Manual Feedback and Questioning and Their Contribution to the Assessment Process

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It promotes thinking about the validity of your line of reasoning, so questions may include: Do the conclusions follow from the evidence? Is the claim justified? Will the plan work? What are the dangers of the plan? Will there be sufficient drainage? Is a leisure centre really needed here? Involves emotions, feelings, hunches and intuition, and therefore allows people to put forward feelings without having to justify them, however mixed they are! Questions may include: What do I feel about that decision? Is my gut reaction yes or no? Do I want a building in the middle of this area?

Do I think this design is too modern? Involves looking for the positives- the sunny day thinking - advantages, benefits or savings, but they must be justified! Questions may include: What are the benefits?

The importance of feedback and why effective leaders will provide it and seek it

What are the good things about having a leisure centre here? Involves creative thinking, exploration, proposals, suggestions and new ideas. It is about broadening the range of options before any one of them is pursued in detail, and does not require the logical justification of alternatives. Questions may include: What would we ideally wish for? What alternatives are there? What else could we do with the space? What about an adventure park? Or some futuristic green houses? Involves metacognition - thinking about thinking. It is about reflecting on the process rather than the decisions. Questions may include Where are we now?

What is the next step? Is this the best way to decide? Was this a good way to go about making the decision? This can be further supported by simple strategies such as:. But how and where to start? Take a moment to look at the questions on the below. This should help you analyse your own strengths and weaknesses in questioning, and focus your next efforts. Try to answer the questions as honestly as you can.

Toggle navigation Gary Hall. Other The Importance of Questioning Questioning is the key means by which teachers find out what pupils already know, identify gaps in knowledge and understanding and scaffold the development of their understanding to enable them to close the gap between what they currently know and the learning goals. Help pupils to develop their thinking from the lower order concrete and factual recall type to the higher order analytical and evaluative which promote deeper understanding.

Higher order questions help pupils explore ideas and make connections, helping pupils see the "big picture" of the learning. This in turn leads to greater motivation and improved engagement. Prompt pupils to inspect their existing knowledge and experience to create new understandings. Articulating understanding helps to clarify it and improves the likelihood that it will be retained.

Focus pupils on the key issues and enable teachers and pupils to see progress over time. Model for pupils how experienced learners seek meaning- moving them towards greater independence. Planning for fewer, better questions Clarify your learning intentions - link your key questions to them Plan a few key questions to use, perhaps collaboratively, or within medium term plans Extend the key questions with subsidiary questions to ask. Consider the techniques you will employ - e. Where will pupils need most "think time"? Stage them so that the level of challenge increases as the lesson proceeds.

Bloom's taxonomy, reproduced in the chart below, can help with this. Bloom's Taxonomy What pupils need to do Examples of possible question structures Knowledge Define, recall, describe, label, identify, match, name, state What is it called? Where does When did it happen? What types of triangle are there? Comprehension Translate, predict, explain, summarise, describe, compare events and objects , classify Why does he? Explain what is happening in the crater So how is Tim feeling at this point? What are the key features…? Application Demonstrate how, Solve, Try it in a new context, use, interpret, relate, apply ideas What do you think will happen next?

So which tool would be best for this? Put the information into a graph Can you use what you now know to solve the problem Analysis Analyse, explain, infer, break down, prioritise, reason logically, reason critically, draw conclusion What patterns can you see in the ways these verbs change?

Formative and Summative Assessments | Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning

Why did the Germans invade? What assumptions are being made…? What is the function of…? Synthesis Design, create, compose, combine, reorganise, reflect, predict, speculate, hypothesise, summarise Compose a phrase of you own using a syncopated rhythm What is the writer's main point What ways could you test that theory? What conclusions can you draw? Should they develop the green-field or the brown-field site? Which was the better strategy to use? Try to use the steps in the taxonomy to plan sequences of questions in a lesson or to plan objectives for lessons over a period of time to make sure they are making increasingly challenging cognitive demands on pupils.

If there is a "right" answer, try to plan to use a strategy which means all pupils have to give it. This will enable the teacher to quickly assess who knows and who doesn't, and modify teaching accordingly. In addition, many standardized tests that are used for accountability still overemphasize memory for isolated facts and procedures, yet teachers are often judged by how well their students do on such tests.

One mathematics teacher consistently produced students who scored high on statewide examinations by helping students memorize a number of mathematical procedures e. Appropriately designed assessments can help teachers realize the need to rethink their teaching practices. Even without technology, however, advances have been made in devising simple assessments that measure understanding rather than memorization. In the area of physics, assessments like those used in Chapter 2 to compare experts and novices have been revised for use in classrooms. One task presents students with two problems and asks them to state whether both would be solved using a similar approach and state the reason for the decision:.

