Assessing assessment : the impact of formative assessment training on science teacher classroom methods
Underwood, Molly Russell
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Formative assessment is a different way to evaluate student needs and is unique from traditional summative assessment in both implementation and outcome. In short, formative assessment takes place during the process of learning rather than simply judging how much knowledge was gained after the process is over. While previous studies have generated promising data supporting formative assessment, adoption of the technique by classroom teachers can suffer from a lack of training and support. To understand the role of university training in formative assessment, a cohort of teachers enrolled as graduate students participated in pre and post-treatment surveys and interviews. In this case, "treatment" was EDCI 504 Evaluation and Measurement in Education. The cohort represented the experience and attitude of participants enrolled in the course, after the completion of the course and retrospectively, one to three years later. The data showed that the course directly influences the participant's teaching practices and frequency of formative assessment use in the classroom. The gradual increase in use up through a retrospective group demonstrated that formal university training in these methods can give rise to new evaluative practices.