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1 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT AND TEACHERS SELF EFFICACY By FRANCINE EUFEMIA A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Francine Eufemia
3 To my mother and father
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I would like to thank my husband, Neal, for his unwavering belief in my abilities, numerous sacri fices, and keen focus on what is most valuable in life. To my late father, Frank, although you were not able to see me finish this degree, I know that I have made you proud and my mother, Josephine. T he completion of this degree is a reflection of the fundamental teachings with which you have provided me over the years: devotion, dedication, and diligence. Your immeasurable support has enabled me to capitalize on every opportunity that life has presented. I thank the members of my committee for their servi ce and support : Dr. Li nda Behar Horenstein, my dissertation c hair, for helping me finetune my research topic edit my numerous drafts, and keep me moving along ; Dr. Jean Crockett for keeping me focused on scholarly writing ; Dr. Cynthia Garvan, for her help and patience in all things statistical ; and Dr. Fran Vandiver for understanding the complications that a full time principal faces during this type of journey Finally, I am grateful to the members of my cohort. No one but you know s the time and work t hat went into getting this far. The journey would have been much more difficult without you and certainly much less enjoyable.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 8 LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 9 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 13 Background of the Problem .................................................................................... 13 Statement of the Problem ....................................................................................... 16 Purpose of the Study .............................................................................................. 17 Research Questions ............................................................................................... 18 Assumptions and Limitations .................................................................................. 18 Assumptions ..................................................................................................... 18 Limitations ........................................................................................................ 19 Significance of the Study ........................................................................................ 19 Definition of Terms .................................................................................................. 20 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ............................................................................ 23 Introduction ............................................................................................................. 23 Formative Assessment ........................................................................................... 23 Relationship between Formative Assessment and Learning ............................ 27 Implications of the Use of Formative Assessment ............................................ 30 Effectiveness of Formative Assessments ......................................................... 31 Using Formative Assessment Data to Make Decisions .................................... 3 2 Classroom Assessment Literacy ............................................................................. 35 Self efficacy ............................................................................................................ 40 Theory of Self Efficacy ..................................................................................... 41 Assessing Self efficacy ..................................................................................... 42 Summary ................................................................................................................ 44 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 45 Theoretical Framework ........................................................................................... 45 Research Methodology ........................................................................................... 45 Population and Sample ........................................................................................... 46 Data Collection Procedures and Instruments .......................................................... 49
6 Access to Study Participants ............................................................................ 51 Pilot Study ........................................................................................................ 51 Data Analysis .......................................................................................................... 52 Summary ................................................................................................................ 54 4 RESULTS ............................................................................................................... 55 Research Question 1 .............................................................................................. 55 Research Question 2 .............................................................................................. 59 Research Question 3a ............................................................................................ 61 Research Question 3b ............................................................................................ 64 Research Question 3c ............................................................................................ 65 Research Question 4 .............................................................................................. 66 Research Question 5 .............................................................................................. 69 Summary ................................................................................................................ 71 5 DISCUSSION ......................................................................................................... 72 Summary of the Findings ........................................................................................ 72 Research Question 1 ........................................................................................ 72 Research Question 2 ........................................................................................ 73 Research Question 3a ...................................................................................... 74 Research Question 3b ...................................................................................... 74 Research Question 3c ...................................................................................... 75 Research Question 4 ........................................................................................ 76 Research Question 5 ........................................................................................ 76 Implications of the Findings .................................................................................... 77 Recommendations for Further Research ................................................................ 81 Limitations of the Study .................................................................................... 82 Conclusion .............................................................................................................. 83 APPENDIX A P ERMISSION LETTER : C LASSROOM ASSESSMENT PRACTICES ................... 85 B SELF EFFICACY RATING SCALE ......................................................................... 86 C P ERMISSION LETTER : S ELF EFFICACY SCALE ................................................ 87 D SURVEY ON CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT AND TEACHER SELF EFFICACY .. 88 E PRINCIPAL EMAIL ................................................................................................. 98 F TEACHER EMAIL ................................................................................................... 99 G TEACHER REMINDER EMAIL ............................................................................. 100
7 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................ 101 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................... 110
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Demographics for the Sample ............................................................................ 48 3 2 Research Questions and Data Analyses ............................................................ 53 4 1 Frequency of Teachers Use of Formative Assessment ..................................... 55 4 2 Frequency Distribution and Percentage of Specific Types of Formative Assessments ...................................................................................................... 57 4 3 Teachers Instructional Changes Based on their Use of Formative Assessment by Number and Percentage ........................................................... 59 4 4 Frequency Distribution for Changes Made in Instructional Practice ................... 60 4 5 Knowledge of Formative Assessment by Frequency and Per centage ................ 62 4 6 Teachers Knowledge Sources by Percentage and Frequency .......................... 64 4 7 Relationship between Assessment Knowledge and Freq uency of Use .............. 65 4 8 Variables Affecting Use of Formative Assessment ............................................. 65 4 9 Teachers Beliefs about the Effectiveness of Formativ e Assessment by Frequency and Percentage ................................................................................ 67 4 10 Effectiveness of Formative Ass essment Types by Percentage and Number ..... 67 4 11 Descriptive Teacher Efficacy Statistics ............................................................... 69 4 12 Self efficacy and Formative Assessments .......................................................... 71
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Most frequently administered assessments by grade level. ............................... 58 4 2 Assessment knowledge by grade level. .............................................................. 62 4 3 Teachers assessment knowledge by degree. .................................................... 63
10 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S AYP Adequate Yearly Progress. An individual state's measure of progress toward reading/language arts and mathematics proficiency. Technically, it refers to the minimum level of proficiency that the state, school districts, and schools must achieve each year on annual tests and related academic indicators (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). FCAT Fl orida Comprehensive Achievement Test. The states annual test of student achievement that is administered to students in grades 3 11 across the state. The FCAT measures student performance on the Sunshine State Standards in reading and mathematics (grades 3 10), science (grades 5, 8, and 11), and writing (grades 4, 8, and 10; Florida Department of Education, 2005). NCLB No Child Left Behind. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. This mandat e is built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local control and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research (U.S. Department of Education, 2009).
11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT AND TEACHERS SELF EFFICACY By Francine Eufemi a May 2012 Chair: Linda Behar Horenstein Major: Educational Leadership Th is exploratory study sought to examine the relationship between teachers use of formative assessment and their self efficacy beliefs. Specifically, this study involved a quanti tative analysis of the relationship between teachers beliefs, knowledge base, and the use of formative assessment to make informed instructional changes and their perceptions of self efficacy A threepart online survey which included demographic, assessment and self efficacy questions was administered to examine how third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers ( n = 7 9 ) in one southwest Florida public school district rate their assessment knowledge base and pract ices and how their knowledge and beliefs regar ding formative assessment relate to their sense of self efficacy. Convenience sampling was employed, and data w ere analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The f indings indicate that teacher s frequently us e formative assessment s to make infor med changes about classroom instruction and that they perceive these changes to be effective in raising mathematics achievement. Further the findings show that the respondents are comfortable with their level of assessment knowledge and overall have a h igh sense of teacher efficac y Finally, teachers use of formative assessment to
12 inform mathematics instruction in third, fourth, and fifth grade is positively correlated with their self efficacy in relationship to assessment type, assessment knowledge, and effectiveness of assessments Future studies should explore the relationships between teacher beliefs and an observation of teachers use of formative assessment in their decisionmaking processes and in enacted changes to classroom practice.
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background of the Problem Assessment reformers emphasize the need for a closer substantive connection between assessment and meaningful instruction (Shepard, 200 1 ; Vogel, Rau, Baker, & Ashby, 2006). According to McNamee and Chen (2005), t o assess student strengths and weaknesses in daily classroom learning, teachers need to find ways to capture each student's development in relation to standards. This proces s of identifying the gap between a learner s current status and the desired academi c achievement level known as classroom assessment for learning involves collecting information on students on an ongoing basis Reformers believe that knowledge of different assessment practices, including the critical components used to gain an understanding of how students are performing in relation to academic standards, will help teachers make an informed decision on what to teach and how to best teach it ( Black & Wiliam, 1998a ; Carless, 2009, Frey & Schmitt, 2007; Wyatt Smith, Klenowski, & Gunn, 2010 ). To ensure that students are, indeed meeting academic standards, assessment needs to be more informative and clearly linked to learning. Assessments should become a source of insight and support instead of an occasion for meting out rewards and punishments. According to Sterling (200 5 ) an assessment cycle should be embedded in instruction. He suggest ed that instruction begin with a diagnostic assessment that can determine what students already know, followed by instruction, periodic formative assessment s that monitor student progress, and continued instruction, and should conclude with summative assessments to determine what the students have learned.