How much work was done by friction? The ball travels on a horizontal surface and eventually rolls without slipping. Novices typically state that these two problems are solved similarly because they match on surface features—both involve a ball sliding and rolling on a horizontal surface. Students who are learning with understanding state that the problems are solved differently: the first can be solved by applying the work-energy theorem; the second can be solved by applying conservation of angular momentum Hardiman et al.

These kinds of assessment items can be used during the course of instruction to monitor the depth of conceptual understanding. Portfolio assessments are another method of formative assessment. They take time to implement and they are often implemented poorly—portfolios often become simply another place to store student work but no discussion of the work takes place— but used properly, they provide students and others with valuable information about their learning progress over time.

A challenge for the learning sciences is to provide a theoretical framework that links assessment practices to learning theory. An important step in this direction is represented by the work of Baxter and Glaser , who. A 1-kilogram stick that is 2 meters long is placed on a frictionless surface and is free to rotate about a vertical pivot through one end.

A gram lump of putty is attached 80 centimeters from the pivot. Performance on this item was near random for students finishing an introductory calculus-based physics course. Data such as these are important for helping teachers guide students toward the development of fluid, transferable knowledge Leonard et al.

In their report, performance is described in terms of the content and process task demands of the subject matter and the nature and extent of cognitive activity likely to be observed in a particular assessment situation. The kind and quality of cognitive activities in an assessment is a function of the content and process demands of the task involved. For example, consider the content-process framework for science assessment shown in Figure 6. In this figure, task demands for content.

At one extreme are knowledge-rich tasks, tasks that require in-depth understanding of subject matter for their completion. At the other extreme are tasks that are not dependent on prior knowledge or related experiences; rather, performance is primarily dependent on the information given in the assessment situation. The task demands for process skills are conceptualized as a continuum from constrained to open x axis. In open situations, explicit directions are minimized; students are expected to generate and carry out appropriate process skills for problem solution.

In process-constrained situations, directions can be of two types: step-by-step, subject-specific procedures given as part of the task, or directions to explain the process skills that are necessary for task completion. In this situation, students are asked to generate explanations, an activity that does not require using the process skills.

Assessment tasks can involve many possible combinations of content knowledge and process skills; Table 6. New developments in the science of learning suggest that the degree to which environments are community centered is also important for learning. Especially important are norms for people learning from one another and continually attempting to improve.

We use the term community centered to refer to several aspects of community, including the classroom as a commu-. At the level of classrooms and schools, learning seems to be enhanced by social norms that value the search for understanding and allow students and teachers the freedom to make mistakes in order to learn e. Different classrooms and schools reflect different sets of norms and expectations. For example, an unwritten norm that operates in some classrooms is never to get caught making a mistake or not knowing an answer see, e.

Some norms and expectations are more subject specific. For example, the norms in a mathematics class may be that mathematics is knowing how to compute answers; a much better norm would be that the goal of inquiry is mathematical understanding. Different norms and practices have major effects on what is taught and how it is assessed e.

Sometimes there are different sets of expectations for different students. Teachers may convey expectations for school success to some students and expectations for school failure to others MacCorquodale, For example, girls are sometimes discouraged from participating in higher level mathematics and science. Students, too, may share and convey cultural expectations that proscribe the participation of girls in some classes Schofield et al. A speech-language pathologist working in an Inuit school in northern Canada asked a principal—who was not an Inuit—to compile a list of children who had speech and language problems in the school.

They should be learning by looking. Classroom norms can also encourage modes of participation that may be unfamiliar to some students. For example, some groups rely on learning by observation and listening and then becoming involved in ongoing activities; school-like forms of talking may be unfamiliar for the children whose community has only recently included schools Rogoff et al.

The sense of community in classrooms is also affected by grading practices, and these can have positive or negative effects depending on the students. For example, Navajo high school students do not treat tests and grades as competitive events the way that Anglo students do Deyhle and Margonis, More broadly, competition among students for teacher attention, approval, and grades is a commonly used motivator in U.

And in some situations, competition may create situations that impede learning.

An emphasis on community is also imortant when attempting to borrow successful educational practices from other countries. For example, Japanese teachers spend considerable time working with the whole class, and they frequently ask students who have made errors to share their thinking with the rest of the class. This can be very valuable because it leads to discussions that deepen the understanding of everyone in the class. However, this practice works only because Japanese teachers have developed a classroom culture in which students are skilled at learning from one another and respect the fact that an analysis of errors is fruitful for learning Hatano and Inagaki, Japanese students value listening, so they learn from large class discussions even if they do not have many chances to participate.

