How can we leverage formative data to give students a greater voice in class discussions?



Hey @informed_members @Certified_Educators !

Yesterday, me and @rdene915 hosted another awesome #formativechat! This time we invited educators to share their experiences with using formative assessment to fuel class discussions! We’d love to continue to the conversation here! Feel free to reply with your response to Q1!



I think the key is varying types of assignments and the way you ask for feedback. As much as possible give students choice and options.


I am not sure that I am answering this question with what I am about to say, but I do have one experience to share. In one of my classes, we went over the results of a few students’ Formatives and I gave them the chance to add points to their answers if they were able to correct (or add to) some of what they had written. Students loved to be given the OK to move the sliding tack to the right and add more points, right on the Promethean board.
They also had a chance to see that if they copied and pasted, it was noticed by Formative. They surprisingly accepted the “blame” much better from a computer than from their own teacher, and they agreed not to copy and paste, especially from Google Translate, which they very often used. If they substituted their own words to the Google Translate words, I gave them the full credit, even if the writing sounded less proficient (which it should be in Italian II !). The discussion we had was both about the content (the actual mini essay piece) and about honesty and class values. I think that they did feel that their voice was heard. And I felt that mine was, too:)


After using GoFormative, I share results with the class (hiding names). As a class we discuss trends, share what we notice, etc. This become part of our reflection as a class and something they expect to happen. The class will discuss what they think may have lead to the successes or struggles they see. We brainstorm next steps together. In addition, using the tracker allows students to see their own growth (or not), and using this data created for them allows them to celebrate growth and focus on specific needs. Having students use this as part of their individual reflection again gives them voice in what they need or want to do next as far as practice, meting with me, enrichment, etc.


Agreed! I think it’s super important to give students a variety of options to share their thinking. It helps them overcome barriers to participation.


Using the data in a formative manner rather than a summative manner puts the emphasis on the learning process rather than a grade. Students are able to provide artifacts of their learning a variety of ways allowing students to truly show understanding in ways that make sense to them rather than limited to a narrow method that may not allow the learner to share the way they understand the concept. Involving self and peer evaluation with this data also allows for more student ownership and comfort level thus leading to a greater voice in class discussion.


This is a great strategy for leveraging Formative for student voice! Bravo :clap:


So you share the tracker data with your students? That’s so awesome!!! Which pieces of data do you look at (ex: class averages on each standard, individual student averages, student portfolios for each standard) with them? I’d love to hear more about how you do this as a class and with individual students!


The best formative experience I had this year included putting a stoichiometry worksheet on formative and added the questions as “show work”. I was able to jump from my computer to students in real-time once I saw mistakes. I pulled examples on the board (no names) and caught issues faster. It took a worksheet and turned it from a 24-48 hour turn around to 4-5 minutes.

White boards or other analogue methods would work, but the students liked the feedback comments that I put when they got right answers. I might not have been able to reach a students desk, but I still let them know I was watching.


We look at class averages- students and myself included. This is great data for them to see, and they reflect on whether they feel time of day, behavior, etc may have impacted their learning or performance. I also look at this to see how it might relate to my teaching at different times of the day, behavior issues and the impact, etc. I also think about the class make up (# of IEP, ESL,etc. and how that might correlate to class average. I also have students examine their own scores as a way to reflect on growth: what did they improve upon, continue to struggle with, any scores that dropped, etc. Lastly, we examine individual question averages- were there certain types of questions students struggled with- it is really about asking them what they notice and see and what story it might tell…with evidence to back it up. It is also a tool for me to be reflective of my teaching. If there are certain questions all the classes struggle with or the majority of students struggle with- then what does that tell me - what could I have done differently?


@rowens The depth to which you are using the standards-based and points-based Formative insights is really impressive. It’s great to hear that you are using the data to reflect on your own teaching, dynamics that might have affected classes from day-to-day, and also to give your students an opportunity to reflect as well. It sounds like you are getting a really good picture of learning each day and putting those insights to great use!


I love your practice of putting student examples on the board and hiding names. I think this is a great way to help students feel more comfortable sharing their thinking and improving the culture of learning!