Unit 4 - Assessment for learning and lesson pacing

Session 4.3 - Formative feedback (participants version)

From OER in Education


Learning intentions and objectives.
In this session you will learn about:

  • using an assessment inventory as a self-assessment measure
  • two types of feedback (summative feedback and formative feedback) and their use in AfL
  • how to give formative feedback

Success criteria.
To meet the learning intentions you will:

  • keep a record of the assessment methods that you have used on your assessment inventory
  • watch videos of formative and summative feedback in action and draw out the salient points
  • read about the differences between summative and formative feedback
  • role play giving and receiving formative feedback

ICT components.
In this session you will continue consolidating the ICT skills you have learnt so far, and apply them in the classroom. You will be able to apply AfL techniques in conjunction with ICT classroom use as well.

1 Review of follow-up activities from last session

2 My assessment inventory

Activity icon.png Individual work (5 min) updating assessment inventory. Update the assessment inventory My assessment inventory.doc (info) that you started at the beginning of Unit 4. Add the date in the third row and describe your current understanding of assessment by identifying different kinds or elements of assessment. Then record the assessment measures that you have used. Please take care that you mention only the measures that you have used yourself and not the measures that you know of but have not tried.

3 Examples of different types of feedback

You have seen a short video clip of this same lesson before when you discussed mixed pace group work. During the lesson portrayed in these 2 video clips, Judith assigned groups to work on maths problems together. She invited students to share how they worked out the problems. Then she invited group secretaries to report the answers of their group. Finally, she assessed each group’s learning by involving all students in the whole-class assessment.

In today’s session the first short clip (group working on maths problem: duration 36 secs.) and the first part of the second clip (one girl shows her group’s working) will help to familiarise you with the context. Then watch the final part of the second video from the perspective of assessment (Judith goes through the groups’ answers: clip duration is 2.36). Discuss the episode afterwards using the stimulus questions below.

Video sequence:


Group discussion on division

Judith's lesson: Group talk on division

Video/Judith division group talk.m4v, https://oer.opendeved.net/wiki/Video/Judith_division_group_talk.m4v,This video is available on your memory stick in the video/Judith Division folder.About this video. Duration: 12:34 (Some use of "" in your query was not closed by a matching "". watch on YouTube, local play / download options / download from dropbox)(Series: Judith Division, episode N/A)


Division demonstration and scoring

Judith's lesson: Division demo and scoring

Video/Judith division demo and scoring.m4v, https://oer.opendeved.net/wiki/Video/Judith_division_demo_and_scoring.m4v,This video is available on your memory stick in the video/Judith Division folder.About this video. Duration: 12:34 (Some use of "" in your query was not closed by a matching "". watch on YouTube, local play / download options / download from dropbox)(Series: Judith Division, episode N/A)

Activity icon.png Observing, thinking, reflecting (10 min): Video clips involving students in assessing their own learning. Suggested questions for reflection:

  • Judith involved all students in assessing the learning of their own group. Share any personal experiences when you have involved students in assessing their own learning as a group.
    • What was your topic?
    • How did you assess the learning?
    • How did you involve your students?
  • Giving marks to students for their learning is common practice in classrooms in most countries. How often and when do you give marks to your students?
  • How could teachers use AfL to diagnose what the low achievers like the group in the video had trouble with understanding?
  • Can you think of other ways of giving feedback (besides giving marks) to students and involving them, so that they can be aware of their own learning?

Activity icon.png Whole group discussion (10 min) on formative assessment video. Reflect on these questions as you watch the following video, then discuss them:

  • From Shirley Clarke’s brief description at the beginning, what do you think was the most significant point related to feedback?
  • What do you notice in Helen’s discussion about the drawing when she was talking to the whole class?
  • Do you think Helen’s feedback to the boy was fair? Why?
  • Helen’s feedback was not quantitative but qualitative. Do you think this was more helpful or less helpful than the quantitative feedback? Why?

