Author:
Tiffany Neill, WILLIAM PENUEL, Sarah Evans, Katie Van Horne, Philip Bell, Shelley Stromholt, Sam Shaw
Subject:
Engineering, Education, Life Science, Physical Science
Material Type:
Module
Level:
College / Upper Division, Graduate / Professional
Tags:
Assessment, K-12 Science Standards, STEM, Science Education, stem
License:
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0
Language:
English
ACESSE Resource A - Introduction to Formative Assessment to Support Equitable 3D Instruction

ACESSE Resource A - Introduction to Formative Assessment to Support Equitable 3D Instruction

Module Overview

In this professional development session, we will develop a shared understanding of how formative assessment works and different approaches that have been developed. The material for this resource come from a series of PD sessions on formative assessment developed by the ACESSE team: Philip Bell, Shelley Stromholt, Bill Penuel, Katie Van Horne, Tiffany Neill, and Sam Shaw.

We will be updating this Facilitator's Guide for ACESSE Resource A with the most up-to-date information about this resource over time. If you encounter problems with this resource, you can contact us at: STEMteachingtools@uw.edu

Section 1: Introduction

In this workshop, we will develop a shared understanding of how formative assessment works and different approaches that have been developed. The material for this resource come from a series of PD sessions on formative assessment developed by the ACESSE team: Philip Bell, Shelley Stromholt, Bill Penuel, Katie Van Horne, Tiffany Neill, and Sam Shaw.

To download the complete module as a PowerPoint file, please click on "Resource Library"  on the left side of this screen and select the first listed resource. You will also see a link to the most up-to-date facilitation guide or you may click here.

Section 2: Students learn science best...

The NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the resulting Next Generation Science Standards include a signature focus on using inclusive instructional approaches to engage students in integrated three-dimensional science learning. This necessitates building teacher capacity for new approaches to cognitive and cultural formative assessment.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 3: Overview of the Session Goals

There are four goals for this session…

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 4: The most important thing...

This quote comes from a designer, that…

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 5: Equity in Science Education

Educational equity and social justice are a central part of the Framework vision, but there is a tendency for them “slide off the table” when people sink into implementation work. Read this summary quote about equity from the Framework. We are going to work to maintain a focus on important dimensions of equity as we engage in the work.

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 6: Equity and Diversity

This is the table of contents of Chapter 11 in the NRC Framework. All of these dimensions are relevant to formative assessment.

Importantly, the Framework highlights research-based ideas about inclusive science instruction that should be routinely used to engage learners in science learning.

This includes highlighting the cultural dimensions of science learning—how people make sense of the natural world in relation to the communities they are members of.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 7: Formative Assessment to Support Equity and Social Justice

There are important roles for formative assessment in advancing equity and social justice goals.

((Read the guiding questions on the slide))

Speaker: Name specific groups of concern within the region or state for the audience to think about.

((Direct the room to engage in the small group discussion. Debrief.))

[estimated time: 5-7 min]

Section 8: The Role of Formative Assessments

Let’s sink in to the details…

[estimated time: 15 sec]

Section 9: Developing NGSS Assessment Systems

The NGSS describe specific goals for science learning in the form of performance expectations, statements about what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Each performance expectation incorporates all three dimensions, and the NGSS emphasize the importance of the connections among scientific concepts. 

It will not be feasible to assess all of the performance expectations for a given grade level during a single assessment occasion. Students will need multiple—and varied—assessment opportunities to demonstrate their competence on the performance expectations for a given grade level. We need to be developing assessment systems…

((Read slide))

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 10: Formative Assessment

This is the definition for formative assessment we will use today to guide our work. This comes from an effort initiated by CCSSO (Council of Chief State Science Officers).

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 11: Clarifying the Purposes of Assessment Types

One part of the desired system would include aligned sets of formative and summative assessments.

((Read slide))

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 12: The Role of Formative Assessment

((Read slide))

This is a scientific conclusion from the cognitive sciences about the role of feedback in domain learning.

Formative assessment is just the formal name we use in education for diagnostic feedback in social learning arrangements.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 13: Classroom Formative Assessment can...

Formative assessment can support multiple educational goals.

((Read slide and give quick examples.))

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 14: The Formative Assessment Process

The Formative Assessment process can be understood as involving four steps.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

formative assessment

Section 15: The Formative Assessment Process: Clarify Intended Learning

Formative assessments focuses on specific, intended learning goals.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 16: The Formative Assessment Process: Elicit Evidence

Empirical evidence needs to be collected from learners using a variety of formative assessment formats.

