Yassine Mouaddab - Week Two - Reading Response 1

Most teachers are familiar with the basic principles of the two major categories of assessments, which includes formative and summative assessments. The way teachers view and utilize these two types of assessments is influenced by educational policies that emphasize high-stakes testing and teacher accountability. Teachers predominately focus on preparing students to achieve on high-stakes formal assessments such as final exams and state tests. Moreover, formal assessments are used to differentiate between students and determine their eligibility for specific programs and scholarships. In the current age of high-stakes testing teachers are under enormous pressure to get their students to achieve (Dixon & Worrell, 2016). This places emphasis on the adequacy of scores and less on interpretation of these scores. Students are provided with little feedback that they can use to reflect on their performance on these types of assessments. summative assessments are designed to assess students’ knowledge as well give students the opportunity to think critically as they apply their understanding to solve new problems or to explain novel phenomena (Dixon & Worrell, 2016). As a first-year teacher, I often find myself teaching to the regents, which leads to superficial and rote learning. Summative assessments have to be used to assess students conceptual understanding and promote critical and problem-solving skills.

I usually give general feedback on summative assessments based on how students perform as a class. I don't provide feedback to each individual student. The feedback is based on patterns and common misconceptions that I observed as I grade the exams. For example, on my last unit test on redox reactions, I notice that most students did not accurately use oxidation number rules to determine the change in oxidation state of a substance during a chemical reaction. I provided students with feedback as well as actual examples from students' exams that reflect that feedback. Based on the feedback, students in groups have to explain why the provided examples are incorrect and make the necessary corrections. This type of activity can be very effective because students are more inclined to assess and evaluate other student work. This is also allows students to see how others are thinking about the same content and reflect on their performance relative to the class.  

On the contrary, formative assessments are low-stakes ongoing assessments designed to assess students' understanding and teaching effectiveness. Formative assessments provide information that can be used as feedback to improve instruction and hep students meet learning goals. Feedback is used to bridge the gap between what students know and what they need to know. However, the increase focus on formal testing, has resulted in a blurring of the low-stakes/high-stakes distinction between formative and summative assessments. Research shows that teachers give feedback on tests and assignments in addition to grade. Feedback without grading-purely formative feedback- or withholding till students have attended to the feedback is rare (Havnes, 2011). I often use formative and summative assessments interchangeably and feedback is often tied to grading. Grading summative assessments such as quizzes and homework assessments deter students from completing these assignments. Student often copy each other, instead of using it as a way to assess and reflect on their learning. I can grade formative assessments based on completion or how well students implement feedback.

Feedback can be one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement, but not all feedback is created equal. Meta-analysis assessing the influence of feedback show considerable variability, indicating that some types of feedback are more powerful than others (Hattie & Timperley, 2007). The most effective form of feedback provide cues or reinforcement to learners. Feedback at the self or personal level, is rarely effective for enhancing achievement. I have to be selective with the type of feedback that I provide my students with on both formative as well as summative assessments, especially students in my ICT classes that have special needs. I have to do a better job creating a culture, where not only the teacher provides feedback to students, but also the students. I have to utilize feedback to create meaningful discussions among students and address common misconceptions before and after assessments.

Creating a culture in which students embrace and apply feedback can prove to be challenging. Students are conditioned to respond to feedback when its tie to grades. Feedback has to be integrated into the classroom environment beyond tests and assignments. Feedback has to be part of every aspect of the classroom, including student interactions, student activities, as well student participation. Students have to be given multiple the opportunity to demonstrate their learning and apply feedback. For example, student can receive immediate feedback on oral presentations from teachers as well as students. Teachers can use feedback provided by students to create and facilitate meaningful discussions.

 

References

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

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

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

      Yassmine,

      It is good to see that this week's readings resonated with you.

      You make a good point here:

      This places emphasis on the adequacy of scores and less on interpretation of these scores. Students are provided with little feedback that they can use to reflect on their performance on these types of assessments.

      Also, this stuck out to me:

       I have to do a better creating a culture, where not only the teacher provides feedback to students, but also the students. I have to utilize feedback to create meaningful discussions among students and address common misconceptions before and after assessments.  

      I would love to know more about both of these insights. What kinds of feedback on summative assessments have you provided and how have they been effective (or not) or under which circumstances? What are your thoughts about how you could develop the culture of learning of which you speak? What challenges would you expect to face? How would you meet them? What kinds of support would you need?

      Please revise your blog post to address this. You can do this by clicking on "Edit" above, making these revisions, then clicking on "Save." Once you do this, email me or message me on Pace Commons to let me know so I can take a look.

       

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