FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT AND RELATED STRATEGIES

 

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT AND RELATED STRATEGIES - REPORT 

Abstract

In this assignment, we further consolidate the analysis of the various formative strategies proposed and work on the inferences. We also discuss the relevance of the intervention plan suggested and how it can be adjusted according to the dynamics of the situation. This would hold as a final report for the whole action-oriented plan suggested along with the intervention plan.

Introduction

We see from the first two talks about what a formative assessment does and how does it affect the outcome of a student or a teacher who is teaching the subject. The whole idea of this assessment to analyze the importance of the formative assessment as a learning measure and also try to understand the importance’s a type of formative assessment has.
In the literature review part, we went through the analyses done by research authors like Courtney Bell on Teacher Learning Competencies and its implementation in certain schools; William’s analysis on the various regulation strategies such as proactive regulation, interactive regulation, and retroactive regulation and finally our analysis on the Inside the Black Box paper which deals with extensive research n Formative assessment.
After having conducted this analysis on the literature review, we went through the responsibility model which enlisted the student as well as teacher's responsibility followed by headings such as focus lessons, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent tasks. Post that an independent analysis on the basic structure of formative assessment consisting of objectives, targeted instruction, informed teaching, data analysis and response to data were carried out. We also conducted two basic forms of formative assessments in Corners Activity and Fist to Five. Both these activities had a specific set of students who acted as our sample space and we conducted the basic research on them. This provided us with an idea as to how the formative assessment strategy works and it also gave percentage figures and had a quantitative aspect associated with it which made our work easier for analysis. Finally, we discussed an intervention plan and how it would work in such a scenario. (Brookhart 2010) (Courtney Bell 2008)

Analysis of the Formative Assessment Strategies 

In this analysis section of the formative assessment strategies, we will carry out a direct analysis of how the two strategies- Corners Activity and the Fist to Five work out.
Corners Activity
With respect to the Corners activity, based on our initial report we found out that: the set of 40 students had a varied viewpoint at the beginning with a cluster strongly agreeing, some strongly disagreeing on a topic which was of great relevance to them. It is observed that the students take innate interest to participate in it but there was the presence of few students who would just pick up a choice that his/her friend quoted and stand according to that. 
With the stats shown in the research, 18 students agreed to the topic and 12 students’ strongly disagreed with the topic. It was observed that during the group discussion stage, many would tend to start varying their decisions also. This was learning for the teachers that during the assessment, few students did not take up the analysis seriously and were misguided by their friends too. The students had to be encouraged to take part in the activity seriously as the results were used for evaluating for the teachers on their own teaching styles and this would impact what they deliver in the class also.
Fist to Five
The Fist to Five activity that was carried out had removed the generic nature of questioning that was put forward and when asked about a more specific .The attitude of the children taking part might be the first deterrent, as explained in the previous Corners activity example, where certain students take the whole activity very lightly and also get misguided by their friends.
In this activity, we had questioned on basic physics and this activity was used to not just get an idea of how much the student understood but it also gave us a feel as to whether the student was interested in helping out his fellow students in learning about the same as one of the finger actions meant that the student is interested to teach his fellow students also. This activity also gave a clear understanding of the depth of the concepts in the minds of the students. 
This aids the teacher to also set her mind frame on how the post-assessment activities should be. This test has provided sufficient data to the teachers on the status of the student.

Implications of strategies

The two strategies that were handled in this case provided knowledge on: the retention power of the students, the understanding capabilities as well as the general attitude of the students. The implications from the strategies mentioned help ineffective usage of the intervention plan in a better way. 
The intervention plan takes into account the current level of knowledge that the students exhibit and works on it so that an added advantage can be provided to the students as well as to the teachers. The major help that these strategies provide to students is that it gives them the confidence to face uninformed tests or anything on a sudden basis and does not hold them back due to fear to face these tasks. The students also effectively participate in the same. (Greenstein 2010)

