Planning and Conducting Formative Evaluations (Teaching in Higher Education S)

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A well-defined task is identified and students are asked to create, produce or do something, often in settings that involve real-world application of knowledge and skills. Proficiency is demonstrated by providing an extended response. Performance formats are further differentiated into products and performances. The performance may result in a product, such as a painting, portfolio, paper or exhibition, or it may consist of a performance, such as a speech, athletic skill, musical recital or reading.

Assessment either summative or formative is often categorized as either objective or subjective. Objective assessment is a form of questioning which has a single correct answer. Subjective assessment is a form of questioning which may have more than one correct answer or more than one way of expressing the correct answer. There are various types of objective and subjective questions. Subjective questions include extended-response questions and essays. Objective assessment is well suited to the increasingly popular computerized or online assessment format. Some have argued that the distinction between objective and subjective assessments is neither useful nor accurate because, in reality, there is no such thing as "objective" assessment.

In fact, all assessments are created with inherent biases built into decisions about relevant subject matter and content, as well as cultural class, ethnic, and gender biases. Test results can be compared against an established criterion, or against the performance of other students, or against previous performance:. Assessment can be either formal or informal.

Formal assessment usually implies a written document, such as a test, quiz, or paper. A formal assessment is given a numerical score or grade based on student performance, whereas an informal assessment does not contribute to a student's final grade. An informal assessment usually occurs in a more casual manner and may include observation, inventories, checklists, rating scales, rubrics , performance and portfolio assessments, participation, peer and self-evaluation, and discussion.

Internal assessment is set and marked by the school i. Students get the mark and feedback regarding the assessment. External assessment is set by the governing body, and is marked by non-biased personnel. Some external assessments give much more limited feedback in their marking.

However, in tests such as Australia's NAPLAN, the criterion addressed by students is given detailed feedback in order for their teachers to address and compare the student's learning achievements and also to plan for the future. In general, high-quality assessments are considered those with a high level of reliability and validity. Approaches to reliability and validity vary, however.

Reliability relates to the consistency of an assessment. A reliable assessment is one that consistently achieves the same results with the same or similar cohort of students. Various factors affect reliability—including ambiguous questions, too many options within a question paper, vague marking instructions and poorly trained markers. Traditionally, the reliability of an assessment is based on the following:. Valid assessment is one that measures what it is intended to measure.

For example, it would not be valid to assess driving skills through a written test alone. A more valid way of assessing driving skills would be through a combination of tests that help determine what a driver knows, such as through a written test of driving knowledge, and what a driver is able to do, such as through a performance assessment of actual driving. Teachers frequently complain that some examinations do not properly assess the syllabus upon which the examination is based; they are, effectively, questioning the validity of the exam.

Validity of an assessment is generally gauged through examination of evidence in the following categories:. A good assessment has both validity and reliability, plus the other quality attributes noted above for a specific context and purpose. In practice, an assessment is rarely totally valid or totally reliable. A ruler which is marked wrongly will always give the same wrong measurements. It is very reliable, but not very valid. Asking random individuals to tell the time without looking at a clock or watch is sometimes used as an example of an assessment which is valid, but not reliable.

The answers will vary between individuals, but the average answer is probably close to the actual time. In many fields, such as medical research, educational testing, and psychology, there will often be a trade-off between reliability and validity. A history test written for high validity will have many essay and fill-in-the-blank questions. It will be a good measure of mastery of the subject, but difficult to score completely accurately. A history test written for high reliability will be entirely multiple choice. It isn't as good at measuring knowledge of history, but can easily be scored with great precision.

We may generalize from this. The more reliable our estimate is of what we purport to measure, the less certain we are that we are actually measuring that aspect of attainment. It is well to distinguish between "subject-matter" validity and "predictive" validity. The former, used widely in education, predicts the score a student would get on a similar test but with different questions.