14 Studies indicate that assessment can be a powerful tool to enhance learning, not just to measure achievement ( Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall, & Wiliam, 2004; Black & Wiliam, 1998b; Murnane, Sharkey & Boudett, 2005). The benefit derived from assessments is based in how assessment data are used. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), requires states to set standards and develop assessments and annual measurable bench marks, which are implemented by districts and schools. Florida administers the Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test (FCAT ) to all students in grades 3 11 each year in early spring. Stat e determined achievement tests such as the FCAT serve as a centerpiece of a state accountability system and, thus, have a tremendous impact on classroom teaching and learning across the state (Pop ham, 2003) Unfortunately, data from these state tests seem to have little value for improving daily teaching and learning. The test results do not provide teachers with the moment to moment or day to day information about student learning outcomes that ca n be used to guide instruction (Popham) Because test results are often not received by school districts until the very end of the school year or in some cases early summer, they cannot be used to guide classroom instruction (Stiggins, 2007). Assessment reformers are virtually unanimous in opposing the use of standardized test scores alone to make "high stakes" decisions about students and schools (Popham, 200 9 ; Shepard, 2001; Sterling, 2005; Stiggins, 2007). Using assessment results that are not a good measure of student knowledge is likely to lead to poor measures of state and district progress, thereby undermining NCLB s purpose to hold schools accountable for student progress (U.S. Government Accountability Office,
15 2006). As policymakers continue to authorize the use of statewide examinations to hold schools accountable for student achievement there is no consensus as to the impact of these examinations on student progress Attention placed on testing has led to a new emphasis on academic performance causing teachers and administrators to search for better methods to conduct the busi ness of teaching and learning. As school districts have had to augment resources to meet the demands to increase student achievement, they also have had to find ways to adjust instruction and assess individual learners. Among the recommendations for raising mathematics achievement the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM; 200 0 ) reported: Assessment shou ld be more than merely a test at the end of instruction to see how students perform under special conditions; rather, it should be an integral part of instruction that informs and guides teachers as they make instructional decisions. Assessments should not merely be done to students; rather, it should also be done for students, to guide and enhance their learning (p. 3) Unfortunately largely absent from the traditional classroom assessment environment is the use of assessment as a tool to promote greater student achievement (Shepard, 200 1 ). To use assessment effectively, researchers believe that educators must possess knowledge of how to assess what students know and can do, interpret the results of these assessments, and apply these results t o improve student learning and program effectiveness (Arter, 2001; Vogel, 2006; Webb, 2002). Educators who have assessment litera cy have the knowledge and skills related to the basic principles of assessment knowledge. Ayalla et al. (2008) found that assessment lite rac y and assessment reform
16 require significant preparatory measures. R esearchers note the need to gather information from practicing educators about their beliefs about and conceptions of assessment, their use of classroom assessment practices, and the rel ationship between these variables ( Winterbottom et al., 2008). Statement of the Problem The researchers interest in assessment has developed as part of her role as an elementary school principal. F ederal accountability mandates have caused the researcher to consider the ramifications of assessment practices on classroom instruction. For example, the researcher has become curious about how much and how well teachers understand formative assessment results, whether they believe that they can be used to ma ke a difference in achievement test scores, and how much they use these results to guide classroom instruction. Researchers such as BarksdaleLadd and Thomas (2000), Jones and Johnston (2002), and Vogler (2002) have noted that teachers have changed the ir instructional practices in response to state accountability examinations but have no clear understanding about the nature and intensity that these changes have on student achievement (Grant, 2001, 2003). Factors such as subject and grade level taught, p ersonal beliefs, type of highstakes assessment, and professional development all have the potential to affect student achievement in varying degrees (Jones, Jones, & Hargrove, 2003). Additionally many researchers believe that contrary to promoting const ructivist teaching and highlevel thinking, statelevel assessments force teachers to narrow their instruction bas ed on statewide assessment data. This type of teaching sometimes referred to as teaching to the test, may cause few lasting, significant ch anges in student proficiency levels because lessons tend to focus on facts and
17 procedures without meaning or context (Jones & Egley, 2007; Jones et al., 2003; Nichols & Berliner, 2007; Watanabe, 2007) Further the contemporary emphasis on assessment is problematic because many teachers lack the necessary skills or tools to utilize data effectively (Bernhardt, 2005) Training and professional development have not provided teachers with the rationale or instructional strategies that promote a shift in asses sment practices from assessment of learning to assessment for learning (Bernhardt, 2005; Guskey, 2003) Often teacher use of assessment met hods does not promote learning and can have a negative effect on low achieving students (Crockett, Chen, Namikawa, & Zilimu, 200 9 ). T odays accountability climate requires teachers to use assessment as a way of determining what to teach. For example, to gauge student learning leading up to the state testing, teachers are required to give periodic benchmark tests, work in professional learning communities to develop common assessments, and document instruction and learning through analy zing benchmark data. When testing is approached as assessment for learning, learning can be enhanced (B ernhardt, 2005; Black & Wiliam, 19 98a; DuFour, 2004; Stiggins, 2008; Streifer, 200 5 ). For this reason, it is important to determine whether and how teachers use assessment data to select instructional strategies that support and enhance student learning. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a relationship between third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers assessment literacy, their instructional use of assessment data, and their sense of self efficacy. The researcher used a survey pertaining to asses sment to ascertain the types of formative assessments that teachers administer the frequency of their administration, how these assessments are used, and
18 the perceived effectiveness of using formative assessment data to inform instruction. Additionally, th e researcher determined teachers understanding of formative assessment and the extent to which they believed that their use of student assessment data had an impact on student learning and achievement in mathematics Research Questions 1. How often do teach ers use formative assessments? 2. How often do teachers change their instructional strategies based on formative assessment data? 3. a How do teachers rate their assessment knowledge? b What is the relationship between teachers assessment literacy and their frequency of use of assessments to inform instruction? c. What variables affect teacher use of formative assessments to inform instruction? 4. To what extent do teachers believe that the formative assessments they use are effective in raising mathematics ach ievement for their students? 5. What is the relationship between teachers use of formative assessment to inform instruction and their sense of self efficacy? Assumptions and Limitations Assumptions For this study, several assumptions were made that are applicable to all teachers that are employed by the school district used in the study. First, it was assumed that participants have a basic understanding of assessments, in particular formative assessment practices It was also assumed that the assigned teaching personnel had appropriate teaching credentials for teaching mathematics in the assigned grade level,
19 and spent a similar amount of equally effective time engaged in mathematics instruction. Another assumption was that, because the school district had adopted curriculum materials for use in general education classrooms, all students were taught using a similar mathematics curriculum and had access to similar resources and instructional materials. In addition it was assumed that all participants answered survey questions honestly. Limitations This study examine d the classroom assessment practices of only third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers in one southwest Florida school district during the 20102011 school year Because a convenience sample was used, the findings may not be generaliz able beyond the context in which the study was conducted. Some teachers may not sufficiently answer survey items due to lack of motivation, lack of assessment literacy, or fear of scrutiny from school district administration, or they may respond in ways that they believe that the researcher is expecting. Significance of the Study The results of this study may help educators understand the impact of teachers use of formative assessment data on student mathematics achievement as well as their own self efficacy. Examining assessment practices understanding how results are used, and showing that there is a positive relationship between the se activities and increased student achievement ma y provide insight into how to develop in terventions to guide instructional practices for unsuccessful students. Specifically, the findings of this study will inform teachers of the perceptions, beliefs, and practices related to formative assessment as held by their colleagues. D escribing other t eachers' beliefs and their use of formative assessments may affec t individual teachers beliefs about the role of
20 assessment in the classroom and guide the districts choice of professional development activities. The results may influence teachers' belief s about the value of dedicating time to formative assessments as well as their understanding of the use of assessment in general. Overall, the results of this study contribute to the body of knowledge on the role of teachers beliefs in shaping a new culture for their use of formative assessment to inform day to day classroom instruction. Definition of Terms To provide an understanding of the concepts and terms related to this study, the following definitions are provided: Assessment: Any teacher activity t hat yields information regarding what the student has learned. Assessment literacy: A body of knowledge about or a process of obtaining information to judge the effectiveness of instruction and the adequacy of the curriculum, to give feedback to students about their strengths, weaknesses and progress, and to make decisions about instruction ( American Federation of Teachers, National Council on Measurement in Education, & National Education Association 1990). Adequate Y early P rogress (AYP): A m easurement d efined by NCLB that allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine how every public school and school district in the country is performing academically. It represents the annual academic performance targets in reading and mathematics that the s tate, school districts, and schools must reach to be considered on track for 100% proficiency by school year 201314. AYP s ubgroups: Each school and district must determine whether all students have achieved AYP in communication arts and mathematics E ach of t he following AYP
21 subgroups ( All students, American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, Black, White, Limited English Proficient [LEP] Special Education, Free and Reduced Price Lunch) is required to meet AYP goals, unless there are 30 or fewer students in the subgroup. Data driven decision m aking: T eaching and management practices that result in the use of assessment information that helps teachers make informed changes in instruction in response to students specified learning needs. Differentiated Instruction: Teac hing (including but not limited to different representations of content or activities) designed to maximize each student's growth and individual success, meet their academic needs and respond to their learning styles. Disaggregated assessment data: Result s that are grouped by similar categories, such as student ethnic groups or by skills sets that intended for comparison purposes. ExamView Test Generator: Online assessment software that allows you to group test questions by their question type or mix the different question types on a test or in a question bank, allowing you to create tests that more closely resemble state tests. Formative a ssessment: Measurements of student gains that take "place during a course with the express purpose of improving stud ent learning" (Torrance & Pryor, 1999, p. 8). High stakes state t est: Standards based assessments administered to all students in grades three to ten in the state of Florida. Instructional i ntervention: Additional teaching, given to student s not meeting gr ade level standards that differs from what is provided in the classroom (ColemanPotter et al., 2005 ).
