Enactment of Formative Assessment
Getting the students to share and present their findings. One of the things I enacted several times was getting students to give presentations on topics, to check their understanding. This usually was part of a Jigsaw style activity. The disadvantage of this was that often students would have a comprehensive understanding of the topic they worked on but if the tasks varied, they would switch off during other students presentations. I found it useful to prime them and revise all topics later.
Using class activities to check for understanding. In this class I ran a Venn Diagram competition. This also acted as a group work exercise. Students would discuss as a group and write down consequences of WWI. Then one member would come up and check with me, I would get them to explain or justify if I felt their knowledge was lacking. The disadvantage is that it could just be a single student coming up but in this class, the individuals took turns.
Using quizzes to check prior knowledge/learning. I used online quizzes for check for understanding after we had completed a unit or to test for prior knowledge. This is a great primer, especially in subjects that get repeated throughout the intermediate and high school years. It's useful to know what your students know or have already learnt about sustainability or government etc.
Using exit cards to find trends in students learning. When I used these exit cards the first time, I asked students to write something they had learnt in the lesson. This was really useful, as I could mark trends in learning and see what key pieces of knowledge students took away from the lesson. It didn't give me useful data that would help shape my next lesson. Checking for understanding also needs to be a method of feed-forward for teachers.
Gathering sufficient data from exit cards. “Students’ responses are valuable because they provide a window into the minds of learners by answering the teacher’s perpetual question: What is the next instructional move?” (Fisher and Frey, 2007, p. 134). I tried to get more information from this enactment of exit cards and use that understanding to shape the next lessons. I was looking specifically for gaps in student knowledge or oversimplifications/misunderstandings.
Using exit cards to reinforce information in the next lesson. In my final use of exit cards, I reappropriated them as entry cards, getting students to revise their exit cards at the beginning of the lesson. Students swapped the exit cards amongst each other and then we required to refill in the missing pieces in the timeline of Hitler's rise to power.
Giving individual feedback via email with grade. This was my first enactment of feedback. It wasn't based of a specific marking criteria and was a test to see how students react to hearing what they did well, what they could improve on and a grade. Unfortunately the focus of the students was on the grade they received as opposed to the feedback and feedforward.
Using digital programs to provide up-to-date feedback. I didn't do this as much as I would have liked only with several students work because they were away. I used Adobe Pdf to provide annotations on students work. This doesn't feel as authentic or useful as face-to-face feedback because you can't see how the student reacts or reframe your feedback if they are confused.
Using an ungraded rubric to give students the opportunity for self-assessment. This activity was about trying to build a growth mindset in my students. Students were given an ungraded rubric and feedback and were required to give themselves a mark. I rearranged the rubric, so the achieved, merit and excellence columns were in different order. Students engaged and once I revealed what the columns were, most students chose to stick with the mark they had received.