Evaluation is regularly conducted by class teachers to determine whether students find out the lessons or have actually obtained the abilities they have been taught. Nevertheless, the prevailing principle of evaluation is that it is offered after lessons. It is also deemed additional work that takes in time that would have been much better invested in teaching. Some teachers do not even have the adequate understanding regarding how to assess effectively having actually focused more on how to teach (in contrast with how to assess) throughout their years in teacher training school.
As a consequence, assessment results tend to operate as a routine “snapshot of student development and as predictors of student performance on the end-of-year statewide tests (Heritage, 2007) rather than a tool to help instructors throughout guideline. This need is the reason formative assessment need to be implemented. Heritage defines developmental assessment as “an organized procedure to constantly collect evidence about knowing. The data are utilized to recognize a student’s present level of knowing and to adapt lessons to help the student reach the preferred knowing objective (2007 ).
” It involves methods which can be categorized into 3 types: On-the-fly-assessment which requires the instructor to supply quick “pop-up” lessons right throughout conversations to fix trainees’ misconceptions; Planned-for-interaction which requires teachers to think of concerns beforehand which would make students believe and check out ideas during conversation time; and, Curriculum-embedded evaluation where the instructor solicits feedback by talking with the students about continuous class activities like seatwork, board work or students’ notes.
There are four core elements of developmental evaluation (Heritage, 2007).
Initially, it is a way for teachers to recognize the gap between the trainees’ present status in knowing and the desired educational objectives. Second, it is designed to provide feedback at numerous levels. Third, it motivates trainee involvement in the daily class conversation. Lastly, it intends to assist teachers develop learning developments. To use developmental assessment successfully, however, teachers also require to have certain knowledge and skills.
Teachers must have domain knowledge of their subject area of expertise; pedagogical knowledge; knowledge of their students’ previous learning; and assessment knowledge or knowing a variety of proper assessment strategies. With regards to the required skills, the successful implementation of formative assessment can only occur if teachers are able to create classroom conditions where learners feel a sense of community and can critique each other without fear. They must also help students learn how to assess themselves.
Teachers must be skilled in analyzing student inferences. Finally, they must be able to match instruction to the gap in the present skill level or knowledge of the learner. Heritage’s article provides a convincing argument for formative assessment as it points out the ineffectiveness of current assessment methods to actually help the learner. When students perform poorly in periodical and annual exams, it becomes too late to do something about things. Students either get low grades or are not promoted to the next level.
Something could have been done halfway through the school year had formative assessments been conducted. However, formative assessment can only be seen today as an alternative to the existing views since year-end statewide assessments, for example, would be a hard practice to do away with. The present school system, specifically the public schools, have been practicing traditional assessment methods for decades, even the new curriculum and programs do not change things.
Nevertheless, the article introduces a challenge to educators and administrators to try this alternative if it is being lamented that the quality of the aptitude skills of the students has been regressing every year. School administrators should mind the rationale behind formative assessment, which is placing more emphasis towards reforming student performance rather than the punishment-reward system that the traditional method offers.
Of course, this would mean additional training for teachers who are not used to employing formative assessment in their own classrooms and changes in the curricula of teacher training schools. Then again, the benefits of formative assessment as enumerated in the article far outweigh all cost considerations.