EXE 733

Assignment 1

Using Formative Assessment to Improve Learning and Teaching in Chemistry Lesson
By. Ulfa Rahmi 211077007

Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1 Quality learning in Chemistry: Acid and Base Lesson ............................................................................. 1 Assessment ............................................................................................................................................. 3 Example of Formative assessment in Acid and Base lesson ................................................................... 4 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 8 Reference ................................................................................................................................................ 8 Appendix ............................................................................................................................................... 10

Using formative assessment to improve learning and teaching in Chemistry Lesson
Introduction
Currently, most assessment in Chemistry lessons in Indonesia overemphasizes in marking and grading students’ knowledge. Almost in every occasion of classroom learning, most teachers ignore the on-going process. They tend to do a test at the end of the lesson by applying a traditional model of assessment such as a paper and pencil test. This situation definitely will have a negative effect on student (Xuyan, 2006) since teachers seem to ignore the nature of assessment which is to gather information on students’ progress in learning (Brady and Kennedy, 2001). As the main purpose of assessment is to improve students’ learning and instruction, teachers need to be aware of students’ performance by considering their weakness so that students could have an effective learning and later could enhance their performance in learning science. In doing so, teachers should shift their perspective from grading to assessing which is not always focus on scoring but diagnosing students’ progress. Therefore, teachers need to realize to look for the right method of assessment which could support students’ learning. In this paper, an exemplary assessment will be discussed in relation to an effective and quality learning. Two types of formative assessment namely diagnostic assessment and performance assessment are going to be discussed on how to improve the strategy of teaching a chemistry subject in the secondary level particularly on the acid and base lesson. Examples are provided to show the strategy used in developing an exemplary assessment to assess students’ progress in learning.

Quality learning in Chemistry: Acid and Base Lesson
Chemistry is one of the important subjects in science education in Indonesia. It is learned by the upper secondary students from year 10 to 12. Most Indonesian students particularly
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Aceh students will find that learning chemistry is difficult. The number of symbols, reaction equation, calculation and memorization make students unengaged to learn chemistry. The situations worsen since most teachers always do a test and rarely helping them to learn in the way diagnosing students’ weakness. Acid and Base for instance, is one of the lessons that is included in Indonesian curriculum for year 11 (Departemen Pendidikan Nasional, 2003) which many students found difficult to learn. In fact, if only teachers could meet students need, this lesson might be easy to learn and therefore a quality teaching and learning could be achieved. Quality learning could be define in which students are mastering the subject matter, understanding the concept, developing explicit strategies for asking a good question and are able to explore new ideas (Killen, 2005). Brandt (1998 cited in Killen, 2005) mentioned that individual is learning when they feel it is meaningful to them. He also mentioned that learning occur when the learner construct their knowledge by building on their prior knowledge and learning mostly happen through a social interaction. These statements are in line with the basic principle of cognitive and social constructivist. There are an old saying “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink” (Killen, 2005:36). It means that no matter what opportunities and information teachers provide, at the end students themselves who decide whether they learn or not. Teachers need to understand that every person has his or her own way to learn. In other words, teachers need to offer a proper learning opportunity and ensure that students are able to take advantage of those opportunities. Based on the cognitive theory developed by Piaget, learning not only involves a meaning construction which is a continuous and an active process but also depends on the knowledge of the learner (Tytler, draft in press). Since it involves the learners’ knowledge, to have quality learning teachers need to take into account students’ prior knowledge by eliciting them through an assessment. If teachers are able to elicit their prior knowledge, the assimilation and the accommodation will be achieved. Assimilation is the process of building the knowledge on the “preexisting cognitive structure” while accommodation is the process of changing the existing cognitive structure into the new knowledge. Both of the processes are also developed by Piaget to explain how an individual adapt the new knowledge (Huitt & Hummel, 2003).
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As the newest approach of learning is developed to be more social constructivist, Vygotsky, a person behind socio-constructivism, argues that learning is not only a personal developmental process, but it needs an interaction and communication to gain the knowledge (Tytler, draft in press). And again, to find out whether students learn or not, an assessment is needed which usually embedded in the teachers’ interaction with students.

