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Formative Assessments

Some schools are using the Perfomance Progress Report to summarize their formative assessments every two week. 

This is not to say the formative assessments are only given once every two weeks, but when ever your think they are needed. (one every two weeks would be a minimum)   We are lucky that ExamView will summarize all the assessments given in a two week period.  You just type in the date you want ExamView to report.

Read the statement below, formative assessments should be part of a process not an end result.

A paper prepared by Dr. Sarah McManus for the Formative Assessment for Teachers and Students (FAST) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that explains the attributes of effective formative assessment

The primary purpose of the formative assessment process, as conceived in this definition, is to provide evidence that is used by teachers and students to inform instruction and learning during the teaching/learning process. Effective formative assessment involves collecting evidence about how student learning is progressing during the course of instruction so that necessary instructional adjustments can be made to close the gap between students’ current understanding and the desired goals. Formative assessment is not an adjunct to teaching but, rather, integrated into instruction and learning with teachers and students receiving frequent feedback.

One key feature of this definition is its requirement that formative assessment be regarded as a process rather than a particular kind of assessment. In other words, there is no such thing as "a formative test." Instead, there are a number of formative assessment strategies that can be implemented during classroom instruction. These range from informal observations and conversations to purposefully planned instructional embedded techniques designed to elicit evidence of student learning to inform and adjust instruction.


Descriptive Feedback - Targeted Instruction

To help students answer the question, how can I close the gap, teachers should provide students
with descriptive feedback so they understand where they are in their learning, and how they themselves can help close the gap. This descriptive feedback should be specific to the learning task,rather than focused on the student, or their ability, or their achievement level.

negative feedback

timing of feedback

positive feedback

task focused feedback

feedback not comparisons 

improved questioning


 facilitative feedback, which provides comments and suggestions to help guide students in their own revision and conceptualization

Directive feedback tells the student what needs to be fixed or revised

No feedback
Refers to conditions where the learner is presented a question and is required to respond, but there is no indication as to the correctness of the learner’s response.
Also called knowledge of results (KR), or knowledge of outcome, it informs the learner about the correctness of her response(s), such as right/wrong or overall percentage correct.
Correct response
Also known as knowledge of correct response (KCR), it informs the learner of the correct answer to a specific problem with no additional information.
Also known as repeat-until-correct feedback, it informs the learner about an incorrect response and allows the learner one or more attempts to answer the question.
Also known as location of mistakes (LM), error-flagging highlights errors in a solution, without giving correct answer.
A general term, it refers to providing an explanation about why a specific response was correct, and it might allow the learner to review part of the instruction. It also might present the correct answer (see below for six types of elaborated feedback).
Attribute isolation
Elaborated feedback that presents information addressing central attributes of the target concept or skill being studied.
Elaborated feedback that provides the learner with information relating to the target topic currently being studied. This might entail simply re-teaching material.
Elaborated feedback that focuses on the learner’s specific response. It may describe why the answer is wrong and why the correct answer is correct. This does not use formal error analysis.
Elaborated feedback that guides the learner in the right direction (e.g., strategic hint on what to do next or a worked example or demonstration). It avoids explicitly presenting the correct answer.
Elaborated feedback that requires error analysis and diagnosis. It provides information about the learner’s specific errors or misconceptions (e.g., what is wrong and why).
Informative tutoring
The most elaborated feedback (from Narciss & Huth, 2004), this presents verification feedback, error-flagging, and strategic hints on how to proceed. The correct answer is not usually provided.

complexity of feedback was inversely related to both the ability to correct errors
directive feedback may actually be more helpful than facilitative
Research investigating the relationship of feedback timing and learning/performance reveals inconsistent findings
low achieving students should not receive normative feedback but instead, self-referenced feedback—focusing their attention on their own particular progress.
computerized FIs, which yield stronger effects than noncomputerized FIs;

 that praise was not as widely effective a reinforcer as previously believed.


 http://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/RR-07-11.pdf, five stages of feed back cycle.

advance organizers, which may support short-term retention,
Factors interacting with feedback to influence learning.

