Formative Assessment

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April 18, 2013 by sz

Like any area of focus, it’s important to work off a common definition. We turn to Dylan Wiliam during our look at formative assessment.

The use of evidence of achievement to adapt what happens in the classroom to meet learner needs.

“A very simple idea,” he says, “and very difficult to put into practice.” So Wiliam breaks down formative assessment into two key principles of classroom formative assessment: engagement and responsiveness. Everyone participates and everyone responds as to provide data for our assessment. But, he says, those two principles aren’t practical enough to tell us what to do. So he unpacks formative assessment:

Unpacking Formative Assessment

So this is the territory of formative assessment. According to Wiliam if you’re doing formative assessment you’re at least doing one of these five things; if not, you’re not doing formative assessment.

There is plenty more to consider and if you’re interested you can watch Wiliam’s webinar for a thorough look. It’s free to watch, but they do require you to register with your email address.

During our lunch meeting we decided that during our observations we’d like to discover new ideas for formative assessments. But some of us are looking to dig deeper and try out formative assessments strategies together, share the experience, the data, and then plan our adjustments together. This, of course, will likely happen, and be most effective, in horizontal curriculum teams.

Please join us during our period-by-period observations, or on your own schedule.

Let’s get assessing, formatively speaking that is!


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