Assessment
As teachers are trying to enhance students learning, undoubtedly assessment is becoming a necessity to evaluate the students’ progress. It could be done informally-asking verbal question- or formally-using the test-. The term of assessment could be define as the process of gathering information from test (Athanasou, 1997) and observation (Brady and Kennedy, 2001) with a vision to make a judgment about a particular work sample. Assessment can serve many purposes. Mutch and Brown (2002) stated that generally assessment could be classified for students’ learning, certification and quality assurance. Focusing on the first purpose which is for student learning, the main objective of assessment is to monitor students’ progress, diagnose students’ needs and make instructional plans (Hubber, 2011a) which all lead to quality learning. If teachers assess the students during the instruction process and the information gained from the assessment is used as the basis for the next teaching and learning instruction, it is referred to as formative assessment. Meanwhile, when the assessment is done at the end of a course or lesson of instruction which the information gained is not used for further teaching and learning process, it is called summative assessment (Killen. 2005). As it focuses on how to improve students’ learning, a formative assessment seems to be more appropriate to be implemented in the classroom. It is clear that when teachers use this kind of assessment, they could interpret the information gained from it to use as an adjustment to the next lesson such as re-teaching or providing another practice to help students understand the lesson. In addition, teachers could provide feedback for learners and help them to understand their weaknesses and make them understand what should be done in order to improve their learning (Killen, 2005). In order to have an exemplary assessment Hubber (2011b), there are some main principles that need to be considered. Firstly, the main objective of the assessment is to improve
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students’ achievement. This means a proper assessment is based on a vision finding out a good teaching strategy for students to have the best learning result. Secondly, assessment should be based on an understanding of how students learn. It means assessment should be embedded in a pedagogy used. For example in learning acid and base, which use a constructivist strategy, the assessment should be integrated to assess the performance over time (Hubber, 2011c). Thirdly, assessment should be an integral part of lesson planning and not something to add later. If teachers have the assessment integrated in the lesson, they could have immediate feedback so that they can make a decision on further teaching. Finally, an assessment should be valid and reliable (Victoria Education Department, 2007). Valid means whether the assessment “measures what it is meant to measure” (Killen, 2005:107) and represents and reflects the content of the course (Wragg, 2001). Reliable refers to the “consistency” of the result collected from assessment (Hubber, 2011d; Killen, 2005). Therefore, the validity and the reliability of one assessment should be considered in order to have trustworthy information. In applying an assessment, teachers will need assessment tasks and instruments. Assessment instruments are the tools that teachers use to evaluate what students have learned. The examples of assessment instrument are individual questions, hands-on activity with question, test, and so on (Killen, 2005). He also mentioned that the main consideration in developing the assessment tools is the objective that teacher want to achieve. Thus the relation between lesson objectives and assessment should be “clear, direct and explicit”. If teachers are unable to link between them, the assessment tool will not be valid and reliable. It is might be possible to assess students’ performance by using only one tool, but if teachers want a detailed image of students’ understanding and skills, they need to use multiple assessment instruments to allow multiple judgments about students’ learning (Killen, 2005).

