Assessing Teacher Competency in Formative Assessment

Principal Investigator: 
Co-Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The purpose of the project is to create measures that can be used in classrooms and in professional development venues to evaluate teachers' formative assessment practices in science instruction, especially how competent teachers are in interpreting assessment data and taking subsequent actions. The investigators would construct tasks based on statewide science standards, validate them, and use them in an online learning environment for teacher learners.

Setting: 

The study is being conducted at local elementary and secondary science classes in Washington state.

Research Design: 

The research design for this project is longitudinal and comparative, and is designed to generate evidence which is descriptive (case study) and associative and/or correlational (quasi-experimental). This project collects original data using diaries/journals/records kept by subjects; videography observation; online self-completion questionnaires; face-to-face and telephone informal interviews; and teacher responses on the FASK tasks, both online and paper-and-pencil.

We will employ both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze the data. (1) The video and interview data collected in the case study will be transcribed and coded based on coding systems and then linked to teachers' responses on the FASK tasks. (2) Talk alouds of teachers varying in their formative assessment competency on the FASK tasks will be coded to test the cognitive claims on the FASK tasks. (3) We will run typical measurement analysis, such as item analysis, Generalizability study, to examine teachers' responses that we will gather from a larger sample of physics teachers.

Findings: 

We have identified patterns of high and low skill levels for formative assessment for our cohort of teachers and for responses to our Formative Assessment Skills and Knowledge (FASK) Tasks.

Publications & Presentations: 

Li, M., Minstrell, J., & Anderson, R. (2006, April). Towards a framework on conceptualizing the important aspects of teachers’ classroom assessment practices. Paper presented at the AERA annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Quynn, J. A., & Li., M. (2008, March). A sociocultural and metacognitive approach to reconceptualizing feedback. Paper presented at the AERA annual meeting, New York, NY.

Minstrell, J. A., Anderson, R., Kraus, P., & Minstrell, J. E. (2008). From practice to research and back: Perspectives and tools in assessing for learning. In J. Coffey, R. Douglas, & C. Stearns (Eds.), Assessing science learning: Perspectives from research and practice. NSTA Press.

Minstrell, J. & Vokos, S. (2009, January). Introduction to a diagnostic learning environment. Presentation to PTech (AAPT) conference at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA.

Minstrell, J., Anderson, R., Magi, E., Vokos, S. & Li, M. (2009, March). Promoting understanding and skills in assessment and instruction for learning. Professional Development Institute presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Minstrell, J., Anderson, R., Magi, E., & Li, M. (2009, March). Moving from formative assessment results to appropriate instructional actions. Presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Magi, E., Minstrell, J., Anderson, R., & Vokos, S. (2009, March). Moving beyond “Probes:” Constructing and using elicitation questions to inform teacher of student needs. Presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Anderson, R., Minstrell, J., Li, M., & Vokos, S. (2009, March). Creating an assessment for learning perspective. Presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Magi, E., Minstrell, J., & Anderson, R. (2009, March). Questioning strategies consistent with assessment for learning. Presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Minstrell, J., Kraus, P., Anderson, R., Magi, E., & Vokos, S. (2009, March). The Diagnoser project: Using online tools to support assessment for learning. Presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Minstrell, J., Anderson, R., Vokos, S. & Li, M. (2009, March). From practice to research and back: Perspectives and tools in assessing for learning. Presentation/workshop at NSTA annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.

Other Products: 

Two types of products: 1. Reliable and valid measures of teachers’ formative assessment skills and knowledge in at least one content area of science teaching; and 2. Professional development materials to support improvement of teachers’ understanding and practice of formative assessment.