, whereby the pupil can construct knowledge by relating it in a logical way to their existing knowledge. Herrington & Oliver (2000) outline nine essential characteristics of authentic learning experiences.

1. Provide authentic contexts that reflect the way knowledge will be used in real life.

2. Provide authentic activities.

3. Provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes.

4. Provide multiple roles and perspectives.

5. Support collaborative construction of knowledge.

6. Provide reflection to enable abstraction to be formed.

7. Provide articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit.

8. Provide coaching and scaffolding by the teacher at critical times.

9. Provide for authentic assessment of learning within the tasks.

Authentic learning experiences present pupils with an opportunity to investigate their learning and develop their own sense of understanding. Pupils are often encouraged to work within collaborative groups in order to expose them to alternative view points that can help them either form, clarify or justify their own thoughts. A constructivist stance would be that each pupil within the classroom is unique and will engage in thought processes and form interpretations of the same experience in different ways. Authentic learning experiences not only allow pupils to form their own understanding of taught concepts, but also allow them the freedom to utilise these concepts in different ways (Mims, 2003). In recent years, constructivist approaches to learning are being integrated with constantly developing forms of technology, particularly within the realms of assessment. Technology is bringing forth opportunities for pupils to engage with authentic learning tasks that would previously not have been available to them. This technology is also becomingly increasingly mobile, with the introduction of data-enabled mobile phones, tablet computers, laptops, etc., allowing pupils to now access information from a practically infinite number of locations. Technology is extremely evident within the classroom environment through various mediums such as the Interactive White Board, tablet computers, etc. allowing for game-based learning, and providing pupils with real-life contextualisation in a digital format that provides an element of interactivity that previously one could only imagine. Technology skills themselves are seen as a necessity for advancement in current and future society. By combining constructivist approaches to learning and technology, students are acquiring more than one useful skill. Assessment therefore not only assesses the curricular knowledge that created the learning goal, but the learner’s ability to apply this knowledge through the use of technology as well.

Shepard (2000) makes distinct connections between the idea of formative assessment and the constructivist movement suggesting that learning is an active process, building on previous knowledge, experience, skills, and interests and that formative assessment effectively feeds into this cycle. Giebelhaus & Bowman (2002) state that learning is highly individualized. Constructivism recognizes that teaching must be adaptive to the context, involving complex decision-making, and requiring that a teacher draws upon a repertoire of techniques. It is assumed by constructivist theory that information or feedback to students in provided continuously and consistently as learning progresses. Formative assessment allows for this continuous stream of feedback to be provided to the learners, allowing them to take control of their own learning and respond to the principles outlined by the constructivist theory.

8. Exit/Admit Tickets

A simple but effective formative assessment is the exit ticket.Exit tickets are small pieces of paper or cards that students deposit as they leave the classroom.Students write down an accurate interpretation of the main idea behind the lesson taught that day. Next, they provide more detail about the topic.

Admit tickets are done at the very beginning of the class. Students may respond to questions about homework, or on the lesson taught the day before.

Sample Resume : Bed Foundation Phase

tertiary intuitions there is a process that one needs to follow when it comes to handing in assignments. Question 2 Henning, E., Gravett. S., van Rensburg, W. (2005). Finding your way in Academic Writing. Pretoria: Van Shaik. Leach, N. (2014). Formative computer based assessments to enhance teaching and learning. South African Journal of Education. 28 (3): 1033-1046 Slater, R. (2012). Evaluating Internet Sources. University of Illinois Library website. Available at: http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/webeval

Formative Assessment vs Summative Assesment

Cowie and Bell (1999) refer to formative assessment as: The process used by teachers and students to recognise and respond to student learning in order to enhance that learning, during the learning. They allude to the idea that formative assessment is a continuous process. This idea of a constant procedure of development is one which is referred to by many theorists. Ginsburg (2009) states that Formative assessment is generally defined as assessment for the purpose of instruction. The central idea is that assessment should not be reserved for an examination of achievement after the teacher has completed instruction. Rather, assessment should be used to gain information that can help the teacher plan effective instruction, particularly for the individual. This refers to the fact that formative assessment should be used to inform the teacher’s ˜instruction’. This furthers this idea of a continuous process and creates the argument that formative assessment is cyclic in its nature.

