Learning Strategies and Tools for Formative Assessment

Using ICT Assessment for Learning Strategies and Tools for Effective Formative Assessment      

Teaching cannot be effective without regularly and consistently assessing whether your students are achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessment is a vital aspect of any learning process. While summative assessment is the most emphasized one in most schools, formative is as important, if not more important.  

What Is Formative Assessment?  

Formative assessment is the day today process by which a teacher collects information about how a student(s) is learning, where the student is having difficulties learning, and how they are progressing. You then use that information to give your students immediate feedback and to adjust your teaching strategies to maximize learners’ outcome.   Assessment is only considered formative when it is integrated into the learning programme and teaching process with the aim of modifying teaching to improve learning for your students. Unlike summative assessment which measures what the students have learnt at the end of a course, formative assessment is a day to day process. Formative assessment aims to inculcate a lifelong learning ability in students and to achieve greater equity in student learning outcome.  

Lack of effective and frequent assessment can inhibit your students’ learning. Assessment for learning should be set up such that it gives students an opportunity to express their understanding of what is being taught. The feedback you provide should be descriptive clearly stating what the student is doing well, where they need to improve and the next steps in their learning. When giving feedback, avoid comparing one student to another.  

When carrying out a formative assessment for an entire class, you need to determine the following:   •Which students are understanding the lessons and who is not?

  • Are there misconceptions about the lesson that you need to address?
  • How best can you group the students to facilitate learning?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your teaching plan and strategy?
  • What are your students’ strengths?
  • What are your students’ weaknesses and needs and how can you address them?

 

Formative assessment is beneficial both for the teachers and the students. Carrying out an assessment for your students enables them to gather information about how well they are doing and serves as a guide for determining their next steps.  

As a teacher, it enables you to identify your students’ strengths and weaknesses so that you can build and improve on them. It also enables you to clearly pinpoint your students’ needs and to come up with ways to address them.    

You are also able to determine whether a specific student needs support from their family members to be able to learn and to encourage the family members to get involved. Ultimately, the information you gather helps you to plan and adjust your teaching methodology to the specific needs of an individual student or the class as a whole. 

What Is Assessment for Learning?  

Often, the terms formative assessment and assessment for learning are used synonymously. However, they carry different meanings. Formative assessment is the entire process of collecting assessment information and using it to adjust your teaching methodology for better learners’ outcome. On the other hand, assessment for learning are the tools, techniques and strategies you use to collect that information. 

Techniques for Assessment for Learning  

There is a wide range of approaches that you can employ to assess your students. The ideal assessment for learning techniques should identify and communicate the learning goals to the students, help you and your students assess their current level of understanding of what they are learning, and determine the next steps in their learning to close the gap between their current understanding and the learning objectives and goals.  

Below are 8 techniques of assessment learning that you can use:  

1. Engage the students in daily learning conversations.

2. Analyze and review students’ work.

3. Observe your students’ behaviour and body language.

4. Teach your students self-assessment. 

5. Teach your students peer-assessment.

6. Use structured interview questions to find out the level of understanding on a given topic.

7. Listen to the students.

8. Give out regular classroom tasks that gauge student strengths and weakness such as individual and group presentations, quizzes and reports. 

Using ICT for Formative Assessment  

ICT has successfully been integrated into the different sectors including the education sector. It can be integrated into formative assessment and assessment for learning to promote student ICT capability and learner outcome.   

For instance, you can create a video that outlines the course goals and objectives or that sets the learning milestones for the course. The learner can listen to such a video whenever they want to clarify the course goals and pause and play it as often as need be.   

This is more effective than a one-time course introduction lesson whereby if the student does not understand they may be hesitant to ask the teacher. Or, if they miss what was said they have nowhere to refer back to.   

ICT Based Formative Assessment  

Here are some digital assessment learning techniques that you can apply: 

1.Quick online quizzes  

You may create short quizzes on your online teaching platform that you can administer either at the beginning or end of a class to assess how well the students understand a topic or subtopic that you covered recently.  

2.Learning videos 

Learning videos can be a fun and engaging way to introduce new concepts to your students. These work especially well for visual learners. Some ICT tools allow students to create videos on their learnings.  

3.Voice recording 

When giving feedback to your students, you can make a voice comment that you save and share with your student. You may also create structured interview assessment questions that students can respond to through a voice recording and then share the response with you for reviewing.  

4.Digital commenting  

Most used application software by students such as Word Processor, Adobe Acrobat and Google Docs have highlighting and commenting features that enable you to provide feedback on specific parts of a student’s work.  

5.Digital forms  

Digital forms allow you to formulate checklist, multiple choice questions and open-ended questions that you can use to assess the students, or that the students can use for self-assessment. 

Formative Assessment on Student's ICT Capability in the Classroom 

Formative assessment allows for timely and informative feedback on learner’s performance. Assessing ICT capability in the classroom needs a well thought out strategy to measure individualized and constructive learners’ feedback. Using formative assessment techniques, teachers can engage the whole classroom using student-centred practices.

Teachers can give short quizzes to the leaners and check their ICT capabilities. Formative assessment will help you determine:  

  • What the learners are doing in the classroom.
  • Have the learners improved their ICT know how?
  • Measure the learners practical and reflexive ICT competencies.
  • Highlight possible barriers to ICT-related activities Both students and teachers are at the core of an effective formative assessment strategy. Ultimately, learners can be taught metacognition so that they “learn how to learn” independently.

For you to effectively implement formative assessment via ICT, you need professional training. Professional learning of formative assessment and assessment for learning through ICT equips you with all the information, strategies and techniques you require to empower your students to become better learners. It also teaches you how to improve your students’ ICT capability and assess their ICT use in the classroom.

Assessment for Learning Online Course for Teachers in ICT

You will learn how to assess ICT capability as a requirement of the National Curriculum by applying current instructional principles, research and appropriate assessment practices to the uses of ICT in your classroom. In addition, I will give you the expertise you need to make informed decisions to help you unlock barriers to establishing a meaningful learning environment.

 

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Learn about integrating ICT and ICT capability development in the National Curriculum;
  • Plan and identify opportunities for assessment;
  • Determine progression in the National Curriculum Learning Continuum;
  • Establish a meaningful learning environment in the Early Years;
  • Gather strong empirical evidence of attainment;
  • Share learning outcomes with parents and colleagues and;
  • Make informed decisions on assessment strategies for your school.

Completing this course will contribute to 5 hours of NESA registered PD addressing 2.6.2 and 5.1.2 of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient teacher accreditation in NSW and Victoria.

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