Improving Formative Assessment Practice to Empower Student Learning
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Improving Formative Assessment Practice to Empower Student Learning

Foreword by W. James Popham

Companion Website


© 2012 | 160 pages | Corwin

Supercharge your formative assessment skills and watch student learning soar!

Teachers routinely ask and answer a series of three questions with and for students: Where are my students headed? Where are they right now? How can I close the gap between where they are and where I want them to be? This text suggests that teachers also ask these parallel questions of themselves:

  • Where am I going?
  • What can formative assessment practice look like?
  • Where am I currently in my formative assessment practice?
  • How do I close the gap?

Readers are then encouraged to select a specific aspect of formative assessment to investigate, explore relevant personal practice relevant to that aspect, implement necessary changes, reflect on those changes, and continue the change process.

This practical guide can be used by individual teachers or collaboratively as a study guide for a learning community. The authors describe an effective four-step process for improving teachers' formative assessment practices that provides opportunities to reflect, consider alternative instructional approaches, and apply what they have learned. Case studies provide examples of formative assessment in practice, along with examples of teacher-implemented changes. A companion website includes an array of tools and templates for organizing, gathering, and systematically using information to strengthen formative assessment skills.

This practical guide can be used by individual teachers or collaboratively as a study guide for a learning community. Case studies provide examples of formative assessment in practice, along with examples of teachers implementing changes in their practice. A companion website includes an array of tools and templates for organizing, gathering, and systematically using information to strengthen formative assessment skills.

 
List of Web Tools
 
Foreword
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Preface
Who Is This Book For?  
Special Features of This Book  
Chapter Highlights  
 
1. Introduction to Improving Formative Assessment Practice
Formative and Summative Assessment  
Evaluation and Formative Assessment  
Evaluation and Professional Development  
The Self-Evaluation Process  
Overview of the Chapters  
 
2. Examining Formative Assessment
Formative Assessment in Practice  
Understanding Formative Assessment  
The Impact of Formative Assessment on Learning  
Formative Assessment Characteristics Used in the “How-To Guide”  
Summary: The Big Idea of Chapter 2  
Questions for Individual Consideration  
Questions for Consideration as a Learning Community  
 
3. Getting Started on Your Self-Evaluation Journey
Beginning the Self-Evaluation Process  
Developing Familiarity with Formative Assessment  
Am I Ready to Engage in This Process?  
Summary: The Big Idea of Chapter 3  
 
4. A Targeted Look at One Area
Personal Reflection on Strengths and Areas for Improvement  
Collecting Evidence of Practice  
Assessing Quality of Information  
Selecting an Area for Improvement  
Act-Reflect-Revise  
Summary: The Big Idea for Chapter 4  
 
5. Support for Making Changes to Practice
The Cycle-Within-The-Cycle: Act, Reflect, Revise  
Sources of Support  
How Will I Know When I am Ready to Choose a New Target or Characteristic?  
Summary: The Big Idea of Chapter 5  
 
6. Self-Evaluation of Changes to Practice
Chain of Evidence  
Collecting Evidence of Effects  
Sources of Evidence  
Additional Considerations  
Summing Up  
Summary: The Big Idea of Chapter 6  
 
7. Putting It All Together
 
Index

Supplements

“This book belongs on the desk of all teachers who are committed to increasing student learning. The authors explain how to implement formative assessment practices in a realistic and manageable way. I found creative examples from the book that I was able to incorporate into my lessons the very next day!”

Nicole Cobb, Director, Center for School Climate
Tennessee Department of Education

This text is an excellent tool to help teachers understand the power of formative assessments. Learning how to reflect on your own practice, collect evidence of student learning, and use this as a lens to guide your own teaching is liberating and the hallmark of a professional.”

Sherry L. Markel, Professor
Northern Arizona University College of Education

“This book provides a very useful way for teachers to implement a study and improvement of their assessment methods. Instead of a lot of professional jargon that could turn off the busy teachers who are looking for something useful, it contains aids that will strengthen classroom performance.”

Barbara Weaver, Adjunct Faculty
College of William and Mary, School of Education, Williamsburg, VA

"This is the book I was looking for when I was teaching and supervising teachers. I appreciate the much- needed focus on the "Self-Evaluation Journey." I hope to see a copy in every educator’s hands as they deal with the enormous challenges facing all of us with life-long commitments to student learning."

Donald B. Yarbrough, Chair Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation
University of Iowa Educational Measurement and Statistics Department
Key features
  • Sets forth a four-step, cycle-within-a-cycle process (see Figure 1.2) where the reader is encouraged to select a theme to investigate, explore personal practice relevant to that theme, implement changes where needed and then reflect on changes, and continue the change process when ready.
  • Offers real-world examples from a variety of grades and subject areas of teachers using formative assessment in their classrooms as they go through the process of changing practice.
  • Provides an array of online tools such as templates for organizing, gathering, and systematically using information to serve your formative-assessment development needs on a companion website
  • Clearly outlines objectives and big ideas. The authors begin each chapter with a clearly stated objective and close each chapter with a summary of the big idea. This presentation method serves both to focus each chapter and to reinforce knowledge/skill development.
  • Each chapter concludes with a set of questions to help teachers think more deeply about the chapter's main ideas.

 


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