One could argue that certain forms of formative assessment are no different than certain methods of summative assessment, and this raises an important issue. It could be stated that it is not the assessment that acts as the variable in the process of formative assessment, but rather it is the way in which the assessment is used. For example, one may carry out a method of assessment that upon first impression could be deemed as ˜summative’, but if the results of this measurement are then used to inform future developments in the teaching/learning process, then surely it can be concluded that this is a use of formative assessment. Crooks (1988) referred to this idea as the formative impact of summative assessment.

In the past, assessment in early mathematics had always been seen as a method of recording pupil attainment. Many theorists and practitioners have debated about the varying mediums of assessment, such as formal examinations and on-going coursework, because they could not agree on which form of assessment would best represent a pupil’s learning, but one aspect that was agreed upon was that assessment was primarily about evaluating the effects of instruction. (Wiliam, 2007). In more recent times, research began to focus more analytically at the function assessment could play in actually improving pupils’ learning rather than simply measuring it a characteristic that has been precisely captured as the difference between assessment for learning and assessment of learning. (Gipps & Stobart, 1997).

Assessment for learning is any assessment for which the first priority in its design and practice is to serve the purpose of promoting pupils’ learning. It thus differs from assessment designed primarily to serve the purposes of accountability, or of ranking, or of certifying competence. An assessment activity can help learning if it provides information to be used as feedback, by teachers, and by their pupils, in assessing themselves and each other, to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged. Black, 2004

In UK education

In the UK education system, formative assessment (or assessment for learning) has been a key aspect of the agenda for personalised learning. The Working Group on 1419 Reform led by Sir Mike Tomlinson, recommended that assessment of learners be refocused to be more teacher-led and less reliant on external assessment, putting learners at the heart of the assessment process.

The UK government has stated that personalised learning depends on teachers knowing the strengths and weaknesses of indiv

The Assessment Reform Group has set out the following 10 principles for formative assessment.

  • be part of effective planning of teaching and learning
  • focus on how students learning attitude
  • be recognised as central to >Benefits for teachers (Boston, 2002)
  • Teachers are able to determine what standards students already know and to what degree.
  • Teachers can dec

9. One-Minute Papers

One-minute papers are usually done at the end of the day. Students can work individually or in groups here. They must answer a brief question in writing. Typical questions posed by teachers center around:

  • Main point
  • Most surprising concept
  • Questions not answered
  • Most confusing area of topic
  • What question from the topic might appear on the next test

Without formative assessments, the first indication that a student doesn’t grasp the material is when they fail a quiz or a test.An innovative formative assessment strategy like this can take failure out of the classroom.


The time between formative assessment and adjustments to learning can be a matter of seconds or a matter of months. Some examples of formative assessment are:

  • A language teacher asks students to choose the best thesis statement from a selection; if all choose correctly she moves on; if only some do she may initiate a
  • A teacher asks her students to write down, in a brainstorm activity, all they know about how hot-air balloons work so that she can discover what students already know about the area of science she is intending to teach.
  • A science supervisor looks at the previous year’s student test results to help plan teacher workshops during the summer vacation, to address areas of weakness in student performance.
  • A teacher documents student work and student conferences to help plan authentic activities to meet student needs
  • Students could be given each one of three traffic cards to indicate the level at which they are understanding a concept during a lesson. Green means that the student is understanding the concept and the teacher can move on, yellow indicates that the instructor should slow down because the student is only somewhat understanding the concept, and red indicates that the student wishes that the teacher stops and explains a specific concept more clearly because they are not understanding it.
  • As students are leaving