The latter, used widely in the workplace, predicts performance. Thus, a subject-matter-valid test of knowledge of driving rules is appropriate while a predictively valid test would assess whether the potential driver could follow those rules. In the field of evaluation , and in particular educational evaluation , the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation has published three sets of standards for evaluations.

Each publication presents and elaborates a set of standards for use in a variety of educational settings. The standards provide guidelines for designing, implementing, assessing and improving the identified form of evaluation. Each of the standards has been placed in one of four fundamental categories to promote educational evaluations that are proper, useful, feasible, and accurate. In these sets of standards, validity and reliability considerations are covered under the accuracy topic.

For example, the student accuracy standards help ensure that student evaluations will provide sound, accurate, and credible information about student learning and performance. The following table summarizes the main theoretical frameworks behind almost all the theoretical and research work, and the instructional practices in education one of them being, of course, the practice of assessment.

These different frameworks have given rise to interesting debates among scholars. Concerns over how best to apply assessment practices across public school systems have largely focused on questions about the use of high-stakes testing and standardized tests, often used to gauge student progress, teacher quality, and school-, district-, or statewide educational success.

For most researchers and practitioners, the question is not whether tests should be administered at all—there is a general consensus that, when administered in useful ways, tests can offer useful information about student progress and curriculum implementation, as well as offering formative uses for learners. President Johnson's goal was to emphasizes equal access to education and establishes high standards and accountability. To receive federal school funding, states had to give these assessments to all students at select grade level.

In the U. These tests align with state curriculum and link teacher, student, district, and state accountability to the results of these tests. Proponents of NCLB argue that it offers a tangible method of gauging educational success, holding teachers and schools accountable for failing scores, and closing the achievement gap across class and ethnicity. Opponents of standardized testing dispute these claims, arguing that holding educators accountable for test results leads to the practice of " teaching to the test.

The assessments which have caused the most controversy in the U. Opponents say that no student who has put in four years of seat time should be denied a high school diploma merely for repeatedly failing a test, or even for not knowing the required material. High-stakes tests have been blamed for causing sickness and test anxiety in students and teachers, and for teachers choosing to narrow the curriculum towards what the teacher believes will be tested.

In an exercise designed to make children comfortable about testing, a Spokane, Washington newspaper published a picture of a monster that feeds on fear. Other critics, such as Washington State University's Don Orlich , question the use of test items far beyond standard cognitive levels for students' age. Compared to portfolio assessments, simple multiple-choice tests are much less expensive, less prone to disagreement between scorers, and can be scored quickly enough to be returned before the end of the school year.

Standardized tests all students take the same test under the same conditions often use multiple-choice tests for these reasons. Orlich criticizes the use of expensive, holistically graded tests, rather than inexpensive multiple-choice "bubble tests", to measure the quality of both the system and individuals for very large numbers of students. The use of IQ tests has been banned in some states for educational decisions, and norm-referenced tests , which rank students from "best" to "worst", have been criticized for bias against minorities. Most education officials support criterion-referenced tests each individual student's score depends solely on whether he answered the questions correctly, regardless of whether his neighbors did better or worse for making high-stakes decisions.

It has been widely noted that with the emergence of social media and Web 2. Traditional assessment practices, however, focus in large part on the individual and fail to account for knowledge-building and learning in context. As researchers in the field of assessment consider the cultural shifts that arise from the emergence of a more participatory culture , they will need to find new methods of applying assessments to learners.

Sudbury model of democratic education schools do not perform and do not offer assessments, evaluations, transcripts, or recommendations, asserting that they do not rate people, and that school is not a judge; comparing students to each other, or to some standard that has been set is for them a violation of the student's right to privacy and to self-determination.

Students decide for themselves how to measure their progress as self-starting learners as a process of self-evaluation: real lifelong learning and the proper educational assessment for the 21st century, they adduce. According to Sudbury schools, this policy does not cause harm to their students as they move on to life outside the school. However, they admit it makes the process more difficult, but that such hardship is part of the students learning to make their own way, set their own standards and meet their own goals.