The general recommendation they have drawn from the framework is that immediate feedback for students with low achievement levels in the context of either simple (lower level) or complex (higher level) tasks is superior to delayed feedback, while delayed feedback is suggested for students with high achievement levels, especially for complex tasks



Learning Journals

Students are required to have a learning journal. You as a teacher can go through them.  Do
they have a page for each day they were here? Did they write down what they wanted to
accomplish? Did they write down what they need to do next time? Did they reflect on what they did
that day? That part in itself is just did they do it or not, put it in black or white. The other part of it is
can I follow their train of thought? Do I see what is really happening? Was the journal valuable for
them? Research has shown that formative assessment helps to increase student motivation

Feed Back Summary Table


Formative Feedback Guidelines to Enhance Learning (Things to Do)
Description and references
Focus feedback on the task, not the learner.
Feedback to the learner should address specific features of the learner’s work in relation to the task, with suggestions on how to improve (e.g., Butler, 1987; Corbett & Anderson, 2001; Kluger & DeNisi, 1996; Narciss & Huth, 2004).
Provide elaborated feedback to enhance learning.
Feedback should describe the what, how, and/or why of a given problem. This type of cognitive feedback is typically more effective than verification of results (e.g., Bangert-Drowns et al., 1991; Gilman, 1969; Mason & Bruning, 2001; Narciss & Huth, 2004; Shute, 2006).
Present elaborated feedback in manageable units.
Provide elaborated feedback in small enough pieces so that it is not overwhelming and/or discarded (Bransford et al., 2000; Sweller et al., 1998). Presenting too much information may not only result in a superficial learning, but also invoke cognitive overload (e.g., Mayer & Moreno, 2002; Phye & Bender, 1989). A stepwise presentation of feedback offers the possibility to control for mistakes and gives learners sufficient information to correct errors on their own.
Be specific and clear with feedback messages.
If feedback is not specific or clear, it can impede learning and can frustrate learners (e.g., Moreno, 2004; Williams, 1997). If possible, try to link feedback clearly and specifically to goals and performance (Hoska, 1993; Song & Keller, 2001).
Keep feedback as simple as possible but no simpler (based on learner needs and instructional constraints).
Simple feedback is generally based on one cue (e.g., verification or hint) and complex feedback on multiple cues (e.g., verification, correct response, error analysis). Keep feedback as simple and focused as possible. Generate only enough information to help students and not more. Kulhavy et al. (1985) found that feedback that was too complex did not promote learning compared to simpler feedback.
Reduce uncertainty between performance and goals.
Formative feedback should clarify goals and seek to reduce or remove uncertainty in relation to how well learners are performing on a task and what needs to be accomplished to attain the goal(s) (e.g., Ashford, Blatt, & VandeWalle, 2003; Bangert-Drowns et al., 1991).
Give unbiased, objective feedback, written or via computer.
Feedback from a trustworthy source will be considered more seriously than other feedback, which may be disregarded. This may explain why computer-based feedback is often better than human-delivered in some experiments in that perceived biases are eliminated (see Kluger & DeNisi, 1996).
Promote a learning goal orientation via feedback.
Formative feedback can be used to alter goal orientation—from a focus on performance to a focus on learning (Hoska, 1993). This can be facilitated by crafting feedback emphasizing that effort yields increased learning and performance and that mistakes are an important part of the learning process (Dweck, 1986).
Provide feedback after learners have attempted a solution.
Do not let learners see answers before trying to solve a problem on their own (i.e., presearch availability). Several studies that have controlled presearch availability show a benefit of feedback, while studies without such control show inconsistent results (Bangert-Drowns et al., 1991).
Table 3
Formative Feedback Guidelines to Enhance Learning (Things to Avoid)
Description and references
Do not give normative comparisons.
Feedback should avoid comparisons with other students—directly or indirectly (e.g., grading on the curve). In general, do not draw attention to self during the course of learning (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996; Wiliam, in press).
Be cautious about providing overall grades.
Feedback should note areas of strength and provide information on how to improve, as warranted and without overall grading. Wiliam (in press) summarized the following findings: (a) students receiving just grades showed no learning gains, (b) those getting just comments showed large gains, and (c) those with grades and comments showed no gains (likely due to focusing on the grade and ignoring comments). Effective feedback relates to the content of the comments (Butler, 1987; McColskey & Leary, 1985).
Do not present feedback that discourages the learner or threatens the learner’s self- esteem.
This prescription is based not only on common sense, but also research reported in Kluger and DeNisi (1996), which reports feedback interventions that undermine learning as it draws focus to the self and away from the task at hand. In addition, do not provide feedback that is either too controlling or critical of the learner (Baron, 1993; Fedor, Davis, Maslyn, & Mathieson, 2001).
Use praise sparingly, if at all.
Kluger & DeNisi (1996), Butler (1987), and others have noted that use of praise as feedback directs the learner’s attention to self, which distracts from the task and consequently from learning.
Try to avoid delivering feedback orally.
This also was addressed in Kluger & DeNisi (1996). When feedback is delivered in a more neutral manner (e.g., written or computer-delivered), it is construed as less biased.
Do not interrupt the learner with feedback if the learner is actively engaged.
Interrupting a student who is immersed in a task—trying to solve a problem or task—can be disruptive to the student and impede learning (Corno & Snow, 1986).
Avoid using progressive hints that always terminate with the correct answer.
While hints can be facilitative, they can also be abused. If they are employed to scaffold learners, make provisions to prevent their abuse (e.g., Aleven & Koedinger, 2000; Shute, Woltz, & Regian, 1989). Consider using prompts and cues (i.e., more specific kinds of hints).
Do not limit the mode of feedback presentation to text.
Exploit the potential of multimedia to avoid cognitive overload due to modality effects (e.g., Mayer & Moreno, 2002). Do not default to presenting feedback messages as text. Instead, consider alternative modes of presentation (e.g., acoustic, visual).
Minimize use of extensive error analyses and diagnosis.
The cost of conducting extensive error analyses and cognitive diagnosis may not provide sufficient benefit to learning (Sleeman et al., 1989; VanLehn et al., 2005). Furthermore, error analyses are rarely complete and not always accurate, thus only are helpful in a subset of circumstances.
Table 4
Formative Feedback Guidelines in Relation to Timing Issues
Description and references
Design timing of feedback to align with desired outcome.
Feedback can be delivered (or obtained) either immediately after some activity or delayed. Immediate feedback can help fix errors in real-time, producing greater immediate gains and more efficient learning, (Corbett & Anderson, 2001; Mason & Bruning, 2001), but delayed feedback has been associated with better transfer of learning (e.g., Schroth, 1992).
For difficult tasks, use immediate feedback.
When a student is learning a difficult new task (where difficult is relative to the learner’s capabilities), it is better to use immediate feedback, at least initially (Clariana, 1990). This provides a helpful safety net so the learner does not get bogged down and/or frustrated (Knoblauch & Brannon, 1981).
For relatively simple tasks, use delayed feedback.
When a student is learning a relatively simple task (again, relative to capabilities), it is better to delay feedback to prevent feelings of feedback intrusion and possibly annoyance (Clariana, 1990; Corno & Snow, 1986).
For retention of procedural or conceptual knowledge, use immediate feedback.
In general, there is wide support for use of immediate feedback to promote learning and performance on verbal, procedural, and even tasks requiring motor skills (Anderson et al., 2001; Azevedo & Bernard, 1995; Corbett & Anderson, 1989, 2001; Dihoff et al., 2003; Phye & Andre, 1989).
To promote transfer of learning, consider using delayed feedback.
According to some researchers (e.g., Kulhavy et al., 1985; Schroth, 1992), delayed may be better than immediate feedback for transfer task performance, although initial learning time may be depressed. This needs more research.dd your main content here - text, photos, videos, addons, whatever you want!