The culture of American classrooms is often very different—many emphasize the importance of being right and contributing by talking. Teaching and learning must be viewed from the perspective of the overall culture of the society and its relationship to the norms of the classrooms. To simply attempt to import one or two Japanese teaching techniques into American classrooms may not produce the desired results. The sense of community in a school also appears to be strongly affected by the adults who work in that environment. As Barth states:. The relationship among adults who live in a school has more to do with the character and quality of the school and with the accomplishments of the students than any other factor.

Studies by Bray and Talbert and McLaughlin emphasize the importance of teacher learning communities. We say more about this in Chapter 8. An analysis of learning environments from the perspective of community also includes a concern for connections between the school environment and the broader community, including homes, community centers, after-school programs, and businesses.

Chapters 3 , 4 , and 5 showed that learning takes time; ideally, what is learned in school can be connected to out-of-school learning and vice versa. Often, however, this ideal is not reached. As John Dewey noted long ago:. From the standpoint of the child, the great waste in school comes from his inability to utilize the experience he gets outside…while on the other hand, he is unable to apply in daily life what he is learning in school.

That is the isolation of the school—its isolation from life. The importance of connecting the school with outside learning activities can be appreciated by considering Figure 6.

The percentage of time spent in school is comparatively small. If students spend one-third of their nonsleeping time outside of school watching television, this means that they spend more time watching television in a year than they spend in school. We say more about television and learning in the next section. A key environment for learning is the family. Children also learn from the attitudes of family members toward skills and values of schooling.

The phenomenal development of children from birth to age 4 or 5 is generally supported by family interactions in which children learn by engaging with and observing others in shared endeavors. Many of the recommendations for changes in schools can be seen as extensions of the learning activities that occur within families. In addition, recommendations. Percentages were calculated using school days each year, and each school day was estimated to be 6. Children participate in many other institutions outside their homes that can foster learning.

Some of these institutions have learning as part of their goals, including many after-school programs, organizations such as Boy and Girl Scouts and 4-H Clubs, museums, and religious groups. Others make learning more incidental, but learning takes place nevertheless see McLaughlin, , on youth clubs; Griffin and Cole, , on the Fifth Dimension Program.

Connections to experts outside of school can also have a positive influence on in-school learning because they provide opportunities for students to interact with parents and other people who take an interest in what students are doing. It can be very motivating both to students and teachers to have opportunities to share their work with others. Opportunities to prepare for these events helps teachers raise standards because the consequences go beyond mere scores on a test e.

The idea of outside audiences who present challenges complete with deadlines has been incorporated into a number of instructional programs e. Working to prepare for outsiders provides motivation that helps teachers maintain student interest. In addition, teachers and students develop a better sense of community as they prepare to face a common challenge. Students are also motivated to prepare for outside audiences who do not come to the classroom but will see their projects.

Preparing exhibits for museums represents an excellent example see Collins et al. New technologies that enhance the ability to connect classrooms to others in the school, to parents, business leaders, college students, content area experts, and others around the world are discussed in Chapter 9.

Children watch a great deal of television before entering school, and television viewing continues throughout life.


In fact, many students spend more hours watching television than attending school. Parents want their children to learn from television; at the same time they are concerned about what they are learning from the programs they watch Greenfield, Television programming for children ranges from educational to purely entertaining see Wright and Huston, And there are different ways of watching programs—a child may watch in isolation or with an adult.

The same program can have different effects depending on who is watching and whether the viewing is a solo activity or part of an interactive group. An important distinction is whether the program is intended to be educational or not. One group of preschoolers aged 2—4 and first-grade students aged 6—7 watched about 7—8 hours of noneducational programming per week; the preschool children also watched an average of 2 hours of educational programming per week, and the older students watched 1 hour. Despite the low ratio of educational to noneducational viewing, the educational programs seemed to have positive benefits.

Planning for fewer, better questions...

The 2- to 4-year-old preschoolers performed better than non-viewers of educational programs on tests of school readiness, reading, mathematics, and vocabulary as much as 3 years later Wright and Huston, Specifically, viewing educational programs was a positive predictor of letter-word knowledge, vocabulary size, and school readiness on standardized achievement tests.

Overall, the effects of television viewing were not as widespread for the older students, and there were fewer significant effects for the older children than for the preschoolers.

The importance of feedback

Television also provides images and role models that can affect how children view themselves, how they see others, attitudes about what academic subjects they should be interested in, and other topics related to person perception. These images can have both positive and negative effects. And children who watched episodes of Sesame Street featuring handicapped children had more positive feelings toward children with disabilities. However, children can also misinterpret programs about people from different cultures, depending on what they already know Newcomb and Collins, Stereotyping represents a powerful effect of watching television that is potentially negative.