The no-grading and no-rating policy helps to create an atmosphere free of competition among students or battles for adult approval, and encourages a positive cooperative environment amongst the student body. The final stage of a Sudbury education, should the student choose to take it, is the graduation thesis. Each student writes on the topic of how they have prepared themselves for adulthood and entering the community at large.

This thesis is submitted to the Assembly, who reviews it. The final stage of the thesis process is an oral defense given by the student in which they open the floor for questions, challenges and comments from all Assembly members. At the end, the Assembly votes by secret ballot on whether or not to award a diploma. A major concern with the use of educational assessments is the overall validity, accuracy, and fairness when it comes to assessing English language learners ELL.

The majority of assessments within the United States have normative standards based on the English-speaking culture, which does not adequately represent ELL populations. Research shows that the majority of schools do not appropriately modify assessments in order to accommodate students from unique cultural backgrounds. Although some may see this inappropriate placement in special education as supportive and helpful, research has shown that inappropriately placed students actually regressed in progress.

One issue is that translations can frequently suggest a correct or expected response, changing the difficulty of the assessment item.

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Nonverbal assessments have shown to be less discriminatory for ELL students, however, some still present cultural biases within the assessment items. When considering an ELL student for special education the assessment team should integrate and interpret all of the information collected in order to ensure a non biased conclusion. Assessment can be associated with disparity when students from traditionally underrepresented groups are excluded from testing needed for access to certain programs or opportunities, as is the case for gifted programs.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It has been suggested that this article be merged into educational evaluation. Discuss Proposed since June Systematic process of documenting and using empirical data on the knowledge, skill, attitudes, and beliefs to refine programs and improve student learning. This article is about educational assessment, including the work of institutional researchers. For other uses of the term assessment, see Assessment disambiguation.

Main article: Test validity. Main article: High-stakes testing. Computer aided assessment Concept inventory Confidence-based learning accurately measures a learner's knowledge quality by measuring both the correctness of his or her knowledge and the person's confidence in that knowledge. E-scape , a technology and approach that looks specifically at the assessment of creativity and collaboration.

Educational aims and objectives Educational evaluation deals specifically with evaluation as it applies to an educational setting. Electronic portfolio is a personal digital record containing information such as a collection of artifacts or evidence demonstrating what one knows and can do.

Evaluation is the process of looking at what is being assessed to make sure the right areas are being considered. Grading is the process of assigning a possibly mutually exclusive ranking to learners. Health impact assessment looks at the potential health impacts of policies, programs and projects. Macabre constant is a theoretical bias in educational assessment Measurement is a process of assessment or an evaluation in which the objective is to quantify level of attainment or competence within a specified domain.

See the Rasch model for measurement for elaboration on the conceptual requirements of such processes, including those pertaining to grading and use of raw scores from assessments. Program evaluation is essentially a set of philosophies and techniques to determine if a program "works". Epidemiology and biostatistics, which mostly concern quantitative research and research methodology,[ 1 ] are the two of the most important subjects that medical students take. It is difficult for students to keep up, as they tend to focus their efforts on clinical courses at the expense of their epidemiology and biostatistics courses.

In the past, summative evaluation was the only way to evaluate students' knowledge and the comprehension in these subjects. This evaluation was usually performed once after completion of the epidemiology course, making it difficult to identify and offer assistance to students having problems in the subject.

Formative evaluation performed repeatedly throughout the course offers qualitative feedback regarding medical students' knowledge. Moreover, it provides a chance to improve prospective teaching methods. There is evidence that formative evaluation can improve the learning outcomes of medical students. However, the effectiveness of formative evaluation in the subject epidemiology has yet to be clearly demonstrated.