Shirley Clarke video on feedback: Watch from 0:00 to 4:37


Shirley Clarke video on feedback

0:00 - 0.56 (introduction to AfL), 4.38 - end (example of 10-year-olds doing peer assessment) In this video, Shirley Clarke explains the concept of ‘Assessment for Learning’ and its elements in brief. Some elements can also be seen in action.

Video/Formative Assessment in Schools.mp4, https://oer.opendeved.net/wiki/Video/Formative_Assessment_in_Schools.mp4,This video is available on your memory stick in the video/Video from other organisations folder.About this video. Duration: 8:19 (Some use of "" in your query was not closed by a matching "". watch on YouTube, local play / download options / download from dropbox)(Series: Video from other organisations, episode N/A)

  • (Optional extra question, skip if there is less time) Imagine this situation: Helen was assessing the boy’s drawing at home i.e. when the child was not physically present near her. Would she still be able to give qualitative feedback? What would it look like?

Now watch the following video showing a different form of feedback.


Secondary improvement

Secondary improvement marking

Video/Secondary improvement marking.mp4, https://oer.opendeved.net/wiki/Video/Secondary_improvement_marking.mp4,This video is available on your memory stick in the video/Video from other organisations folder.About this video. Duration: 01:53 (Some use of "" in your query was not closed by a matching "". watch on YouTube, local play / download options / download from dropbox)(Series: Video from other organisations, episode N/A)

Activity icon.png Whole group discussion (10 min) on giving written feedback. Suggested questions for reflection:

  • How was feedback in this video clip different from the clip of Helen?
  • What are the advantages of giving written feedback to students?
  • Do you think giving written feedback is possible in your context? What could be the issues? Discuss ways to solve these issues with your peers.

4 Understanding summative and formative feedback

Look at the example below. Two teachers - Teacher A and Teacher B have given feedback on this work.

4.3 teacher feedback on drawing.png

Activity icon.png Whole class dialogue (10 min): on the quality of feedback given. Questions for reflection:

  • What are some differences between the feedback given by Teacher A and Teacher B?
  • How would the feedback differ if it was given in the whole class (oral) or to the individual student (oral or written)?

Activity icon.png Individual activity (10 min): Reading about the differences between summative and formative assessment. Read the following:

Some common characteristics and differences between summative and formative feedback are:

Summative Feedback Formative Feedback

1. Indication of accurate or inaccurate (tick or cross).

2. Usually accompanied by a grade or mark.

3. Usually provided a day or two after students have handed in their work.

1. Positive comments to describe work that is done well (descriptive, with reference to success criteria).

2. Would indicate to student what they need to improve on, if necessary, OR encourages students to develop their thinking beyond the current success criteria

3. Feedback is given as soon as possible.

Formative feedback is more helpful for students’ learning because it gives them pointers for the future. Like sharing objectives and criteria with pupils, it also gives the learners responsibility for developing their own thinking and skills. Sharing this responsibility is a key element of interactive teaching and it reduces the pressure on students.

5 Giving formative feedback

Read the Science question below and the responses from two students.

Lesson Objective: We are learning ways of preventing being infected by malaria.

Success Criteria: I will be successful if I can write at least two correct ways of preventing the malaria infection, communicating clearly and in some detail.

Question: Imagine you are going to visit someone in an area that is known to be infested with mosquitoes. Describe two ways to avoid being infected by malaria.

Sample student’s response:

Mary: I will avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes because malaria is very unpleasant.

Mulenga: As mosquitoes bite particularly at night, I will make sure I sleep in rooms that have a good mosquito net or wear a long-sleeved shirt. If I can plan in advance, I will visit a doctor to take some preventive medicine.

Activity icon.png Whole class dialogue (5 min): Whole group brainstorm on what feedback to give the students. As a group, brainstorm:

  • What will be my feedback to Mary? Why?
  • What will be my feedback to Mulenga? Why?