22 Learning s tyles: Students processing and perceiving skills that reflect what and how they take in and use content and activities to create meaning. No Child Left Behind (NCLB): The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. This legislative mandate is built on four principles: accountability for results, more choices for parents, greater local con trol and flexibility, and an emphasis on doing what works based on scientific research (U.S. Department of Education, 2009). Professional learning community: A group of teachers who are provided with common content or have a common group of students and who meet regularly to share and to discuss student performance and instructional strategies. Progress m onitoring: An ongoing, systematic process for gathering data to measure performance of a student that emphasizes the demonstration of improved outcomes for students (ColemanPotter et al., 2005). Self efficacy: "Beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments" (Bandura, 1997, p. 3 ). Student a chievement: The level of student performance on f ormative assessments or highstakes tests. Summative a ssessment: G enerally considered to be taken at the end of a course or program of study in order to measure and communicate pupil performance for purposes of certification and (latterly) accountability" (Torrance & Pryor, 1998, p. 8). Teacher b eliefs/ p erceptions : A set of personal views held by the instructor that affect his or her perceptions, judgments, actions, and classroom practices.
23 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This study was designed to provide an examination of the current classroom practices of elementary teachers and to determine the influences that govern the assessment choices they are currently making. Th e study sought to describe teachers assessment knowledge, frequenc y and type of assessments given, frequency of use of assessment data to inform instruction, and teachers self efficacy. T he review of the literature includes information and research relevant to classroom assessment literacy, formative assessment and the use of data for instruction and on student achievement. The literature review also contains literature on self efficacy. Formative Assessment Formative assessment is a process of gathering evidence about the effectiveness of learning during instruction with the aim of improving it. Viewed as assessment for learning instead of assessment of learning, it has been reported to have a positive impact on achievement, especially for students not meeting grade level expectations (Stiggins, 2007). Black and Wiliam (1998b) define formative assessment as all those activities undertaken by teachers and/or students, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged (p. 54). Similarly, Brookhar t, Moss, and Long (2008) define it as assessment conducted during instruction that can provide information that will help close the gap between students current level of understanding and learning targets. Popham (2009) state d, F ormative assessment is a process in which assessment elicited evidence is used by
24 teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional activities, or by students to adjust the ways they are trying to learn something (p. 5). Buchanan (2000) believes that formative assessment should be used to provide feedback to students rather than for evaluation o r course grades Addit i onally t he Council of Chief State School Officers ( Wylie, 200 8 ) stated, F ormative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provi des feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students achievement of intended instructional outcomes (p. 3). These definitions emphasize that both teachers and students can and should use the formative process to improve student perfor mance. Formative assessment can help students recognize their level of mastery of skills or concepts. Also implied in these definitions is that the information obtained should be meaningful in guiding instructional or learning changes that can be implement ed in time to affect summative testing ( Wylie 2008) The ideal use of formative assessment results is to enable students to work with their teachers in the process of developing learning goals and to understand how their learning is progressing, what next steps they need to take, and how to take them (Heritage, 2007). Black and Wiliam (1998b) referred to the classroom as a black box or as an are n a of unknown content and sought to determine exactly how teachers used assessment data to positively affect stu dent learning. Black and Wiliam noted the importance of formative assessment and established a strong case as to why districts should support teachers in changing assessment practices from assessment of learning to assessment for learning. In their review of classroom formative assessment practices Black and Wiliam ( 1998a), sought to establish whether the theoretical and practical issues associated with assessment for learning can be illuminated by a
25 synthesis of the insights arising amongst the diverse s tudies that have been reported (pp. 34). They reviewed studies that provided evidence on whether improvement in classroom assessment will make a strong contribution to the improvement of learning (p. 2) Several studies in th eir review show evidence th at innovations designed to strengthen the frequent feedback that students receive about their learning via formative assessments yield substantial learning gains. Fontana and Fernandes (as cited in Black & Wiliam 1998a) compared the assessment results o f 25 Portuguese mathematics teachers trained in self assessment methods with those of 20 Portuguese mathematics teachers not traine d in self assessment methods The researchers tracked both sets of teachers and their students in mathematics instruction. Th ese two groups of teachers taught a total of 246 students, ages 8 and 9, as well as 108 students, ages 10 to 14. All students were given preand post tests of mathematics achievement and all spent the same amount of time in a mathematics class. Both groups of students showed significant gains over the period, but the group whose teachers had been trained in self assessment methods showed a mean gain twice that of the other group for the 8and 9year old students, with similar results for the older student s. Fontana and Fernandes attribute d the significant mathematics gains to training in self assessment methods Formative assessment involves a variety of strategies for evidence gathering, which according to Black and Wiliam (1998 b) can be categorized i nto three types: onthe fly, planned for, and curriculum embedded. On the fly assessment occurs spontaneously during the course of a lesson. For example, a teacher who listens to a group discussion may hear students expressing misconceptions about a science
26 concept. The teacher then changes course and reteaches the lesson. In plannedfor interaction, teachers decide beforehand how they will elicit students thinking during the lesson to determine how students are progressing. C urriculum embedded assessment is placed strategically in the course to gauge student learning at predetermined intervals. Heritage (2007) identified four core elements of formative assessments: identifying the gap, providing feedback, involving students, and developing learning prog ressions. Teachers must have a clear understanding of these elements to design effective formative assessments. When identifying the gap, teachers pinpoint the differences between what a child is achieving without assistance, or the students current achievement level with what a child should a ttain with adult assistance, or the desired achievement level. Educational psychologists call this just right gap the z one of proximal development ( Vygotsky 1978). Feedback, designed to guide students on how to im prove, should be provided based on tests, seatwork, and homework. Stiggins (2004) noted that teachers must set and communicate achievement targets in advance, use frequent and descriptive feedback, and adjust instruction based on assessment results. It is imperative that teachers view formative assessments as a worthwhile process that yields valuable and accountable information about students learning (Heritage, 2007) In addition, students must be included in the formative assessment process. They shoul d be involved in self and peer assessment so that they can collaborate with teachers to set goals and adapt their learning methods to meet their own learning needs. Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock (2001) and Stiggins (2002) endorse d the use of
27 feedback to increase student achievement. Students should be informed of the learning goals and what is to be learned, be provided specific and descriptive feedback from classroom assessments, and be given steps on how to improve. Finally, developing learning progressions toward standards is a critical element of formative assessment. Learning progressions provide the big picture of what is to be learned and help teachers locate students current learning status on the continuum along which students are expected to progress (Heritage, 2007) Relationship between Formative Assessment and Learning Black and Wiliam (1998a) conducted an extensive survey of the research literature on formative assessment and learning The survey yielded over 500 articles of which 250 concerned the relationship between formative assessment and the teaching and learning process. They also reviewed a number of studies that illustrate d that strengthening the practice of formative assessment will produce significant learning gains. These studi es used a range of participants, from 5 year olds to university undergraduates, across several school subjects and several countries. The researchers reported that l earning gains in the studies selected were measured by comparing change in summative assessment scores for students in a classroom that utilized formative assessment with the change in summative assessment scores of students in classrooms in which no formative assessment occurred. Lear ning gains were measured using effect size. Effect size is a standardized, scalefree measure of the relative size of the effect of an intervention, in this case formative assessment Effect sizes range from 0.0 (50% probability that someone from t he experimental group will score higher than someone from the contr ol group) to 3.0 (99% probability ; Coe, 2002) T he effect size of the studies reviewed by Black and Wiliam