Educational assessment - Wikipedia

We, thus, investigated the association between formative evaluation and medical students' learning outcomes to achieve a better understanding of the effectiveness of this tool in teaching epidemiology. This retrospective study ran between July and May We retrospectively reviewed the prospectively collected learning data of 3 rd -year medical students at Khon Kaen University's Faculty of Medicine. The learning data included number of laboratories attended, formative evaluation scores, final examination scores, and overall grades in the course.

The 3 rd -year epidemiology course at our center takes 5 months to complete. The course examined in this study ran from November to March The students were also concurrently enrolled in courses in other subjects i. During the course, the medical students attended 30 epidemiology lectures and 11 laboratories. The formative evaluation was 3 h long, consisting of 25 multiple choice questions MCQ , and was performed in the middle of the course. After 20 min had passed from the beginning of the examination, students were allowed to return their answer sheets.

All students were given a choice as to whether or not they would attend the evaluation.

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The final examination consisted of 90 MCQs. We also examined a variety of factors to determine whether or not they affected the learning achievement outcome, including gender, medical training program, attendance of epidemiology laboratories, attendance of the formative evaluation, use of note paper for calculation during the formative evaluation, and time spent taking the formative evaluation.

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The descriptive data are presented as median min: Max , or as number and percentage. Pearson correlation was used to determine the association between two numerical variables. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using the logistic regression model to evaluate potential confounders. There were 3 rd -year medical students enrolled in the school year.

The male-to-female ratio was Most of the students Ninety-five percent of the students attended all of the laboratories. Only During the formative examination, most of the students According to our definition, the proportion of students with unsatisfactory learning outcomes was 9. We carried out a univariate analysis of six variables to determine what factors affected students' learning outcomes.

We found several significant prognostic factors for satisfactory learning outcomes including gender, laboratory attendance, formative evaluation attendance, and amount of calculation during the formative examination [ Table 1 ]. The significant prognostic factors determined by univariate analysis were then further analyzed via multivariate analysis. This analysis revealed that gender, medical training program, laboratory attendance, and amount of calculation during the formative examination were significant prognostic factors [ Table 2 ]. We also determined the relationship between formative examination and final examination scores using Pearson's correlation and found no correlation corr.

This study showed that medical students' learning achievement could be accurately predicted using various parameters, especially those examined in the formative evaluation. Although students' scores on the formative evaluation were not correlated with those on the final examination, aspects of the formative evaluation process, itself, were able to predict learning outcomes. Owing to the difficulty of epidemiology, students who spend more time learning the subject and who have more attention tend to have the better learning outcomes. We found that the higher laboratory attendance and more written calculation during the formative evaluation were significantly associated with better learning outcomes.

Both of these parameters indicate the attention to epidemiology of the medical students. The evidence suggests that affective entry characteristics are associated with learning outcomes.

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At our center, there are several programs for medical students. They are categorized into two main programs as follows: the ordinary program and the project to increase the production of rural doctors. The medical students in these two programs will work at a rural hospital after they graduate from medical school. This may explain why the medical students in the ordinary program had better learning outcomes in this subject. There is significant evidence suggesting that attention is critical to successful learning in any subject.

In the same way, assessment of attention should not rely solely on the formative evaluation but also all activities during the first half of the course such as laboratory attendance. This will help identify students who are having difficulties so that educators can focus on them for the remaining duration of the course. To the best of our knowledge, this is the 1 st study to show the benefit of formative evaluation for medical students studying epidemiology.

The strengths of this study include the following: i it was conducted at a medical school that has a large number of students and ii all data were collected prospectively. However, some limitations should be considered. First, the curricula of medical programs in various countries differ. Second, because of the way Thailand's education system is structured, medical students in Thailand are usually younger than those in other countries.

Therefore, the findings of the current study should be adapted accordingly if it is to be applied in other countries. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of the formative evaluation in the subject of epidemiology.

Re-thinking Assessment in Higher Education

Moreover, we found that parameters indicating medical students' attention were associated with learning outcomes. We suggest that these parameters should be assessed in both the formative evaluation and throughout the course. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Indian J Community Med. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer.