Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Assessment Table of Contents/Assessment Chapter 3: Assessment for Learning (section)/Article 1 Reader Responses

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The Best Value in Formative Assessment

Reader Responses[edit]

This article made me think about how useful formative assessment can be if used properly. The benchmarks given twice a year have always been a good way for me as a parent to evaluate what my child needs to work on. As a teacher I could use them in the same way as well as other formative tests. All those POP quizzes in school to see if we were paying attention were formative tests I suppose.Jnemo001 (talk) 02:53, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This article provides a lot of helpful informaiton concerning formative and summative information. After having taught at the high school level for a few years, I can see how a number of comments in this article are right one target. One observation I had is that many administrators and teachers are lacking in skills necessary to properly interpret formative and summative assessment data. Also, I see how oftentimes teachers are too busy having to fit in other material to adequately use data from benchmarks for intervention purposes. Too often, teachers report only scores of benchmarks to students, and this is, as the article argues, is not an effective means of giving feedback. I agree with the usefulness of benchmarks and like the article I agree that formative assesments made by the teacher apart from the benchmarks are necessary and superior in preparing students for standardized tests such as the SOL. Benchmarks don't measure knowledge of content as thoroughly as teacher made assessments can. In my opinion, this article provides a lot of helpful insights for people such as us who are starting out in the teaching profession. Mbrowder (talk) 20:43, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with the formative and summation assessment. I feel these are great assessments that should be used to understand the teachers effectiveness and how much the student is actually learning. What I really liked was the non graded formative assessments. These are not used often...personal experience...and I think they would be extremely beneficial. I feel too many times teachers do not worry whether a student gets material or not and will continue on to the next subject without the students really learning the material. Just from experience, I also feel that teachers do not take full advantage of te results received whether it is formative or summative. I do not see a large effort on insturctors part to change what they are doing to better aide the student. Sston008 (talk) 00:17, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I really enjoyed reading the article, and felt that I learned a lot. A teacher can get a lot of useful information from formative tests, such as feedback on what the students are learning and need help on, and also to let them know what types of lessons and strategies that the students learned more from. It is a shame that more teachers are not able to take real advantage of formative assessments due to lack of time and too much information to cover. Sometimes the teachers get to wrapped up in preparing for SOLs or other summative tests that they don't make it a point to get feedback from formative tests. If every teacher could do this and see what areas the students need help in, they could alter their teaching and get better results of summative tests later. Alucy001 (talk) 00:58, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

This past year at my school there has been a focus on formative assessments. It is interesting to see the reactions of some of the older teachers when this was announced. We had quite a few in the "old regime" that felt they knew their curriculum and had x number of years implementing this course of study. They didn't feel that they needed to use formative assessments as much as the newer teachers because they could identify when a student wasn't getting the information. Being a first year teacher in this school system, I found the formative assessments to be valuable in the direction of the class. You would come to find classes take a life of their own in the direction they go. Having a one size fits all curriculum doesn't work. I also found that more formative assessments led to better results on summative assessments. Jtmitchem (talk) 00:05, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I found this article to be very enlightening, in terms of calling to my attention the value of feedback and how to better the students/teacher from tests. I agree with the point that feedback should be specific in order to help the students learn from his or her mistakes. It is important for the teachers to take as much from the test setting as the students. These tests can tell teachers what points that they should stress more than others, how they should better approach the information, and how to improve on the tests themselves. The formative/summative, however, does not help in the formal test situation. This sort of test is a pass or fail situation and therefore no real feedback can be given. Abeck017 (talk) 01:19, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with various points on this article. It shows that student are far better off and benefit more from formative tests, that focus strictly on the materials learned. A student learns better when they feel like they are comfortable with the material, even if it is a test time, this information will be easier to retain. Formative assessments are quick, to the point and precise material acquired from learned lessons, while summative could be confusing, long and trying to fit a big curriculum into a small piece of paper.In conclusion, formative assessments lead to not only better results in other areas such as summative assessments but makes it easier for the individual to truly learn the material.Ehern004 (talk) 02:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

It is refreshing to see that we have advanced enough to realize that summative assessment is not the true measure of a student. I have had the experience of being graded using formative tests and although I am a bit of a perfectionist it was a great experience. It is hard to let the black and white graded performance go and embrace the formative but it speaks to the student as a person that has many facets of learning and requires feedback that will allow them to actually learn. I think that the summative assessment is necessary for many reasons especially to create benchmarks and maintain curriculum guidelines but I think that students will respond better to a formative approach at assessment.Jnewh001 (talk) 02:46, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

While I do agree with many points in this article, the added assessment it calls for seems to only worsen the problem of over testing. Students are already forced to take high stakes for state standards, as well as local sumative tests, now in order to assess the amount of learning taking place this article advocates giving non-graded quizzes. I very much agree with the reasoning behind such formative assessments, however with all that time spent testing, whether formative, or sumative, graded or not, that does not leave very much time for the students to actually learn. What good is school if all you do is test students on things they have learned, but you never give them anytime to learn it?Scrai010 (talk) 20:59, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I think that this article points out several great points. I know when i took the Virginia Standards of Learning tests I wasn't really sure of the reason of why we had to take them. After I read this article it was a little clearer as to why. The article talked about how both Summative and Formative testing are important in their own ways. One is needed to test a students knowledge and skill level and the other is used to give the student better feedback. When you take the SOL's you are basically just given a score and a pass/fail rating, this is good in some situations. While in others it really isn't as affective. Rcoll029 (talk) 22:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

I thought this article was very informative and answered a lot of questions regarding assessment. I have to agree with the Chappuis's about time restrictions. Classes today remind me of going to the know, the "get in, get out method"...where you spend some of your time in the waiting room, or in the case of school...walking to class and listening for announcements...from there you get into the exam room to see the doctor who spends about 15 minutes with you before moving onto the next patient. In school, by the time you are done with any announcements, handing back papers, or dealing with other issues...there is little time left to actually go over the class material before the bell rings (I am referring to middle school and high school). Trying to intermix assessments, tests, and other things is very daunting sometimes. In the article, I really liked the steps where the authors' asked question from the student's point of makes a lot of sense.Scarlett1 (talk) 04:19, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the main thrust of the article but I feel that, while mostly sound, the idea of “formative assessment” is poorly implemented at best. Additional testing, non-graded testing at that, does not sound like a very effective way to get students involved in learning. I think that other methods should be implemented such as “for fun” writing assignments, ideally creative assignments students can do for a nominal amount of extra credit, games in the class room, really anything other than more tests. While tests may seem the most direct and viable source of information, I question if students would really try to the best of their ability on “weightless” tests. With the rigors of testing already in place, and with the really quite abysmal state of any sort of after school activity, most students look at learning like a job. A terrible job, they don’t get paid for, with the added bonus of mind numbing take home work. In short, I love the idea, I hate the method.BitterAsianMan (talk) 02:32, 15 June 2009 (UTC)