28 ranged between 0.4 and 0.7. An effect size of 0.4 would mean that the average pupil involved in a classroom that used formative assessment would scor e 61% higher on the same summative assessment as compared to a pupil in the control group. An effect size of 0.7 translates to the average pupil in the experimental group scoring 69% higher than a student in the control group (Black & Wiliam, 1998a) The f inding s indicate that when teachers improve formative assessment practices, students benefit. Formative assessment encompasses more than frequent testing. Leahy, Lyon, Thompson, and Wiliam (2005) worked closely with elementary, middle, and high school te achers from Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania for two years on integrating assessment into the classroom. During the i nitial summer workshops teachers learned about the need for and value of assessment fo r learning. Teachers were provided with techniques that could be used in the classroom to use assessment more effectively. The following year, teachers met monthly to talk about what worked and how to adapt techniques to further their instructional practic e s Leahy et al. concluded that there was no one best way to deliver assessment for learning. They did, however, determine that there are five broad assessment strategies that could have a powerful impact on student learning in the classroom in all content areas and grade levels. The five strategies are : 1. Clarifying and sharing learning intentions and criteria for success; 2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks; 3. Providing feedback that moves learners forward; 4. A ctivating students as the owners of their own learning; 5. Activating students as instructional resources for one another. (p. 20)
29 Leahy et al. (2005) also identified 50 techniques that teachers used that required very subtle changes to practice yet had a significant impact on student academic gains. The researchers found that, when teachers tr ied new techniques they spent more time on planning instruction than on grading student work. Wiliam Lee, Harrison, and Black (2004) investigated teacher understanding and use of formative assessment and the potential influence of such assessment on student learning. The participants secondary mathematics and science teachers, developed and used formative assessment strategies in their classrooms Mathematics and science teachers were selected because the researchers thought that the implication s of assessment for learning were clearer in these subject areas. Over a six month period, teachers were supported with on going staff development training i n the process of p lanning their approach to formative assessment Their plans included a focus on questioning, descriptive feedback, sharing of lessons/unit plans, collegial observations of instruction, and/or self assessment strategies for student use. Teachers devised their own methods for implementing strategies, following general principles of formative assessment. There was a considerable range among the participating teachers ( n = 24) experience and expertise. Following the six month period, the teachers incorporated formative assessment in the classroom, and the performance of students in the study w ere compared to the performance of students from an equivalent class taught in the previous year by the same teacher. Qualitative data provided by teachers indicated that they were slow to change their practice and that most of the changes in student achievement occurred toward the end of the year. Quantitative data collected showed an effect size of 0.2 to
30 0.3 with a median value of 0.27. T he researchers used Mosteller and Tukey s method to compute an effect size for a nonnormal distribution. The estimated true mean effect was 0.32. The r esearchers reported that almost all teachers improved their formative assessment skills and that s tudent outcomes increased The resea rchers conclu ded that while the improvements were small, if the study were replicated across the entire school, students who perform ed at the 25th percentile would show achievement in the upper 50th percentile (Wiliam et al., 2004) Implications of the U se of Formative Assessment School and district grading policies can be barriers to the effective implementation of formative assessment strategies (Black et al., 2004) especially when high stakes state mandates testing for accountability. Black et al. (20 04) stated, I t appears as if there is a widespread belief that teaching well is incompatible with raising test scores (p. 50). As teachers learn new assessment strategies, t heir perceptions in regard to testing and classroom practices must be considered. Hab itual roles and methods, such as (a) teach a concept, test the concept, and move on to the next concept regardless of test results; (b) give tests that require onl y rote and superficial learning; and (c) grade tests without offering follow up, reteac hing, guidance, or feedback, should be abandoned (Black & Wiliam, 1998b) According to Black et al (2004), expectations and culture in the classroom can be changed if the following is considered: 1 Encourage t eachers and students to work together toward a common purpose. 2. Empower s tudents to become active learners and responsible for improving academically.
31 3. Help teachers to make change by taking one step at a time. 4. Give t eachers time to reflect about using assessment for supporting learning. 5. P rovide administrative support, time, and opportunities for collaboration with colleagues. Effectiveness of Formative Assessments Formative assessments can affect student achievement in several ways. Importantly assessments influence students decisi ons about how much they want and are able to learn. That is, students motivation to learn and their success in school can be changed, for better or worse, by the use of formative assessments (Arter, 2003). Stiggins (2005) hypothesized that success on test s depends on how students react to the results as well as the kind of feedback that teachers give both before and after administration of the assessment Students must be a part of the assessment process, watching themselves grow, feeling in control of their success, and believing that continued success is within reach if they continue to try. Arter (2003) contends that a positive reaction to test results will most likely occur if the classroom environment enables students to exercise choice and control i n the assessment process, if the assessments provide a challenge in a nonthreatening, low risk context, and if the assessment encourages self assessment and reflection. Brookhart, Moss, and Long (2007) found that, w hen teachers reflected on their own use of formative assessment s, there was an increase in student achievement, motivation, time on task, and engagement. The teachers noticed that their students became excited when formative assessment practices gave them some awareness of and control over their own learning needs. Part of this control and awareness was gained through the students ability to communicate and discuss their success and progress with their
32 teachers and peers throughout the formative process (Chappuis & Stiggins, 2002). When students were given the opportunity to reflect and monitor learning gains with other students it encouraged them to keep working toward their goals. Further when students experienced successful results from nongraded, low risk formative assessments they felt a sense of hope and accomplishment that resulted in increased motivation and perseverance (Stiggins, 2005 ). Using Formative Assessment Data to Make Decisions Teaching requires constant decision making including instructional decisions about what, how, and how long to teach (McMillan, 2001). However, the extent to which teachers collect and gather assessment data and use this information to make instructional decisions is not well understood. If teachers are not examining data and making instructional decisi ons based on these data, little benefit from any model of datadriven decision making will be fully realized (Boudette, City, & Murnane, 2005). S tudies have shown that using data from formative assessment practices can have a positive effect on student ac hievement For example, Brunner et al. (2005) conducted t he Grow Network study which concerned how educators within the New York City public school system used a web based reporting system, the Grow Network to gather formative assessment data to inform instructional decisions. The Grow Network system presents teachers and administrators with Grow Reports These reports provide detailed information about students academic achievement levels based on formative assessment data and includ e link s to teaching tools that help explain the standards and are solidly grounded in cognitive research on effective math and literacy learning.
