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Standards-based assessment and Instruction

Formative Assessment

Assessment and Teaching Strategies Tied to Successful Formative Assessment

According to studies done by Dylan Wiliam and Paul Black the assessment and teaching strategies most closely tied to successful formative assessment are:

1) Effective Questions

Asking meaningful questions, increasing the wait time for student answers and having rich follow-up activities that extend student thinking. "Put simply, the only point of asking questions is to raise issues about which a teacher needs information or about which the students need to think." (2) p.13

2) Appropriate Feedback

In reviewing the research Black and Wiliam found that giving grades does not improve performance. Using tasks and oral questioning that encouraged students to show understanding, providing comments on what was done well and what needs improvement, also with guidance on how to make improvements should be the focus instead of grades.

3) Peer- and Self-Assessment

Peer-assessment and self-assessment, "secure aims that cannot be achieved in any other way." (2) p.15 Achieving success requires that students have a clear understanding of the standards and are taught the skills of peer- and self-assessment.

Paul Black, C. H., Clare Lee, Bethan Marshall, and Dylan Wiliam (2004). "Working Inside the Black Box: Assessment for Learning in the Classroom". Phi Delta Kappan: 9-21.

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The Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union (SVSU) in Bennington was trying to help its local community gain a better understanding of what students need to demonstrate in order to be successful on their math assessments. One of the most difficult sections of the exam is problem solving. Here, students are not only expected to determine the correct strategy, but also to explain their answers in writing, using math language and representation. For four years SVSU has used Exemplars as a curriculum tool in teaching its students how to solve these types of problems...

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