Children bring sex role stereotypes with them to school that derive from television programs and commercials Dorr, As a powerful visual medium, television creates stereotypes even when there is no intent to sell an image. But experimental studies indicate that such stereotyping effects decrease with children as young as 5 if adults offer critiques of the stereotypic portrayals as the children watch programs Dorr, Thus, entertainment programs can educate in positive ways and learned information can be extended through adult guidance and commentary.

But the medium is neither inherently beneficial nor harmful. The content that students watch, and how they watch it, has important effects on what they learn. Especially significant is the fact that informative or educational programming has been shown to have beneficial effects on school achievement and that a preponderance of non-educational, entertainment viewing can have negative effects.

These findings support the wisdom of continued attempts to develop and study television programs that can help students acquire the kinds of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that support their learning in school. In the beginning of this chapter we noted that the four perspectives on learning environments the degree to which they are learner, knowledge, assessment, and community centered would be discussed separately but ultimately needed to be aligned in ways that mutually support one another.

Alignment is as important for schools as for organizations in general e. A key aspect of task analysis see Chapter 2 is the idea of aligning goals for learning with what is taught, how it is taught, and how it is assessed both formatively and summatively. Without this alignment, it is difficult to know what is being learned. Students may be learning valuable information, but one cannot tell unless there is alignment between what they are learning and the assessment of that learning.

A systems approach to promote coordination among activities is needed to design effective learning environments Brown and Campione, Many schools have checklists of innovative practices, such as the use of collaborative learning, teaching for understanding and problem solving, and using formative assessment.

Often, however, these activities are not coordinated with one another. In addition, students may be given opportunities to study collaboratively for tests yet be graded on a curve so that they compete with one another rather than trying to meet particular performance standards. In these situations, activities in the classroom are not aligned. Activities within a particular classroom may be aligned yet fail to fit with the rest of the school. And a school as a whole needs to have a consistent alignment. Some schools communicate a consistent policy about norms and expectations for conduct and achievement.

Others send mixed messages. Overall, different activities within a school may or may not compete with one another and impede overall progress. When principals and teachers work together to define a common vision for their entire school, learning can improve e. Activities within schools must also be aligned with the goals and assessment practices of the community. Often these factors are out of alignment. Effective change requires a simultaneous consideration of all these factors e. The new scientific findings about learning provide a framework for guiding systemic change.

The goals and expectations for schooling have changed quite dramatically during the past century, and new goals suggest the need to rethink. We emphasized that research on learning does not provide a recipe for designing effective learning environments, but it does support the value of asking certain kinds of questions about the design of learning environments. Four perspectives on the design of learning environments—the degree to which they are student centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered—are important in designing these environments.

Learner-centered environments attempt to help students make connections between their previous knowledge and their current academic tasks. Parents are especially good at helping their children make connections. Teachers have a harder time because they do not share the life experiences of each of their students. Effective environments must also be knowledge centered. It is not sufficient only to attempt to teach general problem solving and thinking skills; the ability to think and solve problems requires well-organized knowledge that is accessible in appropriate contexts.

While young students are capable of grasping more complex concepts than was believed previously, those concepts must be presented in ways that are developmentally appropriate. A knowledge-centered perspective on learning environments also highlights the importance of thinking about designs for curricula. To what extent do they help students learn with understanding versus promote the acquisition of disconnected sets of facts and skills? Curricula that emphasize an excessively broad range of subjects run the risk of developing disconnected rather than connected knowledge; they fit well with the idea of a curriculum as being a well-worn path in a road.

Issues of assessment also represent an important perspective for viewing the design of learning environments. Feedback is fundamental to learning, but opportunities to receive it are often scarce in classrooms. Students may receive grades on tests and essays, but these are summative assessments that occur at the end of projects; also needed are formative assessments that provide students opportunities to revise and hence improve the quality of their thinking and learning. Assessments must reflect the learning goals that define various environments.

If the goal is to enhance understanding, it is not sufficient to provide assessments that focus primarily on memory for facts and formulas. Many instructors have changed their approach to teaching after seeing how their students failed to understand seemingly obvious to the expert ideas. The fourth perspective on learning environments involves the degree to which they promote a sense of community. Ideally, students, teachers, and other interested participants share norms that value learning and high standards.

Student Assessment in Teaching and Learning

There are several aspects of community, including the community of the classroom, the school, and the connections between the school and the larger community, including the home. The importance of connected communities becomes clear when one examines the relatively small amount of time spent in school compared to other settings. Finally, there needs to be alignment among the four perspectives of learning environments. They all have the potential to overlap and mutually influence one another. Issues of alignment appear to be very important for accelerating learning both within and outside of schools.

First released in the Spring of , How People Learn has been expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior. This edition includes far-reaching suggestions for research that could increase the impact that classroom teaching has on actual learning. Like the original edition, this book offers exciting new research about the mind and the brain that provides answers to a number of compelling questions.