ERG SES D 02, Interactive Poster Session
This study will focus on the use of formative assessment (FA) in the second level science classroom.
The main research objectives of this study are to:
- Develop teacher professional knowledge of FA.
- Examine how teachers enhance learning through FA.
- Explore if FA impacts on student learning.
- Consider if student enjoyment of and motivation to learn science is increased through intervention.
- Investigate the role of technology in supporting formative assessment practices in the science classroom.
Central to this research is the question:
Can teacher’s professional competences and practical knowledge of formative assessment improve though classroom intervention, and will this have an impact on students’ learning?
The research will also answer the following central questions:
- Will a teacher’s knowledge of FA be altered through classroom intervention and collaboration with other teachers and the researcher?
- When teachers use FA techniques effectively to regulate learning, does this have an impact on students’ learning processes?
- If students’ enjoyment of and motivation to learn science is increased, will this have an effect on student learning?
- What are the key FA practices that have an impact on learning science?
- What is the role of technology in supporting FA in teaching and learning?
- Can FA have a negative effect on learning?
In 2005 the OECD in conjunction with their Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) published a large-scale study comparing FA practices across eight countries. The study found that the most recognisable aspects of formative assessment such as feedback, co-operative learning and self and peer assessment were common among countries with variations in the level of development of these aspects. This research aims to expand our knowledge of effective FA practice and provide teachers with a toolkit in which to explore FA practice.
The epistemological basis of this study is social constructivism and the research is informed by the FA framework put forth by Wiliam and Thompson (2007) which links FA strategies to instructional processes, therefore making it easier to identify effective FA practice. This framework highlights how different FA processes can be categorised by who is involved in the regulation of FA (including teachers, peers and students) and how the participants can use FA strategies to meet desired learning goals. The framework explores the following FA strategies:
Teacher: Clarifying learning intentions and sharing criteria for success.
Engineering effective classroom discussions and tasks that elicit evidence of learning.
Providing feedback that moves learners forward.
Peer: Understanding and sharing learning intentions and criteria for success.
Activating students as instructional resources for one another.
Learner: Understanding and sharing learning intentions and criteria for success.
Activating students as the owners of their own learning.
The research has also made use of Perrenoud’s framework of the regulation of learning processes (1998), from which Wiliam and Thompson’s framework is derived. This framework accounts for the effect that FA processes have on student learning. With the Wiliam and Thompson framework alone there is the possibility that the research will focus on the activities at hand, however Perrenoud stresses that although it is important to set up activities that will encompass FA, one must move past the regulation of activities toward the regulation of learning to benefit students learning. With that in mind the research will place the Wiliam and Thompson framework within the broader framework explored by Perrenoud.
OECD. (2005). Formative Assessment: Improving Learning in Secondary Classrooms. OECD publishing. Perrenoud, P. (1998). From Formative Evaluation to a Controlled Regulation of Learning Processes. Towards a wider conceptual field. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 5(1), 85–102. Wiliam, D., & Thompson, M. (2007). Integrating assessment with learning: What will it take to make it work? In The Future of Assessment: Shaping Teaching and Learning (pp. 53–82). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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