Example of Formative assessment in Acid and Base lesson
Obviously, there is diversity among students with various backgrounds and interests. So, it is ineffective to begin a new teaching without diagnosing their knowledge and understanding (Marsh, 2000). Moreover, as learning science should consider the cognitive level of the students, teachers should be able to diagnose their prior knowledge. One way of diagnosing
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students’ prior knowledge is by using a diagnostic assessment which is still part of formative assessment. Diagnostic assessment is an assessment that used at the beginning of the lesson to engage students, stimulate discussion in the classroom and elicit their prior knowledge which could inform the planning on the next lesson (Hubber, 2011d). Through diagnostic assessment, any misconception could be revealed. In Acid and Base lesson, the teaching strategy which also integrates the diagnostic assessment is the “think-pair-share” strategy. Think pair share is a cooperative learning strategy which allows students to think about the question given by the teachers and share their thoughts with a partner before discussion in the classroom (Srinivas, n.d.). Since this strategy is done with peers, it is a non-threatening situation. The example of think-pairshare strategy could be seen in the appendix 1. This strategy then continues with the questioning technique done by the teachers to probe more on students’ prior knowledge. Questioning is one of the most common types of informal assessment. In many ways, this assessment is more natural, easier and efficient to do. By using oral questions, teachers could make a decision within a second (Wragg, 2001) as the feedback from students is received through their answer. In asking the question, Wragg (2001) explains that the teachers should not only ask a “lower order thinking skill” (recalling facts) but also need to ask questions that include a “higher order thinking skill” (need more thinking). There are many types of questioning such as unproductive (questions that testing the knowledge) and productive (questions that could encourage investigation and discussion), questions that promote thinking, etc (Hubber, 2011e). It is essential for the teachers to cope with all types of questioning in order to increase the students’ engagement which could promote a better understanding. Some examples of questions in the acid and base Lesson: “What do you think the properties of water, vinegar, soap, ammonia and alcohol?” (lower order and unproductive question) “What happen to the properties of sodium hydroxide when I mix with sulfuric acid gradually?” (higher order, productive and promote thinking question) Geban (2005) has found that the common misconceptions in acid and base among the students are:
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“Any substance that contains H atom is an acid, OH molecule is a base” ”Reactions of acids and bases always result in a neutral solution”. As teachers discover the misconceptions through the assessment, they could plan what to do in the next lesson. In this matter-chemistry class, teachers will choose the next learning strategy, an experimental learning strategy. Experimental or hands-on activity is a “learning by doing” in which the understanding is gained when students are doing and experiencing the activity which we know that it is the highest form of understanding (Emerson, n.d.). In this phase, students are engaged to work in a group. This model of learning is in line with the socio-constructivist approach where learning occurs when an individual construct his or her own knowledge through activities and interaction occurs between peers and/or teachers (Tytler, draft in press). The example of the activity could be found in the appendix 2. As one of the principles of assessment is based on how students learn, the assessment tool that is used should be able to show the performance of the students. Since it done in a group, it would be a good initiative to use a “peer assessment”. Peer assessment is an assessment that involves other students to assess each other’s work (Wragg, 2001). By using a peer rating format, it can promote a greater involvement and responsibility among students (University of Technology Sydney, 2007) in doing the group work activity. Additionally, by applying peers assessment, students could learn collaborative skills (Brady and Kennedy, 2001). Peer assessment should be carefully implemented and should be notified to the students at the beginning of the activity (Wragg, 2001). However, there are some disadvantages of using peer assessment, for instance, students may do not have enough ability in evaluating each other and they may not serious in assessing their peers and let the friendships influence their judgment (University of Technology Sydney, 2007). Thus an assessment could be invalid and unreliable. The assessment tool that is going to be used in peer assessment is “rubrics”. A rubric is a set of scoring guide which allows the assessor to evaluate students’ work base on a specific criteria provided. Basically, there are two types of rubrics: holistic and analytic. The former requires the assessor to make judgments about the overall quality of students’ understanding which usually follow by the grade. This rubric is more appropriate for a summative assessment. The later provides feedback for the students that directly related to the performance criteria being assessed which no grades used (Killen, 2005). This type of
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rubric is more like a formative assessment. In this lesson-the acid and base, it would be used an analytical rubrics as it purpose is to enhance the learning process. The example of rubrics for peer assessment can be seen in the appendix 3. There are some benefits of using rubrics such as it is more objective, reduce marking time, and help the pupils to understand what will be evaluated. However, it also has some drawbacks for instance could create ambiguity since the progression of descriptor from one level to another level is not “linear” (Killen, 2005). After the experimental phase is done and all the content lesson is clarified by the teachers, there is another assessment task which is done individually by the students to make sure that they truly understand. The assessment tool that is going to be used is a multiple choice question (Appendix 4). This test is a form of question with a four possible answer which students need to choose the correct answer as they recall the knowledge (Brady and Kennedy, 2001). In setting the question, only one possible answer is correct while others act as a “distracters” which looking like a right answers (Wragg, 2001). The major benefit of this assessment tool is quick and objective in marking meanwhile the drawback is a difficulty of finding the appropriate distracter and also a possibility that students will guess the right answer (Brady and Kennedy, 2001). All the assessment that is done throughout and after the experimental phase namely peer assessment (rubric) and teacher (multiple choice question) is kind of formal assessment which has authentic evidence on the judgment. Finally, to complement the assessment process so that the quality learning could be achieved, students themselves have to participate in assessing their own learning. It is commonly called self-assessment. Generally, self assessment is used in a school where it promotes students-centered approach in which students are valued to be engaged in the learning process (Marsh, 2000). Groundwater-Smith and White (1995, cited in Brady and Kennedy, 2001) states that peer assessment has a good impact on students learning. It enables the students to develop a full understanding of their own strength and weakness. It also could improve students’ awareness of the responsibility for their own learning which also known as metacognitive thinking (Brady and Kennedy, 2001; Kriewaldt, 2001). The examples of self assessment are journal or diaries in which student reflect on their own learning. In these journals or diaries students write about their understanding of the lesson

