Portraits of Teachers' Enactments of Instructionally Informative Assessment Tasks

Updated: 3:30pm, 11 Nov, 2022
22 June 2022 (Wed)
via Zoom
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Chair: Prof. Nancy Law, Professor, Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong

Portraits of Teachers’ Enactments of Instructionally Informative Assessment Tasks:
Examples from Middle and Elementary Grade Science Classrooms with Implications for Assessment Design and Practice

Decades of research have shown that formative use of classroom assessments can have a positive influence on student learning, providing in situ support for monitoring the learning of diverse groups of students. Unfortunately, teachers often do not feel well prepared to do so as highlighted by a recent U.S. national survey (2018) of science teachers. Given the promising impact of formative assessment practices on student learning and engagement, finding ways of supporting teachers in enacting these practices is important, especially given contemporary goals for science teaching and learning. In this talk I will highlight two necessary and complementary mechanisms to support such practice: (a) instructionally informative assessment tasks, and (2) examples of how formative assessment practices can be an integral part of high-quality instruction. Instructionally informative tasks and their formative use are essential but often implicit components of research-based frameworks for quality teaching and learning. In this talk, I will address these concerns by presenting portraits of teachers’ enactments of informative assessments for formative use in elementary and middle school science classrooms. The portraits showcase how teachers think about and use assessments as instructional activities to inform learning and teaching, as well as the essential properties of assessments that make this feasible. This work highlights various possibilities for integrating formative use of assessments with instruction and how assessing formatively could be imagined as part of teacher’s instructional practices. I will conclude this talk by offering implications of this conceptualization for research on supporting teachers’ assessment practices together with design and use of instructionally informative assessments.

About the speaker(s):

Dr. Sania Zaidi is a Research Assistant Professor at the Learning Sciences Research Institute (LSRI) at the University of Illinois Chicago. Sania’s research interests are in the design and evaluation of learning environments and assessment interventions in K-12 science. Her research focuses particularly on the design and classroom use of technology-based formative assessments in science. At LSRI, Sania is part of the Next Generation Science Assessment (NGSA) group and has co-led the development of assessment tasks and resources on funded R&D projects at both the middle and the upper elementary grade bands. Currently, Sania serves as a Co-PI on a NSF funded project that is studying the utility of a machine learning-based assessment system for supporting middle school science teachers in making instructional decisions based on automatically generated student reports (AutoRs).

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