Black P and Wiliam D (1998) 'Assessment and Classroom Learning', Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 5(1):7-74.
This paper is one of the seminal literature reviews on formative assessment. It draws on 250 journal articles and book chapters to synthesise the research on formative assessment. Key findings include: 1. strengthening the practice of formative assessment produces significant, and often substantial, learning gains; 2. feedback can have positive effects if the feedback is formulated and used as a guide to improvement; 3. learners must understand both the goal of their learning and the actual level of their understanding; 4. students have to be actively involved in their learning; 5. for assessment to function formatively, the results have to be used to adjust teaching and learning; 6. assessment can influence the motivation and self-esteem of pupils, both of which are crucial influences on learning.
Heitink M, van der Kleij F, Veldkamp P, Schildkamp K and Kippers W (2016) ‘A systematic review of prerequisites for implementing assessment for learning in classroom practice’, Educational Research Review, 17:50-62.
This paper is a systematic review of 25 studies (4 quantitative, 12 qualitative, 9 mixed methods) on ‘assessment for learning’. Studies were included in the review only if they: had been published in a scientific, peer-reviewed journal or were a dissertation; involved empirical research; and focused on the use of formative assessment in classroom practice. The aim of the review was to reveal prerequisites needed for implementation of assessment for learning. Results identified prerequisites regarding the teacher, student, assessment and context. Prerequisites included: 1. teachers must be able to interpret assessment information on the spot; 2. student engagement in the assessment process is vital; 3. assessment should include constructive and focused feedback; and 4. schools should facilitate collaboration and encourage teacher autonomy.
Lane R, Parrila R, Bower M, Bull R, Cavanagh M, Forbes A, Jones T, Leaper D, Khosronejad M, Pellicano L, Powell S, Ryan M and Skrebneva I (2019) Formative Assessment Evidence and Practice Literature Review, AITSL, Melbourne.
This paper is a systematic review undertaken by Australian researchers on 71 formative assessment studies. For inclusion in the review, studies had to be empirical and needed to include well-designed control groups so that treatment effects could be confidently attributed to the formative assessment interventions. The review found that: 1. feedback should be individualised, timely and aligned with the curriculum; 2. feedback should be detailed and provide actionable steps rather than information about errors and correct answers; 3. the nature of the content and/or skill domain should be considered when selecting formative assessment tools (including online tools) and that tools and resources need to be fit for purpose; 4. there should be increased awareness of the valid task models, cognitive models and evidence-based interventions for addressing learning gaps; 5. formative assessment practices and technology should be integrated as a regular component of the curriculum.
Martin AJ and Evans P (2018) ‘Load reduction instruction: Exploring a framework that assesses explicit instruction through to independent learning’, Teaching and Teacher Education, 73:203–214.
This paper is an individual study that explores an instructional model (load reduction instruction). Load reduction instruction (LRI) aims to manage the cognitive burden on students in the initial stages of learning, and then, as fluency and automaticity develop, students are encouraged to engage in guided independent learning. LRI comprises five factors: 1. difficulty reduction; 2. support and scaffolding; 3. practice; 4. feedback; and 5. guided independence. This study examined an instrument (the Load Reduction Instruction Scale, LRIS) aimed at assessing these five factors. The instrument was tested among a sample of Australian high school students from 40 classrooms. The findings supported the validity of the LRIS, the concepts underpinning it and its potential to guide instructional practice.
Schildkamp K (2019) ‘Data-based decision-making for school improvement: Research insights and gaps’, Educational Research, 61(3):257-273.
This paper is a literature review. It draws on recent research and literature from different areas of data use in education. These areas include the use of formative assessment data, educational research study findings and ‘big data’. It explores how school leaders and teachers can use different sources of data to improve the quality of education. It concludes that when it comes to using data to improve the quality of teaching and learning, some of the most important enablers and barriers include data literacy and leadership.
Schildkamp K, van der Kleij F, Heitink M, Kippers W and Veldkamp P (2020) ‘Formative assessment: A systematic review of critical teacher prerequisites for classroom practice’, International Journal of Educational Research, 103.
This paper is a systematic review of 54 studies (10 quantitative, 30 qualitative, 14 mixed methods) on data-based decision making and assessment for learning. Studies were included in the review only if they: had been published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal or were a PhD thesis; reported on research results; and focused on the role of the teacher in implementing formative assessment in the classroom. The paper sought to address the following research question: ‘What teacher prerequisites need to be in place for using formative assessment in their classroom practice?’ The results show that knowledge and skills (e.g. data literacy); psychological factors (e.g. social pressure) and social factors (e.g. collaboration) all influence the use of formative assessment.
Wisniewski B, Zierer K, Hattie J (2020) ‘The Power of Feedback Revisited: A Meta-Analysis of Educational Feedback Research’, Front Psychol, 10:30-87.
This paper is a meta-analysis of 435 studies on feedback. To be included in the meta-analysis, studies had to compare the effects of a feedback intervention on an experimental and a control group (i.e. use a pre-post comparison). The paper finds that feedback, on average, is powerful, but some feedback is more powerful. The more information feedback contains, the more effective it is. 'High-information' feedback contains information about whether the answer to the task was ‘right or wrong’, how the task was performed and how it could be performed more successfully, and (sometimes) self-regulation, such as attention, emotions or motivation during the task.
Lee, H, Chung H, Zhang Y, Abedi Y and Warschauer, M (2020) ‘The Effectiveness and Features of Formative Assessment in US K-12 Education: A Systematic Review’, Applied Measurement in Education, 33(2):124-140.
This paper is a systematic review of 33 studies on formative assessment. To be included in the review, studies had to be a true experiment (with a random assignment procedure) or a quasi-experimental study (with a statistical adjustment to check baseline differences) including a control condition. The study found: 1. a small-sized positive effect of formative assessment on student learning with benefits for mathematics, literacy and arts; 2. support for student-initiated self-assessment; and 3. providing formal formative assessment evidence via a medium-cycle length (within or between instructional units) enhances the effectiveness of formative assessments.