33 Th is study used a mixedmethods approach and comprised three phases. Phase 1 consisted of structured interviews with 47 educational leaders, including central office stakeholders, coordinators, staff developers, district liaisons, directors of research and curriculum, and individuals who work with the United Federation of Teachers. Phase 2 involved ethnographic research in 15 schools in New York City which represented various neighborhoods, student populations, and performance levels. Se mi structure d interviews were conducted with teachers and administrators; additionally there were 10 observations by the researchers of grade level meetings, and 31 structured interviews with mathematics and language arts teachers in grades four and eight. Phase 3 consisted of surveys, one for administrators and one for mathematics and language arts teachers in grades four and eight ; additional ly, 96 teachers responded to a survey ( Brunner et al., 2005) The r esearcher s found that teachers utilized the Grow Reports t o make decisions about their instructional practices in four specific areas: ( a) prioritizing instruction time and effort to meet the needs of diverse learners, ( b) communicating student achievement with administrators, teachers, parents, and students, ( c) prompting teachers reflection on instruction and shaping their professional development, and ( d) encouraging students to be mor e self directed by giving data to students (Brunner et al., 2005). Of particular interest is the finding that over 70% of teachers reported that the Grow Reports prompted them to be more self reflective and to critically evaluate the effectiveness of thei r instruction. Some reported that prior to the Grow Reports they assumed that they were sufficiently addressing all the learning standards but that, after seeing a report of their student assessment data, they recognized the areas that
34 needed improvement. New teachers found the Grow Reports to be especially helpful because they gave them the ability to determine what needed their instructional attention. Yeh (2006) interviewed 49 teachers as a means to examine the use of a rapid assessment syste m for K 12 mathematics and reading in one Texas school district. A rapid assessment system is one in which district benchmark assessments are loaded onto a district server and made available to all students via computer software. The tests, which mirror statema ndated assessments are administered on a quarterly basis, with the goal of informing instruct ion and allowing teachers to reteach material as needed. Tests are machine scored, and the results are available within 24 hours of administration. Yeh (2006) f ound that rapid assessments enabled t eachers to individualize and target in struction, provide more tutoring, reduce drill and practice and improve student readiness for critical thinking activities The results indicated that 87% of the teachers reported that the rapid feedback assessments made them more effective, which enabled them to make immediate instructional adjustments. The constant flow of assessment data gave teachers common benchmarks to gauge student progress and prompted more discussion among teachers about what worked and did not work in their classroom. Teachers increased confidence in instructional decisions gave them more motivation to engage students in higher order thinking. Overall, f requent testing with quick feedback allowed teachers to raise both student achievement on standardized tests and the levels of instruction and student thinking (Yeh, 2006).
35 Olah, Lawrence, and Riggan (2010) studied the effectiveness of interim formative assessments on mathematics achievement of third and fi fth graders in Philadelphia Public Schools The researchers interviewed 25 teachers over three semesters and collected copies of third and fifth grade interim assessments in mathematics given in the 20062007 school year They found that although all the teachers used interim assessment results to gain information about students learning in mathematics they did not apply this information. The interim assessments appeared to alert teachers to the fact that they needed to teach differently, but the type of change the teachers initiated did not necessarily relate to what was learned from the assessments. Instead, teachers seemed to draw from a set repertoire of instructional strategies; if one did not work, they simply moved to another. Classroom Assessment Literacy Assessment literacy standards for educators were not developed and published until 1990 (American Federation of Teachers, the National Council on Measurement in Education, & the National Education Association 1990). The American Federation of T eachers, National Council on Measurement in Education, and National Education Association identified seven competencies for teachers knowledge of assessment. These standards cover a range of assessment activities that occur before, during and after instr uction and include decisions based on assessment information and collaborative activities with other educational professionals. Based on the standards for teacher competency in assessment, teachers should be skilled in: 1. Choosing appropriate assessment m ethods to make instructional decisions. 2. Developing appropriate assessment methods for instructional decisions.
36 3. Administering, scoring and interpreting assessments, both externally produced and teacher generated. 4. Using assessment data to make deci sions about student learning, to plan lessons, develop curriculum, and for school improvement. 5. Developing valid grading procedures that use student assessments. 6. Communicating assessment results to students, parents, the community, and other educators 7. Recognizing unethical, illegal, and inappropriate assessment methods and uses of assessment information. ( American Federation of Teachers, National Council on Measurement in Education, & National Education Association, 1990, p p 1 3) To enhance learning, assessment data must be preplanned and used throughout students learning cycles. Stiggins (2008) stated that teachers, administrators, and school districts should adopt a balanced approach to assessment, one that employs all the uses of assessment data. This requires that teachers have a basic kn owledge of assessment practices Stiggins use of the term manifesto in his report, Assessment manifesto: A call for the development of balanced assessment systems, illustrates that assessment literacy is sti ll a matter of concern for educational leaders. Two decades after publication of these standards, it is clear that the reform effort is misguided, as judged by an emphasis on the development and administration of standardized tests rather than the appropri ate interpretation of the results of the se tests. Murnane et al. (2005) found the same issues with assessment literacy when working with teacher teams from ten different Boston public schools. Along with limited
37 time and support to use data to improve inst ructional practice, teachers and administrators lacked expertise and an understanding of how student assessment data could guide instruction. In their work with teachers, they found three approaches to the use of assessment data: 1. An instrument approac h uses data to make decisions about which students have mastered the material and which have not. For example, the instrument approach might determine who requires summer school versus who does not. 2. A symbolic approach is used to justify a decision that had already been made, for example, citing assessment data to support a specific program or activity for students. 3. A conceptual approach uses assessment data to evaluate what students know and what they can do and to rate the effective ness of the inst ruction Murnane et al. found the conceptual approach to be the most valuable yet the most underutilized. This approach requires assessment literacy to make effective instructional decisions based on assessment data ( Bol, 2004; Murnane et al., 2005; S hark ey & Murnane, 2003). Mertler (2003) evaluated the assessment literacy of 197 teachers, who represented nearly every district in a threecounty area. All grade levels and subject areas were represented. Using the Classroom Assessment Inventory (Plake, 1993) which is based on the Standards for Teacher Competence in the Educational Assessment of Students ( American Federation of Teachers, National Council on Measurement in Education, & National Education Association, 1990), Mertler found that in service teac hers scored slightly higher on assessment literacy levels than did pre -
38 service teachers The composite scores for each standard ranged from 2.06 to 3.25, out of a maximum possible score of 5, for pre service teachers. For inservice teachers, scores ranged from 2.06 to 3.95. The results of this study mirrored the results of a national study conducted ten years prior in which researchers used t he National Council on Measurement in Education Survey of Teac her Competencies in Assessment to survey teachers across the nation, from which 555 teachers from 82 school systems in 42 states responded. The results indicated that inservice teachers assessment literacy scores ranged from 2.70 to 3.96 (Impara, Plake, & Fager 1993). Teachers attitudes toward and knowledge of the use of assessment can have an impact on student learning (Bol, 2004; Bol, Ross, Nunnery, & Alberg, 2002; Husman, Brem, & Duggan, 200 5 ) In addition, s tudents perceptions of their teachers with respect to teacher emphasis on master y objectives a nd learning to learn, versus performance objectives and learning to score well on a test, also has an effect on the students achievement Husman et al. (2005) found that when students perceived their teacher had a performance orientation, students were m otivated to do well on the test and approached learning as simply a means to do well on the test. If students perceived that their teacher had a mastery orientation, students adopted a mastery orientation and were motivated to learn the material not just do well on the test. The results also indicated that a mastery orientation accompanied an incr ease in performance orientation, which enhanced student learning as well as student per formance on assessments (Husman et al. 2005). In 1999, the Nebraska Stat e Department of Education (as cited in Lukin, Bandalos, Eckhout, & Mickelson, 2004) developed a teaching endorsement in
39 classroom assessment An endorsement, or area of specialization, is a statement appearing on a teaching certificate that identifies the specific subjects, special areas or grade levels that the certificate holder is authorized to teach. After completing the program of study on assessment practices to obtain a classroom assessment endorsement, teachers reported positive benefits for themselves and for their students. Teachers became more cognizant of the need to integrate assessment into their instruction rather than to separate assessment from instruction. One participant reported an increased awareness of assessment as a part of instruct ion, not an addon (p. 28). The training programs had a positive impact on teacher confidence, knowledge, and skill in key areas of assessment. In addition, there was limited evidence that suggested that students also experience d positive outcomes. As a follow up to the endorsement in classroom assessmen t Lincoln Public Schools implemented Assessment Literacy Learning Teams, based on Stiggins ( 2004, 2005, 2008) learning team approach in which small teams of teachers and other educational professionals m e e t to discuss education practice. The Lincoln Public School teachers met on a regular basis to discuss assessment practices. Participation was voluntary and teams were implemented at selected schools. The reported outcome s indicated that meeting in learning teams had a positive effect on teacher confidence in making assessment and instructional decisions. These results, however, have limited generalizability due to the small sample size ( n = 15) and because the data were collected at only one high school. Despite these limitations, Lukin et al. (2004) concluded that there was a positive relationship between teachers assessment literacy and effective use of student assessment data to infor m instructional practice.