Effects of Formative Assessments on Learning 


The formative assessment experiments produce typical effect sizes of between 0.4 and 0.7 :
such effect sizes are larger than most of those found for educational interventions. The
following examples illustrate some practical consequences of such large gains:
• An effect size of 0.4 would mean that the average pupil involved in an innovation would
record the same achievement as a pupil just in the top 35% of those not so involved.
• A gain of effect size 0.4 would improve performances of pupils in GCSE by between one
and two grades.
• A gain of effect size 0.7, if realised in the recent international comparative studies in
mathematics (TIMSS—Beaton et al., 1996), would raise England from the middle of the 41
countries involved to being one of the top 5.

Some of these studies exhibit another important feature. Many of them show that improved
formative assessment helps the (so-called) low attainers more than the rest, and so reduces the
spread of attainment whilst also raising it overall.

 For assessment to function formatively, the results have to be used to adjust teaching and
learning—so a significant aspect of any programme will be the ways in which teachers do

Feedback to any pupil should be about the particular qualities of his or her
work, with advice on what he or she can do to improve, and should avoid
comparisons with other pupils.

For formative assessment to be productive, pupils should be trained in selfassessment
so that they can understand the main purposes of their learning
and thereby grasp what they need to do to achieve.

Opportunities for pupils to express their understanding should be designed
into any piece of teaching, for this will initiate the interaction whereby
formative assessment aids learning.

The dialogue between pupils and a teacher should be thoughtful, reflective,
focused to evoke and explore understanding, and conducted so that all pupils
have an opportunity to think and to express their ideas.

Tests and homework exercises can be an invaluable guide to learning, but
the exercises must be clear and relevant to learning aims. The feedback on
them should give each pupil guidance on how to improve, and each must be
given opportunity and help to work at the improvement.