09 SES 11 B, Formative and Summative Assessments
This paper reports on two case studies, one in science and one in mathematics, in Ireland carried out as part of FaSMEd, an EU project funded under the FP7 scheme, on the use of technology in formative assessment (FA) classroom practices in mathematics and science. It will explore the pedagogical differences and similarities between second level mathematics and science teachers. The effects of a classroom intervention strategy on teachers’ use of technology within assessment practices will also be considered.
The FaSMEd project (formative assessment in science and mathematics education) aims to research the use of technology in formative assessment classroom practices in ways that allow teachers to respond to the emerging needs of all learners especially low achievers, so that they are better motivated in their learning of these subjects. This international project is in its final year and has adapted and developed existing research-informed pedagogical interventions.
Participants in the Irish study consist of thirteen second level teachers, six mathematics and seven science, and their first year students (aged 12-14). In total three schools participated in the research. Case studies were created focusing on the teaching practices of one science and one mathematics teacher.
Throughout the research the following questions were addressed:
- How do teachers process formative assessment data from students using a range of technologies?
- How do teachers inform their future teaching using such data?
- How do students use formative assessment data to inform their learning trajectories?
- When technology is positioned as a learning tool rather than a data logger for the teacher, what issues does this pose for the teacher in terms of their being able become more informed about student understanding?
This project aims to:
- Foster high quality interactions in classrooms that are instrumental in raising achievement.
- Expand our knowledge of technologically enhanced teaching and assessment methods in mathematics and science.
Major objectives for the project were to:
- Offer approaches for the use of new technologies to support the formative assessment of students.
- Develop sustainable teaching practices that improve attainment in mathematics and science.
- Produce a toolkit for teachers to support the development of practice and a professional development resource to support it.
- Disseminate the outcomes.
The research utilised the FaSMEd Framework developed by the projects to analyse data. This framework is an enhancement of the Wiliam and Thompson (2007) model of formative assessment, which states that formative assessment can be conceptualised as consisting of five key strategies. A new dimension describing the role of technology was added in order to create a FaSMEd specific framework as a basis for analysis.
The FaSMEd Framework is a three dimensional cuboid made up of smaller cuboids, that describe categories in three different dimensions:
• The participant responsible for/doing the assessment:
- Teacher, peer, learner
• The strategies of formative assessment:
- Clarifying learning goals and criteria for success
- Engineering diagnostic tasks
- Providing feedback
- Activating students as resources for one another
- Activating students as resources for themselves
• The function of technology within the assessment:
- Sending and sharing
- Processing and analysing
- Sending and sharing
This project is funded by FaSMEd which is a three year, €1.9 million project, led by Newcastle University that is taking lessons from around the world to help improve mathematics and science skills in second level schools in Europe and South Africa.
Schmolck, P., & Atkinson, J. (2002). PQMethod (version 2.35). Retrieved from http://schmolck.userweb.mwn.de/qmethod/downpqmac.htm (accessed 11th January 2016) Stephan, M., & Cobb, P. (2013). Teachers Engaging in Mathematics Design Research. In T. Plomp & N. Nieveen (Eds.), Educational design research-Part B:Illustrative cases (pp. 277–298). Enschede, the Netherlands: SLO. Swan, M. (2014). Design Research in Mathematics Education. In S. Lerman (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Mathematics Education. Springer. 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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