09 SES 11 B, Formative and Summative Assessments
In this paper, we argue that a formative assessment design developed on the principles of design-based research (Bell, 2004) is a productive starting point for disseminating and further developing formative assessment practices in indoor and outdoor science teaching. While research in formative assessment often pays attention to the strategies which can be used by teachers (Black & Wiliam, 2009), the literature seems to be less concerned with the acceptability by teachers to apply such strategies (Tucker, Stronge, Gareis & Beers, 2003). In fact, a recent study highlighted that teachers need to take on increased ownership to make formative assessment more embedded in teaching (Sach, 2015). Therefore, our study draws attention to the importance of teachers as participants in the development and evaluation process if formative assessment is to be further used and successfully implemented.
Formative assessment practice is highlighted by several researchers as one of the most important factors enhancing students’ learning outcomes (Wiliam, Lee, Harrison & Black, 2004), and teachers are responsible for implementing such practices. Consequently, teachers need to recognize the contribution of formative assessment and the possibilities of incorporating such practices into their daily teaching activities. This study addresses acceptability by exploring teacher’s perception of a specific formative assessment design. We argue that teachers’ perceptions of context determining factors, mechanisms and the derived outcomes are important elements for the dissemination and utility. Moreover, we contend that exploration of these elements extent research of concept mapping based formative assessment by exploring formative assessment in a poorly researched context, namely the outdoors.
Teaching outside the classroom is an important supplement to science teaching inside the classroom as it seems to support a wide range of outcomes (Braund & Reiss, 2006). Specifically, outdoor teaching is recognized as promoting positive attitudes towards science (Fägerstam and Blom, 2013) and supporting achievement within different scientific subjects (Rios & Brewer, 2014; Ghent, Trauth-Nare, Dell & Haines, 2014).
Empirical studies have proven concept mapping useful as a method for formative assessment in classroom teaching capable of improving students’ cognitive skills, aiding teaching and learning and as a method to identify students’ weaknesses and misconceptions. However few studies have explored the use of this method in the outdoors (Hwang, Wu & Ke, 2011). Moreover, researchers report on specific mechanisms which seem to influence elicitation, interpretation, feedback and finally the students’ achievement when using concept mapping in teaching. For example, the evaluationconcept maps places an extra load on teachers, which may prevent immediate feedback to students, important for learning (İngeç, 2009). Moreover, low-directed concept mapping is recognized as most suitable for formative assessment (Yin, Vanides, Ruiz-Primo, Ayala, and Shavelson, 2005); however, is also described as time-consuming (Schau, Mattern, Zeilik, Teague, & Weber, 2001). To summarize, from a researchers point of view, there are some derived challenges when using concept mapping for the purpose of formative assessment. However, teachers might hold different perceptions of challenges which could add important knowledge to the field and further development of formative assessment designs.
In this paper, we therefore present and discuss an evaluation of a formative assessment design developed on the principles of design-based research (Bell, 2004) which was applied in formal science teaching integrating outdoor teaching. The aims are to explore teachers’ perceptions of context determining factors, mechanisms and derived outcomes of the design and finally to explore acceptability and utility among teachers.
Bell, P. (2004). On the theoretical breadth of design-based research in education. Educational Psychologist, 4, 243-253. Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Accountability, 21, 5-31. Braund, M. & Reiss, M. (2006). Towards a more authentic science curriculum: The contribution of out-of-school learning, International Journal of Science Education, 28:12, 1373-1388. Fägerstam, E. & Blom, J. (2013). Learning biology and mathematics outdoors: Effects and attitudes in a Swedish high school context. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 13:1, 56-75 Ghent, C., Trauth-Nare, A., Dell, K. & Haines, S. (2014). The influence of a statewide green school initiative on student achievement in K-12 classrooms. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 13:4, 250-260. Hsieh, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15:9, 1277–1288. Hwang, G. J., Wu, P. H., & Ke, H. R. (2011). An interactive concept map approach to supporting mobile learning activities for natural science courses. Computers & Education, 57, 2272-2280. İngeç, Ş. K. (2009). Analysing concept maps as an assessment tool in teaching physics and comparison with the achievement tests. International Journal of Science Education, 31, 1897-1915. Rios, J. M. & Brewer, J. (2014). Outdoor education and science achievement. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 13:4, 234-240. Sach, E. (2015). An exploration of teachers’ narratives: What are the facilitators and constraints which promote or inhibit ‘good’ formative assessment practices in schools? Education, 3-13 43:3, 322-335 Schau, C. , Mattern, N. , Zeilik, M. , & Teague, K. W. (2001). Select-and-fill-in concept map scores as a measure of students’ connected understanding of science. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 61, 136-158. Timmins, P. & Miller, C. (2007). Making evaluations realistic: The challenge of complexity. Support for Learning, 22:1, 9-16. Tucker, P. D., Stronge, J. H., Gareis, C. R. & Beers, C. S. (2003). The efficacy of portfolios for teacher evaluation and professional development: Do they make a difference? Educational Administration Quaterly, 5, 572-602 Wiliam, D. Lee, C. Harrison, C. & Black, P. (2004). Teachers developing assessment for learning: Impact on student achievement. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 11:1, 49-65. Yin, Y. , Vanides, J. , Ruiz-Primo, M. A. , Ayala, C. C. , & Shavelson, R. J. (2005). Comparison of two concept-mapping techniques: Implications for scoring, interpretation, and use. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42, 166-184.
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