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and express their feelings on the lesson. An example of journals could be seen in the appendix 5. However there are some limitations in implementing self assessment. It may be difficult for students to assess their own work (Wragg, 2001) especially for the students who never write a journal and reflect about their learning. Moreover not every student is mature enough to be honest in assessing himself or herself (Rossana, n.d.). It also found that many students are not comfortable with writing their feeling in the journal since most students especially Aceh students are not familiar with this technique.

Conclusion
In order to have an effective and quality learning among students, a formative assessment is highly essential to be embedded in a learning process. By using the formative assessment formally and informally, students’ strengths and weaknesses could be discovered which could inform and influence teacher to make a decision on further lessons. In developing the assessment instruments, the link between the outcome that teacher want to achieve and the assessment tool that teacher is going to use need to be considered. Finally, to have a detailed image of students’ performance, it is suggested to use a multiple assessment tool which is done by multiple perspective evaluation from teachers, peers and self.

Reference
Athanasou, JA 1997. Introduction to educational testing. University of Technology, Sydney. Brady, L & Kennedy, K 2001. Celebrating student achievement: assessment and reporting. Prentice Hall, Malaysia. Departemen Pendidikan Nasional 2003 Standar Kompetensi Mata Pelajaran Kimia SMA & MA. Jakarta. Emerson, RW n.d. Butterfly fields. accesed 22 January 2011, http://www.butterflyfields.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2 &Itemid=2 Hubber, P 2011a. ‘Week 2: Three broad purpose of assessment’, Module 1 Purposes of Asessment. Deakin University. Hubber, P 2011b. ‘Week 2: Principle for Assessment’, Victorian Education Departement, Module 1 Activity: Principle of Assessment. Deakin University.
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Hubber, P 2011c. ‘Week 3: Notable quotes on formative feedback’, Assessment: Teaching and learning. Deakin University. Hubber, P 2011d. ‘Week 3: Key concept associated with assessment’. Power point presentation. Deakin University. Hubber, P 2011e. ‘Week 3: Categorizing questioning’, prepared by Deakin University for The Department of Education and training, Victoria Huitt, W & Hummel, J 2003. ‘Piaget's theory of cognitive development’, Educational Psychology Interactive, Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University, accessed 22 January 2011, http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cogsys/piaget.html Killen, R 2005. Programming and assessment for quality teaching and learning. Thomson, South Melbourne. Kriewaldt, J 2001. ‘A thinking geography curriculum’, Interaction, vol. 29, no. 4, accessed 22 January 2011 http://www.gtav.asn.au/interaction/issues/v29n4_dec01/metacognition.htm Marsh, C 2000. ‘Chapter 17: Assessment and reporting’. Handbook for beginning teachers, Longman, 2nd edn, Malaysia, pp. 240-263 Mutch & Brown, 2002, Assessment series no 2: A guide for heads of Department. NY: Learning and Teaching Support Network, Module 1 Purpose of Assessment. Rossana n.d. accessed 22 selfassessment/d/3006507 January 2011 http://www.scribd.com/Unit-4-

Srinivas, H n.d. ‘Think-pair-share’, Collaborative Learning, accessed 22 January 2011 http://www.gdrc.org/kmgmt/c-learn/think-pair-share.html Tytler, R draft, in press. ‘Constructivist and socio cultural views of teaching and learning’, The art of teaching science. In G. Venville & V. Dawson (eds), Perth : Allen and Unwin University of Technology Sydney, 2007. ‘Peer assessment’, Institute for interactive media and learning, accessed 22 January 2011, http://www.iml.uts.edu.au/assessment/students/peer.html Wragg, EC 2001. Assessment and Learning in the Secondary School. RoutledgeFalmer, New York. Xuyan, H 2006. ‘Using formative assessment to improve teaching and learning in Linear Algebra’, The China Papers, pp. 88-91, accessed 22 January 2011 http://sydney.edu.au/science/uniserve_science/pubs/china/vol6/Math4.pdf

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Appendix
Appendix 1. Think-Pair-Share (Diagnostic assessment) What do you know about Acid and Base? Give your best answer to the following questions. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. If you don’t know the answer it is OK to leave the question blank.