40 As high stakes testing has increased the pressure on teachers to produce results, a ssessment literacy has moved to the forefront of educational discourse. Implicitly, accountability has increased the demand for teachers to be confident data generators who are able to plan suitable assessm ent for instructional purposes (Bol 2004; Bol et al., 2002; Lukin et al., 2004). Self efficacy Bandura (1997) defined self efficacy as "beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments" (p. 3). Th e self efficacy construct is based on the social cognitive model, which posits that human functioning is a result of interactions among personal, behavioral, and environmental factors. The R AND Corporation (as cited in TschannenMoran Woolfolk Hoy, & Hoy, 1998), using an existing teacher questionnaire, focused on the success of various reading programs and interventions. To this questionnaire they added two items : ( 1) When it comes right down to it, a teacher really cant do much because most of a student s motivation and performance depends on his or her home environment; and ( 2) If I really try hard, I can get through to even the most di fficult or unmotivated students ( p. 4 ). These items related to the concept of teacher efficacy Teacher efficacy as conceived by the RAND researchers was defined as the extent to which teachers believed that they could control the reinforcement of their actions taking into account that s tudent motivation and performance were assumed to be significant reinforcers for t eaching behaviors. Thus, teachers with a high level of efficacy believed that they could control, or at least strongly influence, student achievement and motivation ( p. 2 ). Teachers self efficacy beliefs are very important to decisions regarding classr oom management, course organization teaching, motivating students for
41 learning and communicating with students effectively (Erdem & Demirel, 2007). When teachers have high self efficacy they believe that what they do has a positive effect on student achievement. Theory of Self Efficacy Social cognitive theory is a framework for understanding how the strength of self efficacy beliefs and outcome expectancies interact to produce behavioral outcomes Several researchers have reported that self efficacy b eliefs a re better predictors of behavior than are outcome expectancies (Bandura, 1997; Pajares, 1996; TschannenMoran & Woolfolk Hoy 2001). S elf efficacy theory predicts that teachers with a high sense of efficacy work harder and persist longer even when students are difficult to teach, partly because these teachers believe in themselves and in their students ( Behar Horenstein & Anusavice, 2003). S elf efficacy belief is an important concept in understanding teachers thoughts, decisions, feelings, behavi ors, performance, and attitudes in regard to their students. Hoy and Woolfolk (1993) identified two independent dimensions of teaching efficacy, general and personal. Individuals who believe that teaching is a potentially powerful factor in students' learning may believe either that they are effective or that they lack the ability to make a difference with their students. Teachers may believe that teaching in general can have little effect on students and that teachers are (or are not) exceptions to this rule. Hoy and Woolfolk conducted a quantitative study of the two dimensions of teacher efficacy and the relationships betwee n self efficacy and school climate. The study included 179 teachers, randomly selected from 37 elementary schools in New Jersey. The y found that teachers with more teaching experience and higher levels of education had higher levels of personal teaching efficacy. Thus, teacher experience
42 improved the possibility that teachers believed they could motivate difficult students. In comparis on, general teaching efficacy was best predicted by institutional integrity and morale. Overall the findings of the study indicated that the factors that nurture personal efficacy seem likely to have limited effects on general teaching efficacy and vice v ersa (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993) Assessing Self e fficacy Over the past 30 years, self efficacy has emerged as an important motivational construct in the study of human behav ior in the work place (Bandura, 1997). Self efficacy, when first conceptualized by Bandura was an assessment of specific tasks and behaviors with a focus on changing behaviors. It was believed that, in business, the self efficacy beliefs of leaders significantly influenced the attitude and performance of subordinates; a leader's perceived s elf efficacy beliefs positively correlated with employee performance abilities and overcoming obstacles to change (Luthans & Peterson, 2002). Leaders who had strong self efficacy were likely to mobilize the collective effort needed to bring about change (B andura, 1997). One of the most widely used self efficacy assessments i s the General Self Efficacy Scale ( Schwarzer & Jerusalem 199 5) It i s available in 27 languages and has been used internationally for two decades to assess adolescents and adults cop ing in regard to life changes and the workplace. The scale assesse s self efficacy by surveying the level, generality, and strength of individuals confidence in regard to accomplishing a specific task or succeed ing in specific situations (Pajares, 1996). Self efficacy beliefs help determine how people fe el think, motivate themselves, and behave (Bandura, 1994). Self efficacy is sensitive to the setting in which the behaviors occurred (Bandura, 1997). Each change of situation an d transitional
43 experience ca uses individuals to reassess personal and professional efficacy. Self efficacy beliefs are assessed at the optimal level of specificity because judgments of self efficacy are task and domainspecific, while global self efficacy has less effect on teacher performance (Pajares, 1996). For example, if a teacher's self efficacy i s curriculum specific, a teacher may have a high level of personal efficacy in science and yet feel ineffective in technology Pajares advocated assessing direct observation of efficac y by comparing self efficacy beliefs and real classroom behaviors Several other reliable self efficacy scales have been developed. TschannenMoran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) developed the Teachers Sense of Efficacy Scale, based on their research on in serv ice and pre service teachers They determined self efficacy to have three factors: efficacy for student engagement, efficacy for instructional strategies, and efficacy for classroom management. Bandura (1997) suggested that teachers sense of efficacy is m ost likely not uniform across different types of teaching tasks or subject matter. With this in mind Bandura created the Teacher Self Efficacy Scale, a 30item instrument with seven subscales: efficacy to influence decision making, efficacy to enlist parental involvement, efficacy to influence school resources, instructional efficacy, disciplinary efficacy, efficacy to enlist community involvement, and efficacy to create a positive school culture. This scale provides a multi faceted picture of teachers ef ficacy beliefs. Similarly Enochs and Riggs (1990) developed the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument, based on Banduras definition of self efficacy, as a situation specific construct, to measure efficacy of teaching science. They determined two di stinct dimensions: personal science teaching efficacy, and science teaching outcome expectancy.
44 Bandura (1997) described perceived self efficacy, the belief in ones personal capabilities to produce given attainments, as regulating human functioning in f our ways. The first way involves cognition. He believes that people with high self efficacy were more likely to aspire, set challenges for themselves, and commit to meeting those challenges. The second way is through motivation. Bandura asserted that peopl e motivate themselves by forming beliefs about what they can do, setting goals, and planning a course of action. Motivation was described as stronger if an adjustment of goals w as based on progress. The third and fourth ways are through mood and affect wh ich regulate human functioning. Bandura believed that efficacy beliefs regulated emotional states in ways that enabled people to handle stressful events or challenges. Summary The use of formative assessment holds promis e for raising student achievement ( Black & Wiliam, 1998 a ). However, formative assessment by its very definition, requires that data be used to provide information to students and teachers and that teachers must have the knowledge to put the data to good use to improve teaching and learning (Black & Wiliam, 1998a). Using data to effectively inform instructional practice requires assessment literacy and there is a decade of research that indicates the need for improvement in assessment literacy for teachers. Additionally, the research demons trates the advantages for student achievement when educators have a high sense of self efficacy. Interestingly, no research was found that linked these two concepts. In view of the advantages of formative assessment, research on the link between the effect ive use of formative assessment and teachers sense of self efficacy is warranted.
45 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Th e chapter presents the methodology used in the study The chapter begins with the theoretical framework, followed by the presentation of the rese arch met hodology participants data collection, procedures, instrumentation, and data analysi s. The chapter concludes with a summary Theoretical Framework A n objectivist approach and a belief that reality can be measured and observed provided the theor etical perspective for the methodology Thus a survey approach was used to gather data from participating teachers in regard to the frequency of their use of formative assessment administration, how they used formative assessments, their beliefs about how effective formative assessment data was in informing mathematics instruction, their knowledge of formative assessment practice, and their self efficacy. Research Methodology A q uantitative methodology was selected as a means to collect numerical data t hat could be analyzed (Hall & Swee, 2007). S tatistic al analysis allow s researchers to examine how variables relate to other variables (Ahmadi & Simmering, 2006; Creswell, 2008). Survey design is appropriate when a researcher seeks to explore a relationship (McMillan & Schumacher, 2006), as was the case in this investigation. According to Creswell, in quantitative research, surveys are administered to the participants to gather data about perceptions, attitudes, opinions, behaviors, or characteristics of a s ample as representative of population, and these data are considered primary data (Ross, 2006). A s urvey design also was selected for this study because it is considered an efficient and economical method of data collection.
