6. How to train abilities för formative assesment

  • Having review definitions from literature about Formative Assessment [FA] and Formative Feedback [FF] (see “TUCN io6 1 What it is”),
  • having listed and explained several FA methods and techniques (see “TUCN io6 2 Methods and Techniques”),
  • having described our own pedagogic experiments with FA in architectural higher education (see “TUCN io6 3 Case Study Experiments”),
  • having elaborated guidelines for the step-by-step implementation of several key FA methods and techniques (see “TUCN io6 4 How to use”),
  • and finally having pointed out to the role of institutional strategies for raising awareness and increasing the use of FA in higher education (see “TUCN io6 5 How to create conditions”),

Hereunder we propose a list of guiding steps for organising FA teacher-training workshops in higher education institutions:

  • Assess which are the methods – if at all – that teachers use for assessing both their students’ learning, as well as their own teaching, during the teaching period (semester, term). The questionnaire devised in “TUCN io6 5 How to create conditions” may be used hereby. It can be sent by the organisers via email to the faculty teachers, while a meeting is set up after the questionnaire collection deadline and the time needed for interpreting results.
  • Teachers responsible for course disciplines gather and are being presented the questionnaire’s quantitative and qualitative conclusions: how many teachers use FA and FF and which are the employed FA methods.
  • FA and FF are then introduced and defined in relationship to SA, so that a common discussion ground is established (see “TUCN io6 1 What it is”).
  • Participants are then invited to mention the FA methods they have already been working with, while a mind-map recording these already-known methods may be drawn on the board.
  • Participants that have already used FA and FF are invited to explain to each other the methods and techniques employed so far, highlighting advantages and disadvantages thereof.
  • Organisers then add other FA methods and techniques than the ones already recorded and discussed. Each added method is briefly explained via concrete applications.
  • Participating teachers are then asked to devise an (enhanced) FA strategy for their own courses, by fine tuning already used or newly-introduced methods through optimising the correlation between the following:
  • FA objective: e.g. stimulate awareness for active learning; continuous check-up of student progress in order to adjust teaching; feedback on student work, during the work, etc.
  • the FA method / technique (see “TUCN io6 2 Methods and Techniques”)
  • type of teaching activity (courses; seminars; projects etc.), which determines the
  • size of student group (ranging from entire study year, c 100 stud.; one study (semi-)group, c.12 stud.; pairs of students and individual project supervision)
  • level of academic studies: e.g. first three-four years; last three-two years; doctoral students etc.
  • frequency of FA: ranging from weekly to once every semester.
  • The importance of providing time for feedback to students on every kind of performed assessment (formative or summative) has to be stressed. Hereby, Flipped Learning as complementary instrument, enabling teachers to free classroom time for FA and FF activities has much potential.
  • Simultaneously, the importance of integrating student feedback in adapting / redesigning teaching activities must be stressed as well.
  • Last but not least, time-management problems should be addressed in collaboration with Faculty councils, so that teachers are encouraged to find the time for elaborating Flipped Learning material as well as for better embedding FA and FF in their teaching activities.