Formative Assessment Research


Dr. James Popham references two studies of formative assessment that point to areas of impact for educators. Several focal areas are identified in the articles (excerpts follow):

1) Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment
Black, P., and Wiliam, D. (1998). “Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment,” Phi Delta Kappan, 80, no. 2 (October): 139-148.

HOW CAN WE IMPROVE FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT? “Feedback to any pupil should be about the particular qualities of his or her work, with advice on what he or she can do to improve, and should avoid comparisons with other pupils.” Black, P., and Wiliam, D. (1998).

“The evolution of effective teaching. What is essential is that any dialogue should evoke thoughtful reflection in which all pupils can be encouraged to take part, for only then can the formative process start to work. In short, the dialogue between pupils and a teacher should be thoughtful, reflective, focused to evoke and explore understanding, and conducted so that all pupils have an opportunity to think and to express their ideas… Across a range of contexts, attending not to what the teacher is putting into the instruction but to what the students are getting out of it has increased both student engagement and achievement.”  Black, P., and Wiliam, D. (1998).

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