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Feedback Success Criteria Teacher Assessment Self and Peer Rubrics Dweck (again!) Challenging goals, success criteria, active learning, recognition of effort and rich feedback Formative Tests Grade Assessed Tasks
Formative testing- use self assessment and link to improvement targets I illustrated elsewhere that testing without feedback had a measly effect size (d=0.30) but if you add feedback to the procedure then the test becomes very powerful in improving achievement (d=0.61). Teachers need to do a bit of testing- a summative measure of how learners are progressing is valuable. As well as determining that magic grade however (and the jury is out on whether it need be shared with the learner) the test paper itself can play an important formative role. Formative Testing I have never met a group of students- let’s call them 9B3, that has ever cheered when I’ve informed them that they, “have a test next lesson”. I suspect that if you collected the data you’d find higher absence rates in response to the awareness of an impending test. To repeat the idea of Dweck once more, teachers must be mindful of the negative impact of testing on students, and must work hard to shift the classroom climate so that testing is seen as a tool for diagnosing aspects of learning that students can improve. Formative testing is an example of this. It begins with the simple message of the role of the test being made clear to the learner. Click the image to the right to download an extract of a formative test paper that I wrote in a suite of resources to support the change in the Science GCSEs in 2006. Note the front cover- emphasis from the outset, when the learner is staring at the front of the test paper and waiting to begin, that the test is designed to find ways to help them become even better in the topic. Self or peer assessment and the setting of improvement targets Students can benefit enormously from being trained to use official mark schemes. It enables them to form an understanding of how examiners assign marks to different forms of response- it trains students to recognize how the ‘exam paper game’ works. For younger or less able learners, teachers should provide mark schemes written in ‘student speak’, or model the marking of exam scripts using a data projector and video camera. When I was a Head of Science in a challenging secondary school I introduced self and peer marking of exam papers with all year groups. Linked to this approach I introduced ‘Test Review lessons’ that involved learners interrogating their test papers and identifying where they made errors. The image on the right illustrates how simple test review sheets can be created that allow a learner to be set simple self-intervention exercises based on parts of test questions that they got incorrect. Lesson time is then used by learners in undertaking the directed tasks in order to ‘bridge the gap’ that the test found in their knowledge or understanding. Make the improvement targets specific- and linked to resources The formative test paper at the top of this page is accompanied by a student mark scheme and a test review sheet- you can inspect them using the links further down below. The annotated image on the right illustrates how the test review process is something that is undertaken independently by the learner. The challenge for the teacher is to define worthwhile intervention targets and tasks that will develop the knowledge, skill or understanding of areas that the learner demonstrated difficulty with. The example on the right guides the learner towards some e-resources on the school’s VLE that will help them complete the improvement tasks.  They could just as effectively be guided towards a page in a science text book that contains a useful diagram, piece of information or explanation. Feedback to the teacher Hattie (2009) was clear that feedback to the teacher is of enormous importance in increasing achievement. The self or peer assessment of tests needs to be linked to careful teacher scrutiny of the class response to allow the identification of common areas of difficulty or misconception.        Teacher Notes Mark Scheme        Test Review Sheets
Formative Tests