Assessment is an essential component of quality teaching and learning, but how is assessment being used to form and reform curriculum and instruction? Dave Nagel, from Corwin Press, discusses two critical actions to positively impact student learning. Formative assessment can be used to revise instuction immediately and in the short term and educational leaders can promote actions that lead to effective feedback, reformation of instruction, and accurate reporting of student success. Dave asks, “Do teachers ever need to grade in pen? How about grading in pencil and rewarding the learner for learning?”
Nagel presents the “Like” test as a pre-assessment containing the foundational skills needed for the skills being taught. This “Like” test is embedded with diagnosis of the prerequisite knowledge and skills with the goal of reformulating instruction as needed based on results. Nagel also identifies three levels of assessment: 1) formative assessment where results are used to adjust instruction immediately or within 24-48 hours, 2) formative assessment where results are used to adjust instruction after a period of time more than a week, 3) assessment where results are typically NOT used to adjust instruction. Too often, classroom assessment falls into level 3 and the data does not inform instruction.
Training tasks are learning opportunities that help bring learner skill to the needed prerequisite level. These tasks are not graded but incentivized.
6 Fundamental Elements of Assessment Literacy (Corwin Press):
1) Establish Purpose (What is it you want to know?)
2) Determine the assessment that will reach the purpose
3) Create the assessment
4) Score and analyze data
5) Make inferences from data
6) Adjust instruction (timeliness is essential here)
“Amateurs react and repair; professionals prepare and prevent.” ~Dave Nagel. Does your classroom encourage a culture that encourages reflection and self-evaluation? Do you welcome error? Do you allow for the luxury of time to think, to appreciate, to revise? “Effective feedback doubles the speed of learning” ~Dylan William. The redemptive quality of formative assessment helps to close the gap between where I am now and what my next learning step is to reach my full potential.
Thank you for an insightful session, Dave.