The Assessment Network

Sharing assessment & grading strategies that help students learn

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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The test really would not necessarily change.  Instead, the change would be in what I do with the test.  Instead of being the end point of the learning, it would be a diagnosis of how the learning is going.  The test would become a guide to what needs to be retaught and who needs more help.  In a sense, the test is a beginning or a middle to the learning process rather than an end.

Dawn uses the test to identify the problem questions to direct further teaching.

We talked about using a paper/essay as a form of summative assessment and using a rubric from that essay to form new learning groups to reteach skills that the rubric revealed in need of attention.

During a typical grading period, four quizzes with free-response (FR) formatted questions and one cumulative test with multiple-choice (MC) formatted questions are given.  The FR questions are designed to determine students' ability to follow a procedure with a somewhat detailed response; whereas, the MC test questions are designed to determine if students have the big conceptual ideas.  When reviewing for the test (usually through do now questions) I'll give sample test problems to demonstrate how free-response formatted questions will be asked in MC format.  I also will ask students to convert quiz questions (FR) to test questions (MC) and have other students answer them.

I have shown actual student responses (anonymous and from the past) which contain errors in order to generate discussion and insight.
Use released exam questions (IB) to have students generate their own mark scheme. They can then compare their mark scheme with the released mark scheme to verify their level of understanding.


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