- Lea's Blog

From an article by Virginia "Jenny" Williams

Formative assessment is a teaching tool that supports all learners, but it is especially critical for students who are struggling as it holds the potential for changing the learning outcome. When teachers use formative assessment during learning tasks, students get immediate feedback on their learning. This is an important consideration for students that struggle because corrective feedback is a necessity during the learning process. As a struggling learner, students often do not realize why they are struggling. Providing them with immediate feedback draws attention to the tasks that support their learning and those that don’t. Awareness of what works for them as a learner, and what doesn’t, allows them to begin to recognize the supports they need during the learning process and when they need to use them.

Students identify strategies that help them learn.
As students identify the strategies that help them learn, they begin to recognize that they can use this information to support the learning process. Knowing how to learn, or in this case, the way that one learns best, separates the learner, the content, and the strategy they are using into different categories.  When students can differentiate themselves from content and learning strategies, they begin to take control of their learning.

Students take control of their learning.
Having control over the learning process further promotes a positive growth mindset, which in turn, promotes success at learning. In this scenario, a positive cycle for learning is established and successes are highlighted, instead of failures. This type of success promotes effort rather than intelligence as a primary element of the learning process.

Smaller “chunks” of content help students process more effectively.
Finally, lessons that include multiple formative assessment events and strategies break learning tasks into manageable parts. This helps students focus their learning, as time demands are reduced and feedback is provided multiple times at shorter intervals. Utilizing shorter intervals for focusing helps students that have difficulty with maintaining attention to task. This also breaks content into manageable “chunks” that students can stop and process, before moving to the next component of the learning task.

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Lea's Learning Analytics Blog

Learning analytics, educational data mining, formative assessment - all recent buzz words in educational research. In principle, the idea is to find theoretical frameworks, models, procedures, and smart tools to collect, aggregate, analyze, reason on and visualize large scale educational data. LEA’s BOX is a research and development project funded by the European Commission. The project aims at (a) making educational assessment and appraisal more goal-oriented, proactive, and beneficial for students, and (b) at enabling formative support of teachers and other educational stakeholders on a solid basis of a wide range of information about learners. That means, LEA’s BOX is a learning analytics toolbox that is intended to enable educators to perform competence-centered, multi-source learning analytics. More info at http://www.leas-box.eu!


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