Smart assessment practices don’t always match with mandated testing practices. Many have written on the dangers of standardized testing, but what about the incredible promises of common formative assessment?
Do you give common assessments? How about formative assessments? How are those practices different from common formative assessments, and does it even really matter?
Yes and yes and yes.
In this post, we will survey some of the strong impacts of and best practices for common formative assessment. We’ll start with this cool graphic from Solution Tree.
Common formative assessments are unique because they are focused on a single unit of study, essential learning standards, and provide teams of teachers with a tool for measuring student growth through the unit. More importantly, they allow teachers and students to make adjustments to ensure all students learn at high levels.
Chris Jakicic has written and worked extensively in the area of common formative assessments and offers this advice:
“Common formative assessments are team-designed, intentional measures used for the purpose of monitoring student attainment of essential learning targets throughout the instructional process. In addition to providing information about which students need additional support or extension, common formative assessments allow teams to examine the effects of their practice, and gain insight as to which instructional strategies yield high levels of learning. Furthermore, the data can be used to provide frequent feedback to students that they can use to adjust their own learning strategies.”
In John Hattie’s incredible research synthesis on Visible Learning, he described common formative assessment as:
“Common formative assessments are designed to give students specific feedback on the clear target to be achieved, along with suggestions on how to reach that target on subsequent assessments. Students need to understand that this feedback will not be graded but that it will be used by their teachers to design specific instruction to help them improve.”
'Creating common formative assessments is a critical part of the PLC process. But how is that different from creating regular formative assessments?' — Solution Tree (@SolutionTree) March 28, 2018Click To Tweet
What strategies do you use for common assessment? Are you familiar with common formative assessment, and how does your team use it to measure student growth?
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