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How Formative Assessment Supports Pupils' Learning - Essay Example

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How Formative Assessment Supports Pupils’ Learning Assessment in the child’s learning process is important as it measures the extent to which the pupil has gained knowledge and understood a particular subject (Tuttle 2009). The nature and manner of assessment has advanced greatly over the years…
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Download file to see previous pages According to the Collins English Dictionary (2003), formative assessment is the “ongoing assessment of a pupil’s educational development within a particular subject area. Sadler (1999) defines it as the kind of assessment whose intention is to generate feedback so as to improve and enhance students’ learning. This kind of assessment helps development of knowledge, skills and abilities and also enhances understanding without necessarily having to pass any final testing (Black and Wiliam 2003). Formative assessments are learner centered, which means that their goal is to help the student make maximum progress in the learning process. The assessments are appropriate for primary school children as they embrace the educational objective domains of Blooms taxonomy: psychomotor, affective and cognitive. The cognitive domain that is enhanced by formative assessments revolves around the comprehension, knowledge and ability to critically think about a subject. The psychomotor domain is all about the ability of the pupil to physically manipulate instruments in the learning process. The affective domain on the other hand relate to how learners are likely to react emotionally (Sadler 1998). Formative assessments incorporate all three Bloom’s Taxonomy domains in that they allow the pupil to develop not only recall skills, but also critical analysis skills in the learning process. There are two types of formative assessments according to Hall and Burke (2004). These are: planned formative assessments and interactive assessments. As the name suggests, planned formative assessments are those that are use to obtain tangible evidence on the way pupils think about a concept that they have been taught in class. These types of assessments are normally semi-formal and may be taken at the beginning or at the end of a certain topic. In these assessments, some assessment activities are prepared to furnish evidence that can be used to improve pupils’ learning. The information that is elicited from such an activity is used to gauge the level of understanding of the students and to structure instruction so that knowledge and skill development are enhanced (Tuttle 2009). Interactive assessment takes place during the interaction process between teacher and pupil. Hall and Burke (2004) describe this assessment as the one that includes incidental and ongoing assessments which arise from learning activities and it cannot be anticipated. This means that interactive assessments can occur at any time as the teacher and pupils are interacting in a learning setting (Black, Harrison and William 2003). This assessment aims at improving learning through mediation and intervention. The teacher may notice or recognize the learner’s thinking and can then respond to it appropriately. This kind of assessments is considered to be more pupil and teacher driven than it is curriculum driven. Unlike planned assessment that results in permanent information, interactive assessment accrues information that is ephemeral (Sadler 1998). This means that the teacher can identify weak areas in the child’s learning and correct them quickly so as to avoid accumulated misconception on the learner’s side. Formative assessments can be in the form of observations, worksheets, pop quizzes, journals and diagnostic tests. Observation involves the instructor making observations about students’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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