Assessing-To-Learn: Formative Assessment in Physics Instruction

Robert J. Dufresne, William J. Gerace
2004 The Physics Teacher  
This session introduced participants to a classroom network technology, Group Scribbles, which aims to build teaching routines and to support improved classroom assessment. Group Scribbles enables students and a teacher to make electronic contributions to the class on sheets similar to Post-it notes. Using Group Scribbles, students are actively involved in contributing and responding to content as well as managing shared visual spaces. During the session, participants were given the opportunity
more » ... ven the opportunity to do an activity using Group Scribbles. Bill Penuel then described how this technology can be utilized in a classroom activity as a learning tool to initiate discussion or as an assessment of student learning. With funding from the NSF, Penuel's project is developing activities that use a set of routines to help individual assessment activities: 1. The teacher posts an image to individual/group boards. 2. Student groups mark images to indicate where processes occur. 3. Student groups discuss similarities and commonalities in groups' drawings. 4. Students use discussion ideas to write an explanation of how processes are related. The presenters highlighted the following benefits of Group Scribbles: • Group Scribbles is more costly than Clicker technology but incorporates more open-ended questions, which allow teachers to see how students are thinking. However, it may be more difficult for teachers to make sense of the results quickly during class. • Group Scribbles routines make students feel comfortable contributing their answers and ideas to the class. Participants asked several questions and made a few comments at the end of the presentation. • Some participants were concerned that the technology might be too complicated for teachers. The presenter pointed out that if teachers ever have a problem with the technology, they can also do similar activities with real Post-its. • Participants asked how the presenters were collecting data from the teachers. The presenters explained that since many of the teachers are at distant locations, they make a point of having teleconferences with them on a bi-weekly basis to discuss the activities that the teachers are doing. • One participant observed that this format gives students the opportunity to understand an abstract concept in a more concrete way. In addition to having a verbal discussion about the concept, they also have the opportunity to create both a drawing and a text explanation to represent what they are learning.
doi:10.1119/1.1804662 fatcat:besab7cwsbbutgrsul22mf4jim