Question 1:
Orange Soap Water

Gastric Medicine

Vinegar

Alcohol

Tea

Caustic Soda

HCl

Look at the picture. Sort these objects into three different groups based on the properties. Give each group a name or label.

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

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Appendix 2. Experiment Activity Material : red cabbage juice Beaker NaOH (aq) HCl (aq) alcohol Water Vinegar Baking soda Lemon juice Litmus paper Measuring glass

Procedure 1st experiment. 1. 2. 3. 4.

:

Put a small amount of each sample into the beaker Test using drops of red cabbage juice (put a small amount into the sample) Observe (what kinds of chemical properties?) Put the answer in the table

Table 1. using red cabbage juice NO Sample Observation Properties

What can you conclude from this experiment?

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2nd experiment: 1. 2. 3. 4. Put 10 ml of NaOH (aq) into the beaker Add 1 ml of HCl (aq) into the beaker Test the properties of solution by using the litmus paper Repeat the experiment by adding another 1 ml HCl until it is reaching 10 ml of HCl. HCl (aq) 1 ml 2 ml And so on Observation Properties

NaOH (aq) 10 ml 10 ml 10 ml And so on

Write your conclusion about second activity:

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Appendix 3. Rubrics (Peer assessment) GROUP ASSESSMENT RUBRIC ON COOPERATIVE GROUP WORK Group number :
Group Exemplary Criteria Proficient Partially Proficient Incomplete Points

4 points

3 points

2 point

1 points

A

B

C

Focus on the Task

Consistently focus on- task and know what needs to be done all time. Very self-directed.

Focus on-task and know what needs to be done most of the time.

Participation

A team member, who contributes a lot of effort, encourages and supports the efforts of others in the group. Follows through on assigned tasks and does not depend on others to do the work, responsibility for task is shared evenly. Always has a positive attitude about the task and the work of others.

A team member, who contribute some effort.

Focus on-task and know what needs to be done for a certain time. Other group members sometimes remind this person to keep on task. A team member, who contribute an effort if being asked by other member.

Rarely focus ontask and don’t know what needs to be done. Let others do the work. Sometimes chooses not to participate and does not complete assigned tasks.

Shared Responsibility

Follows through on most assigned tasks.

Does not follow through on most assigned tasks and sometimes depends on others to do the work.

Seldom or never follows through on assigned tasks. Depends on others to do all of the work.

Attitude

Usually has a positive attitude about the task and the work of others.

Sometime have a negative attitude about the task and the work of others.

Often have a negative attitude about the task and the work of others.

TOTAL POINTS

Note: A, B, C and so on is the name of group member. Ulfa Rahmi Page 13

Appendix 4. Multiple choice questions (individually)

Student worksheet

Question 1. In the list below, circle the acid NaCl HCl CH3COOH C6H12O6

Question 2 In the list below, circle the base NH3 CH3COOH KOH C2H5OH

Question 3 Which of the following is neutral? Water Soap Alcohol Lemon juice Antacid Sea Water

Question 4 How would u describe acid? And give 3 examples

Question 5 How would u describe base? And give 3 examples

Question 6 Why the properties of chloride acid when it mixing with sodium hydroxide could be acid and base?

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Appendix 5. Journal (self assessment)

Reflective Journal 1 (Acid and Base)

Name: 1. After this lesson, [please choose (a) or (b)]:

Date:

(a) I still do not know how to classify acid-base, because …………………………………………………………………………............……………………………………………………………… ………………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. (b) Now I know how to classify acid-base, because ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2. After this lesson, [please choose (a) or (b)]: (a) I still do not know how to predict the material whether it is acid or base, because ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. (b) Now I know how to predict the material whether it is acid or base, because ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3. I think the tasks I did were [please choose (a) or (b)]: (a) easy, because ……………………………………………………….……………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. (b) difficult, because ………………………………………………..…………..…………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4. For the task in this lesson, I prefer to do it [please choose (a) or (b)]: (a) alone, because ………………………………………………..………………………………………………..………………………… …………………………………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. (b) with group, because ………………..…………………………………………………………………….…………………………… ……………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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