46 In crosssectional survey research, data are collected at one point in time. For this study data w ere collected from the sample of elementary teachers once in the spring of 2011. McMillan and Schumacher (2006) stated that survey research is a preferred research strategy when the inves tigator wants to examine the incidence, frequency, and distribution of the characteristics of an identified population. In addition to being descriptive, surveys can be used to explore relationships between variables (p. 233). This study sought to explor e the relationship among teachers assessment knowledge, frequency and type of assessments given, frequency of using assessment data to inform instruction, and teachers self efficacy. One drawback to survey design is the possibility of a low response rate, which would compromise generalizability (Creswell, 2008). Additionally, surveys are often structured so that the participant s response is limited to those provided by the researcher. Although limited response parameters assist the researcher in data collection, they do not offer participants flexibility if their response does not fit within the set provided. This may cause critical information to be l eft out of the data collection (Dickson & Mitchelson, 2007). Finally survey designs do not enable the determination of causal relationships. The data only suggest links between variables or conditions (Creswell, 2008) Population and Sample A ssessment methods vary according to grade level taught, years of teaching experience, and level of importance place d on externally des igned, stateadministered tests ( Abrams, Pedulla, & Madaus, 2003; Bol, Stephenson, Nunnery, & OConnell, 1998; Hamilton & Berends, 2006; McMillan, 2005) and teachers assessment decisions are influenced by multiple factors, both internal and external (McMillan & Nash, 2000).
47 To gather meaningful data from teachers in the grade levels most affected by Floridas accountability system, the researcher used the target population of all third, fourth and fifth grade teachers in one southwest Florida school district. In spring 2011, there were 373 full time certified third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers who were serving 30 elementary schools in the school district chosen. Researchers ordinarily use one of two categories of strategies to cre ate a sample from an identified population: probability or nonprobability. Probability sampling strategies involve some type of random selection, while nonprobability sampling does not. In this study, purposive sampling, one form of nonprobability sampl ing, was used to select a school district in which elementary grade teacher s were recruited. Purposive sampling is a strategy whereby the researcher intentionally selects a specific setting or participants to participate in a study because the individuals are most likely to help the researcher understand the relationships under investigation (McMillan & Schumacher, 2006). Although this method does not produce a sample that is representative of a larger population, it does allow the researcher to study a clearly defined and relatively limited group. The school district chosen for this study is located in southwest Florida. The district was recognized as an A school district by the Florida Department of Education for 2009 and 2010. The district serves a total student population of 43,371. There are 30 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 8 high schools, and a PreK thr ough12 school. There are also 12 a lternative school programs. O f the student population, 59% are categorized as economically needy and qual ify for free or reducedpriced lunch. Of the total student population, 44% are ELL students and, of these, 15% have Spanish as
48 their primary language. Of the total population, 16% are classified as students wi th d isabilities (SWD). White students comprise 39.8% of the student body, while 5.5% of the student population is African American. There were a total of 10,056 students in grades three, four, and five when the survey was administered. There were 373 teachers in grades three, four, and five, and survey s were distributed to 360 of them. The target population in this study included all third, fourth and fifth grade teachers who worked in 29 of 30 elementary schools in the target school district. One school was purposely omitted from the study because t he researcher is affiliated with that school which includes 1 3 third fourth and fifth grade teachers Of the 360 potential participants, 110 teachers responded, a 3 1 % response rate. There were 31 incomplete surveys, which were removed from further analys is. Of the remaining surveys, participants included 70 females and 9 males and 32 (40.50%) third grade, 22 (27.90%) fourth grade, and 25 (31.60%) fifth grade teachers. The median years experience was 13.6. Of the participants, 16% ( n = 13) had 3 years or l ess of teaching experience, 34% ( n = 28) had 410 years, 25% ( n = 19) had 11 20 years, and 25% ( n = 19) had greater than 20 years of teaching experience. Just under half of the teachers ( 49. 40 %, n = 3 9 ) have a b achelor s degree, followed closely by the num ber of teachers with a m aster s degree (4 6 80%, n = 37). Fewer than 5 % ( 3.80%, n = 3) of the teachers surveyed had either a specialist degree or d octorate Table 31 provides the demographic information for the sample. Table 31. Demographics for the Sampl e Demographic Variable n % Gender Female 70 89.00 Male 9 11.00
49 Table 31. Continued Demographic Variable n % Grade Level Third 32 4 0.50 Fourth 22 2 7.90 Fifth 25 31.60 Degree Bachelors 39 49.40 Masters 37 46.80 Specialist 1 01.30 Doctorate 2 02.50 Years Experience 0 3 13 16.00 4 10 28 34.00 11 20 19 25.00 >20 years 19 25.00 Data Collection Procedures and Instruments The survey was administered through SurveyGizmo, an online survey software program. Survey Gizmo was chosen for four reasons: I t has multiple layers of security and firewalls; data can be downloaded in multiple forms and directly into statistical software progr ams; respondents can be tracked; and the service is available to the researcher at minimal cost. The survey consist ed of three parts: P art 1 contains demographic questions about the participants background (gender, years of experience, grade level teaching assignment, and level of education); Part 2 i s a modified version of The Survey on Classroom Assessment (Bol et al., 1998); and Part 3 consist s of the Teacher Sense of
50 Efficacy Scale ( Tschan nenMoran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) Parts 2 and 3 are presented in more detail below. Part 2 of the survey is a modified version of The Survey on Classroom Assessment completed by Bol et al. (1998) It contains 12 Likert type items scored on a scale from 0 to 8 (0 = never/not used to 8 = always/daily/highly effective) designed to address conceptions of assessment (types of assessments, assessment practices, and assessment knowledge). Dr. Linda Bol was contacted August 30, 2010, to request a copy of the questionnaire used in her research. She granted permission for the use/modification of her instrument as long as her work was credited on the questionnaire (Appendix A ). Dr. Bol established t he validity of T he Survey on Classroom Assessment when she developed it Inter item reliabilities were computed for each of the three subscales. The reliability coe fficients were .66 for types of assessments .76 for assessment practices and .75 for assessment knowledge ( Bol et al., 1998) The survey was modified to meet the needs of the study. Items on the modified survey used in this study were evaluated by educat ional professionals with established credentials in areas related to teacher assessment literacy (Plake, 1993). Part 3 of this questionnaire is t he Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES ) ; ( TschannenMoran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) and is used to measure teac hers sense of self efficacy (Appendix B ). Dr. Anita Hoy granted permission to use the survey (Appendix C ). The short form of the TSES contains 12 Likert type items, on a scale from 0 to 8 (0 = nothing to 8 = a great deal), that ask teachers to judge their ability to influence outcomes ("How much can you do?"). In previous research, scores for the subscales and the combined total score were found to be highly reliable. Tschannen-
51 Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) reported reliability of .90, while Heneman, Kimball, and Milanowski (2006) reported reliability of .89. I omitted to run Cronbach's alpha for this survey. Access to Study Participants Before contacting the school district regarding teacher participation in this study, the researcher submitted the requi red materials to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at University of Florida. Upon receipt of IRB approval, the researcher then submitted a request to the 29 of the 30 participating school districts research committees for permission to conduct this stu dy. Principals were provided with an overview of the study at a district principal meeting and asked to promote the study to their third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers. Then teachers were sent the survey via the district email system. Surveys were compl eted anonymously The survey is found in Appendix D along with the initial principal email, teacher email, and reminder email presented in Appendi ces E F and G respectively. Pilot Study Following modification of T he Survey on Classroom Assessment th e researcher conducted a pilot survey with 15 third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers at one elementary school to ensure that the revisions were understandable and that the responses provided by the participants accurately reflected their perceptions. The teachers were asked to evaluate the overall length and clarity of the survey questions. Participants in the pilot study expressed concern about the wording of several questions. As a result, these questions were streamlined and reworded. U niversity profess ors also informally evaluated the instruments construct validity.
