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April 2016 | Volume 73 | Number 7
Looking at Student Work
Heidi Kroog, Kristin King Hess and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo
Implement EFFECTIVE and EFFICIENT approaches to formal formative assessment that will save time and boost student learning.
Imagine that you are at a crucial juncture in an instructional unit. It is absolutely essential for students to understand the material covered so far; otherwise they will struggle with the upcoming topics. You would like to give students a task that identifies both what they know and can do and what they are struggling with, so that you can provide feedback and make instructional modifications. How can you design and conduct this activity to make the most positive impact on student learning? In other words, what are the characteristics of effective and efficient formal formative assessment?
As part of a five-year research project funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, our research team interviewed, observed, and videotaped 20 middle school mathematics and science teachers every day during 26 entire instructional units. (Some teachers were observed more than once.) We also interviewed a random sample of about 30 percent of students in these classes and collected 3,459 student work samples. Here we describe what we learned about formal formative assessment.
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Copyright © 2016 by ASCD
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