The IEU’s Smarter Assessment workshops in Sydney, Newcastle, Liverpool and Canberra have been a hit with attendees and provide plenty of food for thought.
Glen Pearsall, who ran the Smarter Assessment: Improving Feedback, Reducing Correction workshops for the IEU, has undertaken significant research into this area and helps teachers understand the breadth of formative strategies that are available.
Formative assessment (also sometimes called ‘formative feedback’) is an approach to responding to student participation and submission of work in which the teacher responds more immediately – almost literally – to when students need guidance to change direction and improve their understanding during the learning process, rather than just at the end.
Providing helpful feedback and creating meaningful assessment tasks while keeping up with correction and managing a successful work/life balance is one of the biggest challenges of teaching. Reviewing and refining these practices can make teaching easier and more effective.
Recent research tells us that assessment is the single most important determinant of student performance over which teachers have control. It suggests that when teachers provide fast, formative and frequent feedback it helps students hone their performance and provides them with a clear pathway to reach their goals.
The challenge for teachers is finding quick ways to elicit and respond to this feedback.