It is important to notice that talking with students can be an important form of formative assessment‚–what is called “informal” formative assessment.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 17: The Formative Assessment Process: Interpret Evidence

This data needs to be interpreted from a theoretical perspective on science learning.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 18: The Formative Assessment Process: Act on Evidence

And then instruction should be changed based on the details of that interpretation.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 19: A 3D Example: Clarify Intended Learning

Here is a middle school example of the four stages. This assessment focuses primarily on elements from these two performance expectations.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 20: A 3D Example: Elicit Evidence

An exit ticket format is used to gather empirical evidence.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 21: A 3D Example: Interpret Evidence

Section 22: A 3D Example: Act on Evidence

Patterns in those facets of reasoning highlight instructional moves that would help students continue to refine their understanding.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 23: Small Group Discussion

((Using this definition and example, engage small groups in reflecting on their experience with formative assessment.))

[estimated time: 3-5 min]

Section 24: Four Kinds of Formative Assessment

Formative assessment can be focused on different educational phenomena (outcomes)—and they can use different theoretical perspectives.

[estimated time: 15 sec]

Section 25: Assessment: Research Synthesis

This 6-page brief summarizes a Handbook chapter that summarizes what we know about different models of formative assessment. The conclusions are based on a systematic review of research on formative assessment models implemented in the past 20 years.

Each model is one that you've probably encountered in your school or district. Not all of them are effective, though, for improving science learning. We want to introduce them to you, so you can recognize the ones with the most potential.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 26: Data-Driven Decision Making

The most prevalent one is Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM). DDDM involves the use of end of year test score data and data from interim or benchmark assessments to improve learning. 

You've likely seen the kind of graph shown here. It shows the form of data that often comes back to teachers to use for improvement. It shows who might be struggling in what domains. Notably, it does not include any student work or a sense of how students might be struggling. Nor does it include resources about what to do with students who are struggling.

It is worth noting that DDDM does NOT employ an explicit theory of student learning (e.g., behaviorist, cognitive, social). It is also worth noting that well-designed studies that have tested this approach have not proven effective in improving student achievement outcomes as desired.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 27: Strategy-Focused

A second popular approach is Strategy-Focused Formative Assessment. This is the approach presented by Black and Wiliam, who famously argued for the importance of formative assessment in improving student learning. It's called strategy focused, because the strategies promoted are ones that can work across different subject areas. In other words, they are not science specific. It cannot specifically inform how science teaching should be guided.

The strategies on the slide are ones that have some evidence to support improvements to learning and achievement. 

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 28: Cognitive

The next two models use discipline-specific theories of learning.

((Read slide))

There are two prominent learning theories used to implement Cognitive Formative Assessment: Learning Progressions and Facets of Reasoning. These two are slightly different from one another, but both have some evidence that using them can improve student learning in science. A learning progressions approach emphasizes that student learning can build over time in a step-by-step fashion, as students' reasoning becomes more sophisticated. A facets approach views student thinking in a more "piece-like" fashion, and views understanding as developing through encounters with lots of different types of phenomena and problems in a domain in a more bottom-up way. Understanding develops as students connect these different ideas to one another. 

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 29: Cultural

The last model is the newest one—and it is the least prevalent in schools. 

((Read slide))

The NRC Framework vision highlights the importance of having instruction build on prior interest and identity—as being as important as building on prior knowledge in a cognitive sense. Cultural Formative assessment can be used to do that work—and to surface the funds of knowledge that reside in local communities related to science topics being taught. It helps make science instruction personally and culturally relevant.

It includes strategies like finding out what students are interested in, what experiences they've had that might be relevant to choosing a focus for instruction. It also involves strategies of learning about students' identities in science: Do they see science as something that they could do in their future? Then, using those data to adjust course to promote greater linkages between students' everyday lives and instruction, as the Framework calls for.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 30: Formative Assessment Formats

There is a wide variety of different formats that can be used with formative assessment.

((Read and process slide))

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 31: Developing Coherent Formative Assessment Sequences

It is important to embed formative assessments throughout instruction to help guide it along the way. This strategy is to build a coherent sequence of formative assessments throughout curriculum units. 

((Read and process slide))

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 32: How to Conduct Formative Assessment

((Read and process slide))

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 33: Small Group Discussion

Engage small groups in reflecting on their experience with formative assessment.

