د/ايمان زغلول قاسم

استاذ تكنولوجيا التعليم المشارك بكلية التربية بالزلفي

book B3

and can subsequently be used to change the learning environment in order to meet learners‘
needs (Wiliam, 2011).
A crucial aspect of formative assessment is feedback (Bennett, 2011; Brookhart, 2007;
Sadler, 1989; Shepard, 2005; Stobart, 2008). In the context of formative assessment, feedback
can be defined broadly in two perspectives (Sadler, 1989): 1) the information resulting from
assessments that provides teachers and other stakeholders with insights into student learning,
which can be used to adapt instruction to the needs of learners; 2) feedback provided to
students based on their responses to an assessment task that is intended to steer their learning
processes directly.
Numerous researchers have attempted a satisfactory definition of formative assessment
(Black & Wiliam, 2009). Furthermore, Brookhart (2007) noted that the definition of formative
assessment has expanded over time. Nevertheless, to date a generally accepted definition has
not emerged in the literature. In order derive a clear conceptualisation of the term formative
assessment in this dissertation, various definitions will be discussed, along with the features of
formative assessment that are relevant to this dissertation, with the aim of proposing a
definition of the term.
Bloom et al. (1971) introduced the term formative assessment. They described the
purpose of this form of assessment as providing students with information or feedback on
their learning, thereby providing suggestions for future learning. The popularity of formative
assessment increased rapidly after the publication of Black and Wiliam‘s (1998a, 1998b,
1998c) studies, which highlighted the potentially positive effects of formative assessment on
students‘ learning outcomes. Black and Wiliam defined assessment as formative ―... Only
when comparison of actual and reference levels yields information which is then used to alter
the gap‖ (1998c, p. 53), where the gap refers to the distance between the actual performance
and the goal (Sadler, 1989). Some researchers have conceptualised formative assessment
based on its potentially positive effect on self-regulated learning (e.g., Clark, 2012; Nicol &
Macfarlane‐Dick, 2006), an aspect of formative assessment that was also stressed in early
definitions of formative assessment. Namely, an important aspect of formative assessment is
making students aware of what quality means, so they can monitor the quality of their own
work while they are learning (Sadler, 1989). Sadler later defined formative assessment as
―assessment that is specifically intended to provide feedback on performance to improve and
accelerate learning‖ (1998, p. 77).
Although most research on formative assessment has focused primarily on students,
the use of assessment results in a formative way by teachers is also an important aspect of
formative assessment (Bloom et al., 1971; Stiggins, 2005). Brookhart (2007) provided a
definition of formative classroom assessment in which the role of the teacher is central:
―Formative classroom assessment gives teachers information for instructional decisions and
gives pupils information for improvement‖ (p. 43). Another example is McManus‘s (2008)
conceptualisation, which describes formative assessment as a process that results in feedback
that can be used to make instructional decisions and to support and steer student learning.
Here, the crucial roles of both teachers and students are emphasised. Others have focused on
the evidence actually being used for decision making regarding the learning process:

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