Hi, my name is Latayvia Green. I'm a graduate student at Voorhees University, where I've been learning about formative assessments, evaluating students' knowledge as they know, a method of ongoing evaluation. As I understand more about formative assessments, I have a few questions hoping someone will respond. How do you effectively use formative assessment within your class? Secondly, how do you tailor evaluations for students with disabilities?
Great question on formative assessment. I am a teacher educator and one of my courses is on classroom assessment with formative assessment at its core. It is unfortunate that educators do not share a common understanding of what formative assessment is. My PhD dissertation was on formative assessment focusing on science teachers' formative assessment practices. From the groundbreaking study by Black and Wiliam published in 1998 to others the include the work of Hagerty and others, it is clear that we must frist agree on what formative assessment it. I continue to understand it as a PROCESS within the complex system of our classroom. It is not something like a test or exit slip that we give students but a PROCESS that involves the individual students, their peers and the teacher. Everyone is engaged in the process that involves eliciting knowledge to know where the learner is and using feedback based on elicited knowledge to close the gap between what the learner knows and what they are supposed to know. It is such a complex process that embodies multiple elements, which explains why it is not so easy to find a classroom with an exemplary formative assessment for others to adopt. To implement effective formative assessment one must understand all the elements in the system that contribute to it and figure out where one has to intervene to enhance the process. It is such an important but challenging question to respond to in this box. For example, one of the elements in an effective formative assessment process is eliciting knowledge to get authentic responses. This means you must know who your students are in constructing the questions; you must be explicit in your question; students must feel safe to share their authentic response; you must have access to students authentic knowledge; students must be engaged in reflecting on their knowledge to determine the gap and be intentional in closing it based on feedbak from peers, teacher and other resources. Very complex process that we continue to conceptualize as a simply as 'teacher asks-students respond-teacher gives feedback-students use feedback to revise knowledge'.
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