Choosing the Right Pedagogical Strategy with Formative Assessment

Welcome back to the module on Taking Pedagogical
Action. Recall that this module covers these three
big ideas. This video will delve into the third one:
Choosing a Pedagogical Strategy. Teachers can choose from a variety of strategies
for taking Pedagogical Action when evidence of student learning (either planned or in-the-moment)
reveals a gap. These include modeling, telling, explaining,
directing, prompting, questioning, and giving feedback. The decision about which to use is dependent
on a variety of factors, including whether the teacher thinks she needs to take a more
active or passive role in the situation. Additionally, students can become adept at
using these as well as they support one another’s learning in formative assessment. These strategies are adapted with permission
from the New Zealand Ministry of Education. For more information, see this Literacy Online
website. Now let’s go through each of these strategies
in more detail. Nearly everything a teacher does during the
course of a lesson can be seen as modeling, but deliberate, purposeful modeling is a powerful
instructional strategy. For example, teachers can make intended student
learning “visible” by verbalizing their reasoning out loud, explicitly narrating their
thinking during a problem-solving process, or demonstrating a specific skill. Telling means supplying what students need
in the moment to enable them to maintain momentum in the learning process. A teacher makes a professional judgment to
use this instructional strategy so that student learning is not short-circuited, but rather
so that temporary obstacles are removed on the way to deeper learning. Chris Harrison describes the role of telling
as providing “drops of knowledge.” These are small bits of information intended
to keep student learning moving forward. In this context, telling is not a foregrounded
lecture but a brief intervention during an on-going learning process. Explanations are verbally explicit, tailored
to individual student needs, and intended to help students develop their own understandings. Teachers may use explanations to clear up
misconceptions, explain a process, or clarify the steps of a specific learning strategy. Directing is simply giving a specific instruction
to let the learner know what he or she is supposed to do. For example, “find the sentence in the text
that suggests …,” “write the letter for the sound …,” or “turn to your partner
and share …” Prompting is an instructional strategy that
teachers use to help students access and apply prior learning as a bridge to new learning. Prompting may take the form of a reminder,
a strong hint, a clue, or a question, and should always be followed by adequate wait
time. Asking questions is an ideal way to generate
thoughtful discussions and explorations of issues that are important to developing students’
understanding. Questions can also help students make connections
among ideas and prompt further thinking. Feedback is a core response to students’
learning in formative assessment. Using feedback helps students develop learning
strategies and can increase students’ motivation to learn. According to John Hattie, of the 150 interventions
he studied, feedback ranks as one of the top three in showing the strongest, positive effects
on student learning. However, not all feedback is effective. Effective feedback should be directly linked
to both the learning goal and success criteria and to immediate evidence of student learning,
and indeed may involve some of the strategies that we’ve just discussed. Research suggests that effective feedback
also meets the following criteria: It is specific and clear. It communicates where the student has met
the Success Criteria and what else he/she can do to move learning forward. Provides suggestions, hints or cues for how
the student can improve rather than correct answers. Focuses on the task and not on the student. Engages students’ thinking. Allows students TIME to use the feedback. In contrast to these qualities ineffective
feedback is too general, too personally evaluative, and too reward focused. For example, “Great work on the dialogue, Terry”; Too
general “You’re a good dancer, Debra”; Too evaluative “Your pronunciation was right on target,
Kate, you deserve a star”; Too reward focused It’s worth noting that grades also fall
short in providing effective feedback. They do not meet any of the criteria and are
not part of the process of formative assessment. Next, we’ll pause and reflect. Which pedagogical action strategies would
you like to use more of? Which ones would you like to use less? What are your strengths in providing feedback? What aspects of providing feedback would you
like to improve? Pause the video a moment to reflect on these
questions. Now we’ll consider some exit questions for
this module. In your own words what factors do teachers
need to consider when responding to evidence? What did you learn about effective pedagogical
action? Thank you! You have completed the module on Taking Pedagogical
Action. This video draws on training modules created
by CRESST for the Colorado Department of Education. We thank the Colorado Department of Education
(CDE) for enabling us to share this work. We are also grateful to the following individuals
for their contributions to these modules: Brenda (Paddlety) Sullivan David Sullivan Anjanette Williston Angela Landrum

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