Using Precise Formative Assessment to Identify Student Needs
Assessing student learning plays a crucial role in establishing starting points and action for teaching. Within education circles, you will hear many explain that they are comfortable with diagnostic and summative assessment. However, the process of formative assessment often takes a backseat.
To highlight the importance of using a combination of assessment types, I make reference to a paper and definition of ‘assessment’ that received widespread attention and was heavily circulated by educators: “‘Assessment’ refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged” (Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam).
The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate the level of student learning after a unit of work is complete. While undoubtedly an important part of the assessment process summative assessment comes quite late along the learning path. It is for this reason that it takes a combination of assessment types – diagnostic, formative and summative – to comprehensively clarify where students are at in their learning.
Assess Students Formatively during the Learning Stage
While summative assessment can be thought of as “assessment of learning”, formative assessment is known as “assessment for learning”. Using formative assessment and data to evaluate where learners are at enables teachers to identify student needs and gaps in learning, and then make decisions and adjustments to their teaching, while the learning is still happening. Formative assessment is exciting for educators because it means finding out students’ understanding and identifying areas that may need improvement, with still time to boost student outcomes before the end of the unit.
“If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.”
– Ausubel, 1968.
Identify Gaps in Learning with ClickView Interactive Video Analytics
Providing meaningful feedback to teachers so they can assess their students formatively and hone their teaching more precisely has been a big focus of our recent ClickView Interactive Videos release. After students watch an interactive video and answer the built-in questions, the students’ responses are automatically gathered and displayed within the interactive video analytics. This provides measureable results of video viewing and concept comprehension so the teacher can formatively assess and evaluate the learning of the class.
“While summative assessment can be thought of as ‘assessment of learning’, formative assessment is known as ‘assessment for learning’.”
Students can watch and complete the interactive video questions during class time or even at home, and then teachers can assess the results on both a class and individual level. This data delivers teachers a detailed snapshot of where their class is at in their learning. In turn this allows teachers to differentiate teaching more effectively.
Another way to distinguish summative assessment from formative assessment is by how the assessments are treated. While final grades are generally associated with summative assessment, it is better to look at formative assessment and its data as “practice”. With formative assessments, teachers can test students’ knowledge and identify what they will cover more precisely next lesson, which will improve student outcomes and prepare them for any summative assessments, such as final term examinations. Based on the formative assessment data within interactive video analytics, an educator may decide to return to a previous lesson and review the material to ensure comprehensive learning by the class.
“Teachers can evaluate their students’ learning based on the data and identify areas that need improvement, thereby differentiating their teaching more effectively.”
While it is clear that such formative assessment can boost student outcomes for any one class, it can also have a direct effect on an educator’s long-term teaching practices. If a class struggles to understand the key concepts of a video or lesson, the teacher may re-consider and adjust how they execute the lesson. Over time as an educator delivers the same lesson to different classes, formative assessment practices and the ClickView interactive video analytics provide longitudinal data about what is most effective and what is not, enabling the educator to continually refine their teaching.
Apply an Interactive Layer to any ClickView Video
When we set out to create these formative assessment tools for ClickView videos, we wanted to avoid “reinventing the wheel”. Therefore, we created an interactive layer which can be added to any video, giving educators the freedom to formatively assess students on any video title.
I don’t think of interactive videos as a new product, but rather it is an extension that can be applied to any video and as a result they have been seamlessly integrated throughout ClickView Online. Next time you view a ClickView video, and this applies to any video in your Curriculum Library or in the Exchange, you will see a “Create a new interactive video” button just to the right of the video. You will also find an interactive videos tab below any video (as shown below) where you can find all interactive videos that have previously been created for that particular video.
Sign in to ClickView to get started and make your own interactive video using any video from your Curriculum Library or the Exchange.
If your school does not have a ClickView account and you would like to explore interactive videos, please contact us and our team will get in touch with you soon.