Evaluating design-based formative assessment practices in outdoor science teaching

Rikke Dalgaard Hartmeyer, Matt P. Stevenson, Peter Bentsen

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    Abstract

    Background and purpose: Research in formative assessment often
    pays close attention to the strategies which can be used by teachers.
    However, less emphasis in the literature seems to have been paid to
    study the application of formative assessment designs in practice. In
    this paper, we argue that a formative assessment design that we call
    Eva-Mapping, which is developed on the principles of design-based
    research, can be a productive starting point for disseminating and
    further developing formative assessment practices in outdoor science
    teaching.
    Sample, design and methods: We conducted an evaluation of the
    design, based on video-elicited focus group interviews with two
    groups of experienced science teachers. Both groups consisted of
    teachers who taught science outside the classroom on a regular basis.
    These groups watched identical video sequences which were recorded
    during lessons in which teachers applied the formative assessment
    design. These sequences focused on formative assessment in pairs,
    in small groups, or in whole class sessions. Afterwards, the teachers
    discussed each sequence. These discussions were audio recorded
    and later transcribed. The transcriptions were analysed using content
    analysis.
    Findings: By analysing the interview data, we identified two categories
    of context-determining factors that influenced the formative
    assessment design (namely, Resources or Lack of Resources and The
    Outdoors) and three mechanisms that influenced the assessment
    process (namely, Teacher Involvement, Structure in Peer Assessment and
    Knowledge Sharing). Finally, we identified four perceived outcomes of
    the formative assessment design: Enthusiasm, Knowledge Application,
    Acquirements and Insight into the Learning Processes.
    Conclusion: We suggest that knowledge within the identified
    categories can provide useful guidelines for the future development
    of formative assessment in science teaching that integrates the
    outdoors. This is because such knowledge forms part of teachers’
    perceptions regarding the acceptability and utility of the formative
    assessment design. In addition, our study contributes to evidence
    within an underexplored aspect of formal outdoor science education.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftEducational Research
    Vol/bind58
    Udgave nummer4
    Sider (fra-til)420-441
    Antal sider22
    ISSN0013-1881
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 30 sep. 2016

    Emneord

    • udeskole
    • matematik

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