Question 1: How does formative assessment support student performance?
Formative assessment is a ongoing process used by teachers during instruction that gives explicit feedback to students to adjust teaching and learning process to improve students’ achievement of the desired instructional outcomes. It is also known as “assessment for learning”.
Formative assessment is proven to be highly effective way to enhance and support student performance. The purpose of formative assessment is to give students the means and motivation to take ownership of their own learning. This means that students need to be responsible for their own learning. Students themselves must have the initiative to ...view middle of the document...
It enables teachers to diagnose a learning problem early enough for them to take immediate remedial action. For examples, teachers can use homework, classroom dialogue, quick class test and observation of student behaviour in the class as ways of conducting continuous assessment. Nevertheless, formative assessment only shows its effectiveness when the teacher is clear about the intended learning goals of the students. The results of the assessments must be able to allow teachers to determine which student need immediate attention, which students need a different approach and which students are not learning. From this point, the teachers can provide appropriate remedial activities and enrichment activities. Remedial activities must be given in a new way and involve students in different types of learning experiences. For instance, teachers can make adjustment on the changes in format, organization or teaching method in order to meet the changing needs of the students. The students are the ones who benefit from the adjustments.
Formative assessment focuses on progress or growth, not just the number, score or grade. After confirming what a student has mastered, teachers can identify the learning that comes next for the student. This will indeed improve learning as instructions can be adjusted and modified immediately after the assessment. It creates effective classroom discussions, questions, activities and tasks that offer the evidence of how students are progressing to the learning goals. It also helps students to build “learning to learn” skills. Students are able to build their own understanding of new concepts rather than only absorbing information provided by teachers. Thus, they are able to develop invaluable skills for lifelong learning.
Formative assessment builds students’ skills at self-assessment and peer-assessment. Students become learning resources for one another. They learn to give and receive feedback from others to improve their work. After doing some tasks given by teachers, students review their peers’ work according to the set assessment criteria. Students who act as “assessor” have the opportunity to understand better assessment criteria. It encourages and motivates them to learn more deeply and meaningfully rather than gaining knowledge of the fact and having their own perspective of the assessment task in comparison to their peers. Directly or indirectly, it helps them to develop a range of effective learning strategies.
Other than that, formative assessment provides immediate useful feedback to teachers and students. They do not have to wait for weeks or months to deliver feedback. Effective, comprehensive and timely feedback is important for students’ learning. It enables students to identify their strengths and weaknesses throughout the learning process. They will be aware of the gaps between their current knowledge and the desired goals. Then, students are able to revise and improve their work products and deepen...