Supporting Digital Formative Assessment (DFA) in schools

All of you who are reading me know why this is a very suitable time to consider how teachers can develop Digital Formative Assessment (DFA). Undoubtedly, online learning offers a unique opportunity to rethink our approach to assessment. The main reason why educators should reconsider the way they assess students nowadays is that research has proven  that digital learning and assessment have the potential to support more powerful student learning. 

Hattie, for example, in his widely cited review of meta-analyses in education research finds significant effect sizes for a range of formative assessment methods in ICT-based environments (e.g. intelligent tutoring systems, formative evaluation, and so on) (1)

We may try to pinpoint some of the  advantages of assessing students through using different digital learning environments: 

• it offers rapid  feedback and scaffolding of further  steps for learning at an appropriate level of difficulty

• it allows for learners’ choices, which leads to personalising  learning and increasing  intrinsic motivation)

• it includes mobile tools to support assessment of ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning

it is beneficial  to  students with special needs  (for example, students can simply touch the screen for the answer instead of writing it. Speech to text is also another great option and a great solution to people facing difficulties in essay writing)

• it supports collective engagement in problem solving in small groups or in massive multiplayer online platforms

• it provides with  opportunities for self- and peer-assessment 

The question is: how can  teachers develop DFA?  I would say there is still a need to train teachers on how to  incorporate online methods in teaching and assessing. From this blog post, I would like to share a powerful review on the literature of DFA  written by   Janet Looney  last September 2019.  I  am sure that you will not be disappointed when you find a great deal of examples of technologies used to support DFA.

Next seminar session we will discuss the broad range of practices included in DFA . Online assessment, in essence, should  support the assessment of student progress and provide information to be used as feedback in order to modify the teaching and learning activities in which students are engaged.

I hope we will meet very soon  so that we can interact  face to face and  discuss  DFA in our CLIL classrooms. 


Suggested Bibliography:

Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (2018). Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice 

Taylor and Francis online Journal 

Volume 25, 2018 - Issue 6

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