15-T8 Different perspectives on and approaches to formative assessment

This course offers students different perspectives on formative assessment at different aggregation levels within schools, that is school/program/class/student level. The approaches range from data-based decision making at school/team and class level, to evaluating assessment programs at program level to assessment for learning in class and diagnostic testing for individual students.

All approaches have in common that they use student data to improve educational quality and student learning, however, they come from different theoretical background, are implemented differently in schools and are supported by different research traditions. Both conceptual and instrumental contributions will challenge students to broaden their scope on what formative assessment is, and how this can be adopted and studied within schools.

Course Objectives
  • broaden their scope with respect to formative assessment / formative evaluation 
  • develop an idea of how using data can help improve educational quality, teacher behavior, and student learning. 
  • are aware of approaches to formative assessment at different aggregation levels within a school. Approaches addressed in this course refer to data-based decision making (DBDM), assessment programs, assessment for learning (AfL) and diagnostic testing. 
  • get acquainted with research on formative assessment from these different perspectives 
  • develop understanding about how these formative assessment practices can be implemented and studied in educational practice and, if applicable, relate this to their own research project 
  •  Completion of the ICO Introductory course 
  • - Basic knowledge of formative assessment 
The course will be divided in two sessions of two-day face-to-face meetings and a final wrap-up and reflection day.
Both two-day face-to-face meetings will consists of interactive contributions from various guest speakers.

The first day will start with an active assignment on students’ current understanding and views on formative assessment. Next, recent insights on formative assessment and the different perspectives on formative assessment addressed in this course will be put in a theoretical framework.

The second day will contain several interactive contributions on Data-based decision making at school and team level and work towards a conceptual model of formative assesment at school level (DBDM). Contributions from:
1. Kim Schildkamp / Cindy Poortman (UT): "Data-based decision making: the data team procedure for school improvement"
Professional development in the use of data is urgently needed. However, we need a more fundamental understanding of how we can increase the effectiveness of data-use-related professional development. In this part of the course we will focusses on the factors influencing a professional development intervention for data-based decision making: the data team procedure. Data teams are teams of teachers and school leaders who collaboratively learn how to use data, following a structured approach. In this course we will discuss how several data characteristics (e.g. access to data), school organizational characteristics (e.g. shared goal), and individual and team characteristics (e.g. pedagogical content knowledge) influence the use of data in data teams. We will discuss how these factors influence the use of data and how these factors are interrelated.

Assignment (during the session): Several interventions in education lack sustainability. In small groups you develop a plan to ensure sustainability of the use of data in schools that have been working with the data team procedure.

2. Trynke Keuning (UT):The Focus Project: http://project-focus.gw.utwente.nl/
“Data based decision making using performance feedback in primary education”
- What is FOCUS and how does it work (what do teachers do?)
- What are the effect on student performances and what characteristics determine these effects (school/teacher characteristics)
- Working towards a conceptual model about what factors determine the effectiveness of feedback.
- Including interactive group discussions working towards this model.

The third day will focus on using and evaluating formative assessment at educational program level and class level . With contributions from:
3. Liesbeth Baartman (HU): "Assessing the assessment"
Liesbeth will discuss the KIT (KwaliteitsInstrument Toetsprogramma’s) as an evaluation instrument for teacher teams to evaluate their assessment programs for the purpose of improvement. Theoretical rationales behind the instrument will be discussed, data on how this works in teacher teams to stimulate improvement of assessment programmes. In a simulation setting students will practice using the KIT.

4. Judith Gulikers (WUR): "Using summative assessments for formative purposes".
Judith will elaborate on a project in which teachers use summative assessments for formative purposes (www.groenproeven.nl). Using examples of teachers’ analysis of their summative assessments student groups will identify future steps for (1) teacher behavior, (2) instruction; (3) the class level (4) individual student learning. The possibilities for combining summative and formative purposes will be discussed.

The fourth day focusses on the micro level, with contributions from:
5. Niek van Benthum (WUR/STOAS Vilentum): "Observing teacher assessment for learning behavior in the classroom"
Niek will discuss an Assessment for Learning observation instrument for teachers and students to stimulate Assessment for learning and adaptive teaching practices in the classroom. Using video examples students will learn to identify AfL behavior of teachers.

6. Jorike Vermeulen/Theo Eggen (UT): "Diagmostic testing and its use in primary education"

The wrap up and reflection day will be devoted to group activities that challenge participants to engage with all heard material and identify their own understanding and relevance.

Input (to be prepared before the first meeting)
Van der Kleij, F. M., Vermeulen, J. A., Schildkamp, K. & Eggen, T. J. H. M (submitted). Data-based dedision making, assessment for learning and diagnostic testing in formative assessment. (also chapter of dissertation)
Sluijsmans, D. M. A., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., & Van der Vleuten, C. P. M. (2013). Toetsen met leerwaarde. Een reviewstudie naar effectieve kenmerken van formatief toetsen. Den Haag: NWO.

For every further session a key article will be presented as well.

Course Coordinators
Judith Gulikers (WUR)
Liesbeth Baartman (HU, UU)
Renske Bouwer (PhD, UU)

Dates and locations:
- Tuesday  April 28 - Unnik - 313 (Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht)
- Wednesday April 29 - Morning: Ruppert – 139  (Leuvenlaan 21, 3584 CE Utrecht). Afternoon: Langeveld G2.25 (Heidelberglaan 1, 3584 CS Utrecht)
- Monday May 18 Unnik - 206 (Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht)
- Tuesday May 19 Morning: Unnik - 312 (Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht), Afternoon: Unnik – 210
- Friday June 5th: Langeveld G2.30

Maximum number of participants: 25

For passing this course, completion of a group and individual assignment is required, mostly developed during the course meeting. These show students’ new insights and understanding with respect to formative assessment and using student data for improving educational quality and student learning gained during the course.

The first day will start with a “group pre-test” (of 3-4 participants per group) showing groups prior knowledge on the topic (this can be in any form, like for example a concept
map). At the end of the first two-day session the group elaborate their group knowledge using gained new insights. During the final day the same group will explicate their post
course understanding, showing their gained new insights. The “pre-during-post-tests” will be discussed during the final meeting. Afterwards individual students write a short reflection (2A4) showing their personal gained and changed understanding of formative assessment and, if applicable typify how they use formative assessment using in their research.