Christopher Colella - Week Two - Reading Response 1

Generally, I notice how students perceive assessments and quizzes as a tool for students to compare and judge students, instead of looking past the grade and seeing the meaning behind the grade. I believe this mainly has to do with the fixed mindset that many of the students I observe have towards school and education. The difference between summative and formative assessments should be clearly delineated for the students, and stronger feedback tools should be applied in the classroom as part of practice. Formative assessments should regularly be used not as a tool for assigning grades, but as a feedback tool to inform instruction and emphasize skills students need to study and develop to mastery level (Dixon and Worrell 2016). Summative assessments, on the other hand, should be a cumulative effort of students’ learning and corrections from formative assessments to judge students ability to synthesize concepts together for problem solving (Dixon and Worrell 2016). One way I can emphasize the difference between formative and summative assessments can be through completion and improvement. A student's formative assessment can be used as a grading tool, but not be a fixed grade. Instead, it can represent student's growth and effort to correct their thinking, and redo an assignment such as an exit ticket, instead of the assignment not being graded at all. I find that my students will try to find the path of least work when in school, and need to be strongly incentivized to work outside of the minimum requirements.

 

 

In The Power of Feedback, Hattie uses various classroom methods of correction and improvement and weighed them against each other; she found that effective feedback could have as relevant an effect as the students’ natural cognitive skill and ability as an indicator for success (Hattie 2007). This research emphasizes the importance of what types of feedback are being used in the classroom to challenge our students ability and understanding. An interesting comparison is made in Making Learning Visible: different subjects in a Norwegian public school system can have very similar methods and outcomes for providing feedback. However, in their vocational programs offered, feedback was more robust and demanded repetition of skills practice in order to gauge progress in more active and visible ways (Havnes 2012). One thing I can implement in my own classroom would be more active and visible learning methods such as discussions and tutorship of high students and low students. Another thing I can implement to raise the standards of high achievers is to use them as topic leaders and assign group for them as discussed by Dixon and Worrell (2016). Work should not simply be handed back to the students without instruction. Clearly delineated goals and protocols should be set in place for students to develop their skills and show that they have improved in weaker areas well before they are taking any summative assessment. Next year I plan on using a more involved system of formative assessments and keeping track of individual student skills by using a planner checklist. Using the checklist, I can note certain student problems and difficulty and use them throughout the unit or the semester to check on progress and challenge their understanding of weaker topics while developing better tailored lessons for their unique learning style.

 

Citations:

a. Dixson, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into practice, 55(2), 153-159.

b.Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.

c. Havnes, A., Smith, K., Dysthe, O., & Ludvigsen, K. (2012). Formative assessment and feedback: Making learning visible. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 38(1), 21-27.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Christopher,

      At the heart of your reading response is the issue of motivation. For example, you say:

      Generally, I notice how students perceive assessments and quizzes as a tool for students to compare and judge students, instead of looking past the grade and seeing the meaning behind the grade. I believe this mainly has to do with the fixed mindset that many of the students I observe have towards school and education in general.

      Later, you mention: 

      I find that my students will try to find the path of least work when in school and need to be strongly incentivized to work outside of the minimum work needed.

      I agree that finding ways to elicit student motivation is essential to their learning and to their development of self regulatory skills and behaviors. So, I am going to ask you to dig deeper into the area of student motivation and how feedback can be powerfully used to influence especially intrinsic motivation. You might start by watching this video, which features an expert in student motivation, Dr. Johnmarshall Reeve.

      In the second part of this course, I may call on you to share your (newly acquired) expertise in motivation with the rest of the class, so get ready!

      One last note, there are some minor mechanical errors (typos and grammatical errors). Please revise these. You can do this by clicking on "Edit" above, making your changes, and then clicking on "Save." When you make these (and any other revisions), please email me or message me on Pace Commons so I can take a look.

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