27 SES 11 B, Communication and Learning in the Classroom
Our research focuses on the formative assessment practices from the study of interactions between the teacher and the students in the classroom. One of the main research areas in formative assessment is the quality of feedback, as it is thought to be an important way to enhance students’ learning. Hattie and Timperley (2007) conclude, in their review of research on feedback, that it “is among the most critical influences on student learning”. Results in this field of research has produced some general recommendations for teachers, but very few outcomes taking into account the context of production of teachers’ feedback.
We are interested in specific moments of the classroom which correspond to moments where the students encounter difficulties in progressing in the task. We assume that these moments can provide information about the lack of appropriated feedback from the teacher. Our study integrates some elements of the context.
A variety of definitions of the term “formative assessment” exist in the literature. For example, Wiliam & Thompson (2007) suggests that assessment for learning can be conceptualized as consisting in five key strategies;
- Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success;
- Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and tasks that elicit evidence of learning;
- Providing feedback that moves learners forward;
- Activating students as instructional resources for one another;
- Activating students as the owners of their own learning.
What characterizes most of the definitions of formative assessment is providing feedback to students and teacher about where the learners are in their learning, where they are going and what needs to be done to get them there (Carver & Scheier, 1999; Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Wiliam, 2010).These three processes are at stake also in students’ self-regulation of learning.
Indeed self-regulation theory involves learners’ questioning about (1) what is my goal? (2) Where I am right now? and (3) How to get there ? (Andrade, 2010; Carver & Scheier, 1999). Within the framework of formative assessment, the main purpose of feedback is to reduce discrepancies between the goal and the current state.
Self-regulation involves students in thinking about the quality of their own products and processes (Andrade, 2010). Many research shows that this process is positively connected to academic achievement. Indeed, self-regulated learners use a wide variety of strategy to promote learning (e.g. goal setting, selected adapting learning strategies, managing affect and motivation, monitoring progress, seeking feedback etc.). In contrast, less effective learners, have minimal self-regulation and depend much more on external factors (teachers, peers, or the task for guidance and feedback) (Pintrich, 2000; Zimmerman & Schunk, 2004).
According to Hattie & Timperley (2007) feedbacks that aim at improving students' strategies and improvements in the task are most powerful. Even though many researches have studied the quality of feedbacks, and their effects on students learning, very few took into account the context which could explain the production of feedbacks.
Our study aims at understanding what could entail the production, by the teacher, of a given feedback in a given context. More specifically we focus on the reasons why a teacher could give a poor feedback to students which encounter difficulties in progressing in the task.
Andrade, H. (2010). Students as the definitive source of formative assessment. Academic self-assessment and the self-regulation of learning. In H. A. Andrade & G. J. Cizek (Eds.), Handbook for formative assessment (pp.90-105). New York: Routledge. Carver, C. S., & Scheier, M. F. (1999). Themes and issues in the self-regulation of behavior. In R. S.Wyer, Jr. (Ed.), Advances in social cognition (Vol. 12, pp. 1–105). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77 (1), 81-112. Pintrich, P. (2000). The role of goal orientation in self-regulated learning. In M. Bokaerts, P. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 452-502). San Diego, CA: Academic Wiliam, D. (2010). An integrative summary of the research literature and impicatios for a new theory of formative assessment. In H. A. Andrade & G. J. Cizek (Eds.), Handbook for formative assessment (pp.18-40). New York: Routledge. Wiliam, D., & Thompson, M. (2007). Integrating assessment with instruction: What will it take to make it work? In C. A. Dwyer (Ed.), The future of assessment: Shaping teaching and learning (pp. 53–82). Mahwah, NJ:Erlbaum. Zimmerman, B., & Schunk, D. (2004). Self-regulating intellectual processes and outcomes: A social cognitive perspective. In D. Dai & R. Sternberg (Eds.), Motivation, emotion, and cognition: Integrative perspectives on intellectual functioning and development (pp.323-349). Mahwah, NJ:Erlbaum.
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