Formative Assessment in Instruction as Perceived by Teachers
Friesland, Neil Odell
University of Kansas
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The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of elementary-level teachers who utilize formative assessment scores to make curricular and pedagogical adjustments for students who perform poorly on those assessments. The research question for this study was, "Do intermediate elementary-level teachers who use formative assessments use the data to adjust teaching?" This study presents data collected from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade teachers about their perceptions of their impact on student performance, the efficacy of formative assessments, and administrator support. The literature reports that formative assessment can be used to obtain information about students throughout the school year in relation to the curriculum addressed at a particular time. The literature goes on to suggest that the formative assessment process is a cycle that that takes place in the classroom and is part of the natural progression of teaching. For this descriptive study, teachers across one midwestern state voluntarily completed a survey of teacher perceptions and use of formative assessments. Under the auspices of the state's testing agency, the author sent an initial invitation to participate to 5,900 teachers who use the formative assessment program. Once data collection was complete, the survey items were grouped using factor analysis and conclusions were made in relation to the teachers' responses. The main goal of this study was to determine whether or not teachers change their methods or strategies if their students perform poorly on formative assessments. According to the data, teachers responded that they make instructional adjustments or changes when students perform poorly on the formative assessment. They also responded that they seek professional development opportunities to aid in instruction after formative assessments are given.
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- Education Dissertations and Theses 
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