Functions Of Formative Assessment

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Teaching is a complex activity. Teaching teachers is a more complex activity, because it involves individuals who are devoted to teaching at various levels. The importance of teachers in the new century has become all the more viable in case of apposite education for one and all. New perspectives and new designs are perhaps imperative in teaching teachers who would be at the helm of affairs in a classroom where the world comes closest to the learner teachers.
The importance of teacher as an agent of change, promoting understanding and tolerance has never been more obvious than today. The need for change, from narrow nationalism to universalism, from ethic and cultural prejudice to tolerance, understanding and pluralism, from
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Conversely, students’ approaches to study influence the ways in which they perceive evaluation and assessment. When students participate in formative assessment, there is opportunity to give feedback to students. The provision of feedback is one of the primary functions of formative assessment. A further function of the formative assessment is to provide feedback to the mentors. Concerning these, Bloxham and Boyd (2007) argued that “for assessment to function in a formative way that supports students’ future learning, the findings have to adjust teaching”. For the case of practice learning, it helps mentors to get a clearer view of where learners are experiencing difficulties and they can adjust their support and guidance provided to the learners. This is supported by Black and William (1998) who suggested that assessment becomes ‘formative’ when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet the needs of students or by the students themselves to change the way they work at their own learning. Formative assessment seeks to present learners with explicit goals or outcomes of instruction, to help them assess their current position in relation to these goals, and to equip them with the tools to bridge the gap between the two. Thus, effective formative assessment must help students answer the following questions:
1. Where am I trying to go? Students need clearly articulated, concise learning targets to be able to answer this first question. Learning is easier when learners understand what goal they are trying to achieve, the purpose of achieving the goal, and the specific attributes of success. Teachers should continually help students clarify the intended learning as the lessons unfold—not just at the beginning of a unit of
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