Module 2 Session 6
Formative Assessment
Differentiation in Assessment
Questioning Techniques
Presentation Guidance
By the end of the session you will have:
Used and evaluated a sustainability
activity as an assessment tool
Defined formative assessment
Investigated ideas related to formative
Evaluated questioning methods
Considered the presentation task
Session Outcomes
Appoint a question master
Divide into teams of two
Allocate your team a colour from the
“Stomp” board
Listen carefully to the instructions
Once you have completed the activity
complete the evaluation sheet provided
and share your thoughts with the group
Using an assessment tool –
sustainability activity
Ofsted says:
In failing colleges . . .
“A common feature of a number of
unsatisfactory lessons was the failure of
teachers to make regular checks on
students’ learning and their determination
to continue with the planned work even
when the students clearly did not
understand it.”
Ofsted, Why colleges fail, London 2004a,HMSO
 Formative
assessment is the
regular checking of learners’
progress throughout their
programme, within and outside
teaching and learning sessions,
followed by constructive feedback
Importance of formative
Gipps (1994) assessment “community of
practice” between learner and teacher
Broadfoot (1998) potential of reviewing and
recording achievement
Torrance and Pryor (1999) Ecclestone (2002)
practicalities in classroom
Wiliam and Black (1998) links to learning and
Assessment Reform Group (2002) “assessment
for learning”
Recent Research
Professor John Hattie statistically combined the results
of 200,000 experiments in classrooms and published a
table listing the most effective teaching strategies in
order of effectiveness.
Giving learners feedback on their learning errors and
omissions, and getting them to correct them or work
towards improvement of future work, had a significant
impact on their learning.
LSDA (2002) ‘Focus on Hattie’s research’, Quality Matters, June
Hattie J (1999) ‘Influences on Students Learning’
Recent Research
Criterion or standards-based framework
A belief in success by learners and teachers
Separation of feedback from grading
Focus on learning not performance
Development of self-assessment is vital
Encouragement of reflective assessment with
For assessment to be formative it has to be used
Requires changing teaching and learning
Black P and Wiliam D (1998) ‘Assessment and Classroom
Learning’, Assessment in Education, 5,1,7-74
Convergent assessment (“Can you do this …?”). This
approach is often characterised by tick lists and can-do
statements. The teacher asks closed questions in order
to ascertain whether or not the learner knows,
understands or can do a predetermined thing. This is
the type of assessment most used in written tests.
Divergent assessment (“Show me what you know
about …”). The teacher asks open questions that allow
learners opportunities to describe and explain what they
know understand or can do. The outcome is not
Convergent and Divergent
Plan formative assessment opportunities
Assess groups as well as individuals
Encourage self-assessment and peerassessment
Use a range of more divergent assessment
In two groups mind-map 5 activities that use
self and peer assessment
Other formative methods
PC SCAT: Tell me what the getaway car
looked like?
Witness: Sorry I can’t remember a thing..
PC SCAT: Was it blue or red?
Witness: Blue
PC SCAT: Light blue or dark blue?
Witness: Light blue
PC SCAT: Ah, just as I suspected!!
Where did PC SCAT go wrong?
Questioning Techniques
Closed Questions:
 Draw out a fact
 Confirm a point of view
Open Questions draw out:
 Feelings
 Thoughts
 Perspectives
 Understanding
Open and Closed Questions
Divide into two teams
Take it in turns to take a card from the
Read out the ineffective questioning
technique to the opposite team
Opposite team make suggestions on how
that technique could be made more
Questioning Techniques
research and critically reflect upon different modes of formal and informal
assessment within own subject area
LO7 Add to professional development plan strategies for improving
assessment, and the use of assessment data to inform learning, in
relation to subject pedagogy
Possible coverage of LO1,LO6 and LO8
15-20 minutes
Tutor and peer feedback
References to reading
Submit hard copies with written assignment
Possible coverage of Minimum Core elements
Presentation Guidance
Outline of current assessment practices
Issues relating to your subject area
Informal and formal methods seen in your
peer observation
References to reading and theories/principles
What you learnt from the
Action plan of how you will improve your
Possible Format
Assessment Reform Group (1999) Assessment for learning beyond the
black box. Cambridge: University of Cambridge.
Black P and Wiliam D (1998) Inside the black box; raising standards
through classroom assessment. London: King’s College, University of
Boud D (2000) Sustainable Assessment. Studies in Continuing Education,
22, 2, 151-167.
Petty G (2004) ‘Geoff Petty’
QIA (undated) ‘Gold Dust Resources’
(Video clips)
Torrence H and Prior J (1998) Investigating formative assessment:
teaching, learning and assessment in the Classroom. Philadephia: Open
University Press.
Directed Study

Sustainable Assessment (PowerPoint)