Intervention plan and results

The intervention plan was the key feature of how the formative assessments’ analyses were handled. These formative assessments provided the teachers with what and where the students lag. The intervention plan had basically the following steps: Identify the limitations, develop proper assessments and interventions and finally monitor the plan.
The interventions that are to be done are to be done with a very careful track as it shouldn’t obstruct the learning of the students or it should not hamper their spirits. The plan has to be more of a remedial one and it should be managed by the teacher like an advocate. It should have an accelerative approach and should be more of a learning one rather than one which will demote a student. 
Further rules that are to be present for interventions are: They should be systematic and should be unobtrusive to the students. They should be designed in such a way that they bring the students back on to track immediately. In our case, the interventions are designed in such a way that they entertain the students and treat them in such a way that they feel a friendly atmosphere. Considering all these factors, they should be designed in such a way that they are specific so that the students should not feel sensitive or it should not be intensive in terms of labor. 
It is very important to have a note that many or most of the instructors use an anonymous formative assessment. This technique comes with a lot of advantages along with it. Some of them are that the performance of the student would be less affected due to an anxiety strike; the student would feel confident while giving responses as they would not have any grading for this. These now become a culture for the classroom and due to this, the students feel at ease. 

Support System

For the formative assessments we discussed, a support system is essential which should be given for some interval of time so that the students take to support and once they are comfortable they are released slowly. The system should not be given as an adversary by the teacher but should be seen only as an aid. 
The formative assessments are used as a method to check whether the supports being provided are working actually. The supports and the steps should be inversely proportional i.e as the supports are decreased; the steps given to the students should be increased. This means that the frequency of the support must be decreased. The check on the support system is very crucial as feedback on this adds value to whether the support system should be present or not. 

Instructional Intervention

The key for instructional intervention is that when a student is facing a struggle or a battle in a task, support must be provided on an immediate basis. The intervention plan is to be designed such that this instructional intervention should be done on a timely basis to help out the strugglers.
This step also includes the planning of interventions also. The designing of interventions should keep track of this also and the teachers should keep assessing what they are teaching and the necessary corrective actions should also be kept in place. Pro-activeness is very much needed at this point and hence the minute a student is seen to struggle, the teachers are to bring this to fore.
While evaluating the Corners activity and Fist to five, if a student is seen to be struggling the teacher immediately needs to act on support for him/her. Eg: If David is seen to be struggling with the fact that he is not comfortable with writing, the teacher can send him special tasks on writing through mails or even give him small activities to do on these lines. Also, say if a person Y in the Fist to Five activities was not comfortable with Newton’s laws (as in our case), the teacher immediately notices that and sends him/her preparatory activities on this line. This would boost the confidence of the students and it won’t hamper their image in front of the class also as the assignments or activities given to these students are on a personal basis. 

Results

Even post-intervention, there might be a set of students who are still not comfortable and could not develop the mastery of the skills needed for that situation. These students still require the support system for a while or they need a dynamic change in the intervention for them. For the understanding of the concepts take some time but this does not categorize the students as not capable enough.
Teachers, at this point, try to categorize the students further based on whether they need only a remedy or whether the students need more care in terms of their behaviour.
It was also understood that re-teaching of the concepts can be carried out or also error analysis should be carried out to have constant feedback for the students. Post all this reassessing is to be carried out so that the teachers can get an effective idea of whether the intervention plan has worked also for the betterment of the students. This also provides the teachers with the satisfaction that they are able to better the understanding of students by varying their approach.

Conclusion

Having analyzed the literature and conducted formative assessments in the form of Corners activity and Fist to Five on certain students, it has been observed that interventions should be put in place at the right times so that effectiveness of the students can be improved. This also shows that these intervention plans along with the support system put more focus on the students and the feedback system should be so effective that it can quickly act on the students so that they feel the effect also. On an overall basis, we understood that formative assessments add more value to the education system and it also becomes a culture to be followed.

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Bibliography

viewed 3 July 2016,
Brookhart, SM 2010, Formative Assessment Strategies for Every Classroom: An ASCD Action Tool, 2nd in.
Courtney Bell, JSDWCW 2008, 'Formative Assessment and Student Achievement'.
Greenstein, L 2010, What Teachers Really Need to Know About Formative Assessment.

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