Teaching Formative Assessment Strategies to Preservice Teachers: Exploring the Use of Handheld Computing to Facilitate the Action Research Process

From Section:
ICT & Teaching
Apr. 20, 2009

Source: Journal of Computing in Teacher Education (JCTE), Volume 25, Number 3, Spring 2009.

Appropriate classroom assessment now tends to utilize formative measures with greater frequency, especially in the early grades and with learner groups at risk of not passing state-mandated standardized tests. Within the authentic context of an action research project, teacher candidates were given handheld computers equipped with data-collection software to assess the effectiveness of tutoring sessions with students identified with special needs. The data was collected and reviewed weekly as formative assessment and was also analyzed over time for performance trends. The goal of the study was to examine whether the introduction of handheld data collection tools and new pedagogical practices embedded in an action research project is a feasible expectation for novice teachers. Results from post-experience questionnaires and analysis of recurrent themes in written reflections indicate that the teacher candidates valued the action research and formative assessment process. Although the hardware created a variety of challenges to data collection, all participants recognized the value of the handheld computer for classroom-based formative assessment. This study is the first step in a long-term research study on the efficacy of handheld tools to support formative assessment in the elementary classroom.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
Action research | Educational technology | Formative evaluation | Preservice teachers | Students' evaluation | Teaching methods