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AFL-Related Discussion Question - SHS Faculty Meeting 11/28/12

Despite the fact that our school has had AFL as its Professional Development focus for the past 4 years, there is still much that we can learn from one another about how best to use assessment to increase learning.  To foster continuous learning and improvement, we will start many of our faculty meetings with an AFL-related discussion question.  The results of our discussions will be posted on a Forum Discussion such as this so that our ideas can be archived and better shared with one another.



Question for 11/28/12

What is one example of how you have altered – or could alter – a traditionally summative assessment so that it serves a formative purpose?

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If I were to alter a summative assessment so that it is formative, I may break down the rubric into specific pieces of information that was covered and score students on those pieces whether they got it, somewhat got it, or not at all. Then when it came to sharing it with the students they could see which areas they need to work on and I could see what areas many students missed on so that I know what to go back over.

Shorter, more frequent tests


Take a test from previous years and make it the unit review or take your summative assessment and provide small chunks of it throughout the unit to use for a formative purpose.

A rubric for an essay could be broken down and used in each part of a paper in English class to use as a guide in editing papers as they write it. Having mini quizzes along the week to guide what information they are getting each day, instead of at the end of the week only.

Response from Stefanie Fowler and Justin Halterman

We discussed "chunking" the material more before the traditional summative assessment. We both also agree that we really haven't altered the formative assessment, as much as we have altered the path to the formative assessment (Ex: exit slips, more in class "Checks for Understanding", using wipe boards to get a class response, etc.). Not all of these checks are graded, and simply provide both teacher and student with immediate feedback.

You can use your summative assessment, or a form of it, as a pre-assessment, then use the results to guide your instruction.

--Save all test and quizzes throughout the year and hand them back at the end to be used as a study guide for SOL's and exam.

--Take a practice quiz and hae students grade them (either their own or each other's) as a review--nongraded.

--Fill out rubric which is composed of final test questions as completing novel unit.

From July:

1. Take a unit project and break it into its smaller tasks/pieces/segments.  This would give students and the teacher feedback and opportunities for improvement or adjustment before the final project is due. 

2.  Use a practice test or quiz (based on their actual test/quiz) and have students complete without using notes/textbook.  Then they go back and find answers they were unable to do using notes/book.  Go over as a class.  This gives students/teacher opportunity for feedback and to see what needs to be reviewed before the test that counts.  

3. Smaller quizzes based on essential skills.  Test grade can replace the corresponding portion of the test if students do better on that than the quiz.  

Jane Sandel: On the due date of research paper, don't collect it.  Instead, take class to review and check.

Jeff Maynard: Break down a unit test into concept areas and track percentages of correct/incorrect in order to teach/reteach

Anna Dyer: Break down larger concepts into smaller bits of palatable information.

Students will self evaluate a completed project and redesign.


Allow students to evaluate essays, without prior teacher input ,with a 10 point rubic to rewrite for final grading.  

To use questions from Unit tests on the next test and repeated as necessary until students learn the material.  Constant review is the key.

Continue building on skills taught such as applying the skills to lab or active practice.


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