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An evaluation of formative assessment probes in a solution chemistry chemistry teaching sequence.

McDonagh, Mark (2014) An evaluation of formative assessment probes in a solution chemistry chemistry teaching sequence. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study aimed to evaluate the use of diagnostic questions as formative assessment probes in science teaching. Formative assessment practice is still not well developed in most schools. Much practice depends on the formative use of summative tests. In addition, the National Curriculum level descriptors provide an imprecise notion of progression through many science concepts. The study sought to use more research-based materials to improve the author’s formative assessment practice by carrying out an evaluation of a single action research cycle. A backward design approach was used to generate a series of 31 diagnostic questions which could assess understanding in a KS3 solution chemistry topic in a teaching sequence building on progressively more demanding concepts. The materials were used in the author’s school with Year 8 students (n=60). In a 3-4 week teaching programme. The project provides evidence that the diagnostic questions developed are a highly effective means of gathering rich data of student understanding in a fashion which allows the reshaping of teaching during a normal timetable. The probes were sufficiently sensitive to detect misconceptions in chemistry and provided the teacher with a secure basis for deciding when to repeat the teaching or extend the concepts being taught. The progression in the teaching sequence was analysed using the frameworks of Bloom and Piaget. Students’ performance was shown to be linked to the level of conceptual demand. Evidence was presented which suggested that diagnostic questions could be used as formative assessment probes with summative potential.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Depositing User: Mr Mark McDonagh
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 10:59
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2015 10:59
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9416

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