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Exploring Assessment for Learning

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You can use this presentation to:


Update, review and/or reflect on the formative assessment practices in your classroom or school Use as a resource for exploring professional development in formative assessment. Support in-depth Leadership and Assessment PLD in your school.

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What do we want for our students?


We all want students who have high expectations of themselves as learners; students who feel confident about their capacity to learn, who set high goals for their learning, and who work for themselves to construct enjoyable, challenging learning pathways to their futures (Absolum, 2006)

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The word assess

Comes from the Latin verb assidere meaning to sit with. In assessment, one should sit with the learner. This implies it is something we do with and for students and not to students (Green, 1998)

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How do you see assessment?


Activity: Use the listed terms as a starting point to develop a representation (model, mind-map, concept map) of how you see the relationship between summative and formative assessment. This may form the basis for professional discussion in your learning community.
Assessment point/task After learning During learning Feedback Feed-forward Learning continuum Of learning For learning Looks back Looks forward Review/reflect Improve/enhance

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What are summative and formative assessment?


The garden analogy
If we think of our children as plants

Summative assessment of the plants is the process of simply


measuring them. It might be interesting to compare and analyse measurements but, in themselves, these do not affect the growth of the plants.

Formative assessment, on the other hand, is the equivalent of


feeding and watering the plants appropriate to their needs - directly affecting their growth.
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Formative and summative assessment


An easy distinction between formative and summative assessment: Formative assessment is assessment for learning. Its focus is on future achievement. Summative assessment is assessment of learning. It assesses what has been learnt in the past. However, formative and summative assessment are interconnected. They seldom stand alone in construction or effect. Using the terms formative and summative assessment can give the impression that these are different kinds of assessment or are linked to different methods of gathering evidence. This is not the case; what matters is how the evidence is used. (Harlen, 2006)
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Useful quotes
Formative assessment uses evidence about achievement to adapt instruction to meet learner needs. (Wiliam, 2008)
Assessment for the purpose of improving student learning is best understood as an ongoing process that arises out of the interaction between teaching and learning. (NZC, 2007) Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what theyre currently doing. (Popham, 2008)

Students who have well developed assessment capabilities are able and motivated to access, interpret, and use information from quality assessment in ways that affirm or further their learning. (Directions for Assessment in New Zealand, 2009)
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What does the research say?


In 1998 Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam of Kings College, London published their wide-ranging analysis of research into classroom-based assessment:

Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment


The article concludes with: There is a body of firm evidence that formative assessment is an essential feature of classroom work and that development of it can raise standards. We know of no other way of raising standards for which such a strong prima facie case can be made on the basis of evidence of such large learning gains.

For the full text of the article, go to: http://weaeducation.typepad.co.uk/files/blackbox-1.pdf

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The Black Box: findings


Black and Wiliams research indicates that improving learning through assessment depends on five deceptively simple factors:
1. Providing effective feedback to students. 2. Students active involvement in their own learning.

3. Adjusting teaching to take account of the results of assessment.


4. Recognising the profound influence of assessment on students motivation and self-esteem - both crucial influences on learning. 5. Ensuring pupils assess themselves and understand how to improve.
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In summary
The findings of Black & Wiliam indicate that the most significant learning gains occur when teachers and students work collaboratively to address learning needs.
To maximise achievement, it is critical that assessment information is used with students so that they understand and have a sense of ownership of their learning.

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Implications for classroom practice (not a comprehensive list)

Being confident that every student can improve.


Creating a learning environment which supports a partnership between teacher and students. Using assessment to inform teaching and learning

Sharing assessment results with students and constructing clear and accessible learning goals with them
Clarifying or co-constructing learning outcomes and ensuring that students understand them

Involving students in self and peer assessment and giving them opportunities to reflect on their learning.
Providing feedback that helps students recognise their next steps and how to take them.
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Self-evaluation
Rate yourself from: 5 I do this consistently well, to: 0 I dont do this at all

Do you have confidence that every student in your class can improve? How well do you:
Create a learning environment in your classroom? Share achievement information with students and co-construct clear learning goals with them? Use assessment information to feed back into teaching? Clarify learning outcomes with students?

Involve students in self and peer assessment?


Provide timely focused feedback?

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What evidence do you have for your self evaluation?


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Assessment references
Absolum, M., Flockton, L., Hattie, J., Hipkins, R., &Reid, I. (2009) Directions for Assessment in New Zealand. http://www.tki.org.nz/r/assessment/research/mainpage/directions/ Absolum, M. (2006). Clarity in the Classroom. Auckland: Hodder Black, P. J., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 5 (1), 774. Clarke, S. (2001). Unlocking formative assessment: Practical strategies for enhancing pupils learning in the primary classroom. London: Hodder and Stoughton. Clarke, S., Timperley, H., & Hattie, J. (2003). Unlocking formative assessment: Practical strategies for enhancing pupils learning in the primary and intermediate classroom (New Zealand ed.). Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett. Gipps, C., McCallum, B., & Hargreaves, E. (2000). What makes a good primary school teacher? London: Routledge Falmer. Green, J. M. (1998, February). Constructing the way forward for all students. A speech delivered at Innovations for Effective Schools OECD/New Zealand joint follow-up conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.
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Assessment references
Harlen, W. (1998) Classroom assessment: A dimension of purposes and procedures. In K. Carr (Ed.), SAMEpapers (pp. 7587). Hamilton, New Zealand: Centre for Science, Mathematics and Technology Educational Research, University of Waikato. Harlen, W. (2006) On the Relationship between Assessment for Formative and Summative Purposes. In J. Gardner (Ed), Assessment and Learning (p. 104). London: Sage Publications Ltd Hattie, J. (1999, August). Influences on student learning. Inaugural lecture: Professor of Education, University of Auckland. New Zealand Curriculum On-line: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/ Popham, W.J. (2008). Transformative Assessment (p.7). Virginia, USA: ASCD Sadler, R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science, 18, 11944.

Wiliam, D (2008, August). When is assessment learning-oriented? A presentation delivered at 4th Biennial EARLI/Northumbria Assessment Conference, Potsdam, Germany

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