The planning for formative evaluation can begin during the initial stages in the design of your instructional event. Here are some guidelines along with an exercise to help you plan your evaluation.
Let’s begin with a couple of points to keep in mind:
- The focus of formative evaluation is on testing the effectiveness of the tasks, resources and supports in helping students achieve the learning objectives. As such, it is of extreme importance that you take the time to write learning objectives that are clear and explicit about the success criteria.
- Have a clear understanding of the instructional sequence, the resources and supports needed to implement your learning tasks or assessments.
- Create a timeline to actively seek out feedback from your students, either through open questions, clickers, quizzes and communication channels, to be used during face-to-face interactions and out of class time.
- Embed quizzes in your instructional tasks with automated feedback to support self-regulated learning and use that feedback to inform the content of your lectures.
- Take advantage of collaborative or cooperative strategies to promote peer instruction and balance out differences in content knowledge or technical capabilities.
- Promote discussion through virtual communication channels by using icebreaker activities or by creating modules that explicitly introduce students to the etiquette of collaborative discussion and the resources available. Another way of doing this is by creating a quiz, in which students need to judge an exemplary piece of work, guided by the questions in the quiz.
- Have a systematic method to checking communication channels and respond to doubts. Allot time throughout the semester to support the development of technical abilities if and when new technological tools are introduced.