[estimated time: 3-5 min]

Section 34: Criteria for Assessment Scenarios

One genre of assessments focus on hypothetical scenarios that students think about. The selection of specific scenarios can be a major equity issue.

((Read and process slide))

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 35: Criteria for Scenarios: An Example

Here is an example of of an equity-related scenario problem.

((Read slide))

The bus and bike scenario was tried in one school—and it was found that students did NOT find this situation familiar at all—although many of us might think that it is an everyday scenario that is widely experienced. To get at the same light obstruction idea, the scenario was revised to be more inclusive.

[estimated time: 2 min]

Section 36: Resources for Developing Formative Assessments

These cognitive and cultural models of formative assessment focused on equitable 3D instruction are new. People are developing examples and tools to support educators and researchers in that work.

[estimated time: 15 sec]

Section 37: Steps to Designing a Three Dimensional Assessment

As part of an NSF-funded effort called the Research + Practice Collaboratory, a team of researchers and educators have started developing professional learning resources for the development of 3D cognitive assessments and interest- and identity-focused cultural assessments. This is an online, short course that provides an overview of those resources.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 38: Formative Assessment Activities

It brings people through a learning sequence around how to engage in the work.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 39: Formative Assessment Resources

It leverages a growing collection of professional learning resources called STEM Teaching Tools focused on different aspects of that work. These are funded through a grant from the NSF and are freely available.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 40: Assessment Task Formats for the Practices

The science and engineering practices are a central element of the 3D learning model—they are the foundation on which conceptual knowledge is developed and applied. They are the means by which students make sense of natural phenomena—or build solutions to problems—through sustained investigations.

((Read slide))

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 41: Task Formats for Developing and Using Models

Assessments should focus on surfacing what students know through engagement in all of the practices. This tool provides suggested task formats for all of the science practices and for the two engineering practices that are the most different. Teachers find this tool useful, partly because the challenging of integrating practices in assessment can be difficult. It is not easy to write tasks that assess things like students' skill in asking questions, but the task formats give teachers a kind of blueprint for how to do so.

This is a sample of task formats for the modeling practice.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 42: Assessing Cross-Cutting Concepts

Similarly, cross-cutting concepts are another dimension of the 3D learning model, one which many teachers are wondering how they can assess.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 43: Prompts for Assessing Cross-Cutting Concepts

And this tool highlights prompts that can be used in assessments or in classroom conversation to support the learning and application of these cross-cutting concepts that show up across the disciplines of science and engineering.

[estimated time: 1 min]

Section 44: Example Short-Test Format Assessment

This is student work from the Partnership for Science and Engineering Practices project in Seattle, a curriculum adaptation project of UW’s Institute for Science and Math Education, Seattle Public Schools, Renton School District, and the Institute for Systems Biology.

It is a short-test format assessment of the example we looked at earlier when we looked at the clover-leaf model of the phases of formative assessment.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 45: Facets of Student Thinking

We approached the interpretation of student thinking from the facets of reasoning perspective.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 46: Assessment of Student Thinking

Teachers passed around student work identifying different facets.

These were then synthesized into a list of facets present in the work and instructional responses for specific facets were identified.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 47: Small Group Discussion

With that as one image of formative assessment work, let’s think about your contexts.

((Read and process slide.))

[estimated time: 3-5 min]

Section 48: ACESSE Open Education Resources in Development

Over the next several years, the ACESSE project will continue to develop and share resources to support formative assessment work in support of the NRC Framework vision.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 49: Professional Learning Resources to Support NGSS Implementation

You will be able to find ACESSE resources and other tools on the STEM Teaching Tools site. You can easily download PDFs of dozens of tools to support implementation of the NRC Framework vision.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 50: STEM Teaching Tools on Twitter

You can learn about these tools on Twitter.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 51: Sign up for Email Newsletter

Or sign up for a periodic email newsletter.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 52: Research + Practice Collaboratory

If you are interested in how researchers and educators can work together in partnership to support educational improvement, you can check out the resources from the Research + Practice Collaboratory.

[estimated time: 30 sec]

Section 53: Improvements for the Resource

((Read and ask participants to complete the survey. Clarify that this is information for the ACESSE team to refine the—and not for you as the facilitator.))

[estimated time: 3-5 min]

Section 54: Thank You!

Here are some resources and contact information for the authors of this PD unit. They hope you have found it useful. They welcome any feedback or suggestions on how to improve it.

[estimated time: 30 sec]