Activity icon.png Role play (5 min) teacher-student feedback in pairs. Break into pairs, assign roles (teacher, Mary/Mulenga), and do a role play for 5 minutes. The person playing the teacher gives the feedback (based on the brainstorm you have just done), and the other participant (playing first Mary and then Mulenga) responds to the teachers comments or keeps a note of how the feedback makes them feel. Then swap roles and role play again.

Activity icon.png Whole group dialogue (5 min): Whole group discussion on teacher-student role plays. Come back together as a group. Discuss the role plays. Was is easier to give feedback to Mary or Mulenga? How did you feel when you were receiving feedback? Make a note of any particular points that you could use in the future when giving feedback to students.

While giving formative feedback (individually or in whole class):

  • always begin with what is good about students’ work or which success criteria have been met and appreciate students’ responses
  • ask students to reflect on which criteria was/were not met before you tell them.
  • ask students what they could do next time/could have done this time to meet the success criteria
  • suggest some points on which students could act immediately/in near future
  • for high achievers suggest some points that can be achieved beyond the success criteria

Related resources

This Zedupad resource Fred the Fly learns about Malaria (see link below) is an informative interactive resource with multiple choice questions on malaria prevention and a drag and drop activity at the end that could be used as part of a formative assessment. If you decide to use the resource, remember to plan in advance of the lesson what the success criteria will be and how you are going to provide feedback to the students.



6 ICT practice: Different-tasks group work with ICT and activity planning

Activity icon.png Different-tasks group work (20 min) on becoming an expert. As we discussed in the ICT practice in the first session of this unit, you now have an opportunity to deepen your skills in your chosen application. Divide into the same pairs as last time and continue developing the skills in your chose application. What is the idea that you are developing? In the last session of this Unit, you will be able to present what you have developed, so make notes, and work towards a particular item, such as a spreadsheet, a GeoGebra file etc.

7 Connecting with overarching goals of the programme

Activity icon.png Open space (10 min). It's now time for the "open space", that gives you an opportunity to discuss issues that have arisen, and to relate those to the broader context of the programme. Do not just gloss over this section, but make time to raise issues, and probe the progress that you are making. You could use this space to:

  • Remind yourselves of the of the Most Significant Change Technique, and e.g. collect more of your stories.
  • Discuss your assessment portfolios: Is there anything that you are unsure about? Is it going well? What could be done better?
  • Check on the work with the classroom assistants: Is this going well? Are there any tensions? Any observations or tips you can share?
  • Reviewing individual ICT practise (such as typing practise).
  • If you are preparing a presentation for other teachers, you could work on the presentation (about what you have been learning, stories emerging from MSC).
  • Remind those who are doing audio diaries, to upload them.
  • You could discuss any other issues that have arisen.

You will find notes and summaries of various techniques and concepts on our reference page, and you might want to refer to those for clarification during this activity if needed.

8 Follow-up activities

Activity icon.png Agreeing follow-up activities (5 min).

Part A: Update the electronic version of “my assessment inventory”. Open your file from your ‘files area’ on your desktop. Fill it in and save it again. Remember to bring the paper inventory to every session and make an entry in the electronic inventory every week.

Your success criteria for all Formative Feedback homework below are:
  • identifying evidence where the student performed well and appreciating that performance
  • identifying evidence where the student could improve and giving practical tips for improving
  • suggesting a higher target for high achieving students

Part B: For any topic that you are teaching this week, display the learning objective and success criteria. Then randomly choose a student’s work and assess it with the whole class with reference to the success criteria. You can watch Helen’s video clip again as an example for this homework. Record your experience on the dictaphone.

Part C: For a topic that you teach this week, give oral formative feedback to two students who (a) perform well and (b) struggle in the lesson. Record answers to the following questions on the dictaphone:

  • What feedback did you give to each student?
  • Why did you give that feedback?
  • What difference did your feedback make to your students’ learning?

Part D: Give written feedback to a few students in your class this week. Record your observations of the experience and students’ learning on the dictaphone.

If possible, take pictures of the written work and your feedback with a digital camera. Upload it onto the server. Otherwise, bring the samples of your written feedback in the next workshop session.