52 Data Analysis The participants responses to the survey were entered into the sta tistical software program, SAS, V ersion 9.2. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize and organize par ticipants demographic information and the responses from the questionnaires. Frequencies and percentages were determined and presented in tables, accompanied by brief narrative highlights. For purposes of this study, all Likert scale items on the surveys were treated as ordinal level data. Specifically, the data pertaining to research questions 1, 2, 3a, and 4 were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequencies, means, standard deviations, and percent age s. To analyze the data for question 3b, the researcher used the Kruskal Wallis test to determine the relationship between the numeric variable (sum of assessment literacy) and the categorical variables of frequency (daily, weekly, monthly/quarterly). For question 3c, the researcher also used the Kruskal Wallis test to determine the relationship between a numeric variable (sum of formative assessments) and the categorical variables of assessment knowledge (grade level, preservice, inservice, graduate classes, and colleagues). In addition, the Wil coxon rank sum test was used to test the relationship between the numeric variable (sum of formative assessments) and the binary variable (degree). These nonparametric tests were used because they are robust to assumptions of normality of data. Research q uestion 5 concerned whether teachers use of formative assessment related to self efficacy. Inferential statistics were run to examine the variables of types of assessment, assessment knowledge, effectiveness of assessment, and years of experience for poss ible correlation. Mitchell and Jolley (2007) recommended the use of a Spearman c orrelation test to more closely analyze the correlation among variables.
53 The researcher determined whether a positive, zero, or negative correlation existed between the formati ve assessment variables and self efficacy by using the results of the statistical analysis. Table 32 presents the statistics and data analysis used for each research question. Table 32. Research Questions and Data Analyses Research question Statistics D ata analysis 1. How often do teachers use formative assessments? Descriptive Means, standard deviations, frequencies and percentages 2. How often do teachers change their instructional strategies based on formative assessment data? Descriptive Means, s tandard deviations, frequencies and percentages 3. a. How do teachers rate their assessment knowledge? b. What is the relationship between teachers assessment literacy and their frequency of use of formative assessments? c. What variables affec t teacher use of formative assessments to inform instruction? Descriptive Inferential I nferential Means, standard deviations, frequencies and percentages Means, standard deviations, p value Means, standard deviations, p value 4. To what extent d o teachers believe formative assessments are effective in raising mathematics achievement? Descriptive Means, standard deviations, frequencies and percentages 5. Is there a relationship between teachers use of formative assessment to inform instruction, and their sense of self efficacy? Inferential Means, standard deviations, p value
54 Summary This study was designed to determine whether there is a relationship between the use of formative assessment and teachers self efficacy. A survey design was employed, which used previously tested and validated instruments, The Survey on Classroom Assessment and the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale The former was modified to include additional items that related to school district practices The survey was administered to a convenience sample of 360 teachers at 29 elementary schools in one public school district. A return rate of 3 1 % was achieved. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical procedures.
55 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter presents the results of this study. The purpose of th is study was to determine whether there is a relationship between the use of formative assessment and teachers self efficacy. The researcher analyzed descriptive data gathered using a web based survey administered to third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers in one public school district in southwest Florida. The survey was designed to gather data to address five research questions. Four of the research questions concerned teachers classroom assessment bel iefs and practices, and one research question was designed to address whether there is a relationship between teachers use of formative assessment and their self efficacy. This chapter presents the findings as they relate to each research question. Resear ch Question 1 Research question 1 concerned how often teachers use formative assessments T he researcher used descriptive statistics to determine the overall percentage of the frequency of use of formative assessment for three categories: daily, weekly, and monthly/quarterly. As Table 41 indicates 19% of the participants ( n = 15) used formative assessment data daily t o inform their instruction; 67 % ( n = 53) used data on a weekly basis, and 14% ( n = 11) used formative assessment data on a monthly basis to make instructional decisions. Table 4 1 Frequency of Teachers Use of Formative Assessment Frequency n % Daily 15 19.00 Weekly 53 67. 0 0 Monthly/Quarterly 11 14.00
56 To address research question 1 in more depth, the researcher analyzed the data to de termine the frequency with which specific types of mathematics formative assessments were used. Respondents were asked to select from the frequency categories of never, daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly for the 1 3 types of formative assessments included in the survey: teacher made gridded response, te acher made multiple choice, teacher made fill in the blank, teacher made FCAT format, performance task assessment district benchmark test, district adopted mathematics series test, FCAT sample s test, observ ation chec klist, oral questioning, rubric student self rating, and Exam View test generator Total use was calculated by combining results for daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. Table 42 presents the frequency of distribution for each type of asses sment and a summary of a total use for each assessment type. Results for total use frequency indicated that district benchmark assessments ( n = 77), oral questioning ( n = 77), and rubrics (n = 77) were used most frequently, over 97% of the time. Other types of assessments used frequently were district adopted mathematics series tests ( n = 74) and FCAT samples tests ( n = 74), 93%; teacher made multiple choice ( n = 73), 92.5%, and performance task assessments ( n = 72), 91%. Observation ( n = 69), teacher made fill in the blank ( n = 68), teacher made, student self rating ( n = 64) and teacher made FCAT forma t ( n = 61) were all used 7 7 % 87% of the time. Assessments that had the least total use were Exam View test generator ( n = 41), 51.8%, and teacher made gridded response ( n = 44), 55.7%
57 Table 42. Frequency Distribution and Percentage of Specific Types of Formative Assessments Type of assessment Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Total Teacher made: gridded response % n 44.30 35 2.50 2 26.60 21 19.00 15 7.60 6 55.70 44 Teacher made: multiple choice % n 7.60 6 0.00 0 53.20 42 34.20 27 5.10 4 92.50 73 Teacher made: fill in the blank % n 13.90 11 3.80 3 57.00 45 21.50 17 3.80 3 86.10 68 Teacher made: FCAT format % n 22.80 1 8 0.00 0 38.00 30 25.30 20 13.90 11 77.20 61 Performance t ask assessment % n 8.90 7 22.80 18 30.40 24 30.40 24 7.60 6 91.20 72 District benchmark test % n 2.50 2 0.00 0 15.20 12 11.40 9 70.90 56 97.50 77 District adopted mathematics series test % n 6.30 5 3.80 3 35.40 28 44.30 35 10.10 8 93.60 74 FCAT sample test % n 6.30 5 1.30 1 20.30 16 32.90 26 39.20 31 93.70 74 Observation (checklist) % n 12.70 10 40.50 32 34.20 27 11.40 9 1.30 1 87.40 69 Oral questioning % n 2.50 2 87.30 69 10.10 8 0.0 0 0 0.00 0 97.40 77 Rubrics % n 2.50 2 15.20 12 50.60 40 25.30 20 6.30 5 97.40 77 Student self rating % n 19.00 15 10.10 8 30.40 24 21.50 17 19.00 15 81.00 64 Exam View t est g enerator % n 48.10 38 0.00 0 13.90 11 27.80 22 10.10 8 51.80 41
58 The fre quency of formative assessments administered was compared across grade levels to determine whether any grade level used a certain type of assessment with greater frequency For each frequency of use category (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly), the formati ve assessment used the most was calculated by grade level with the exception of district benchmark assessments, as these are required by the school district on a quarterly basis. As seen in Figure 4 1, the frequency of oral questioning on a daily basis was over 50% for each grade level but highest for third grade, at 93% followed by fifth grade (85%), and fourth grade (65%). Third grade also demonstrated a high frequency of teacher made multiplechoice assessments on a weekly basis at 59%, followed closel y by both fourth (45%) and fifth grade (44%). The percentage of d istrict adopted m athematics s eries test use on a monthly level declined as the grade level increased ( third grade, 47%; fourth grade, 36%; fifth grade, 28%) Figure 4 1. M ost frequently adm inistered assessments by grade level 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Oral Questioning (Daily) Teacher-made Multiple Choice(Weekly) Math Series (Monthly) FCAT Sample (Quarterly)Percent administration Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
59 Research Question 2 Research question 2 focused on how often teachers change their instructional strategies based on formative assessment data. T he researcher used descriptive statistics to make this determination. Ta ble 43 indicates that 32.91% ( n = 26) use formative assessment data to make instructional changes on a daily basis; 50.63% ( n = 40) of the teachers changed their instructional strategies on a weekly basis, and approximately 15% ( n = 13) changed their prac tice on a monthly or quarterly basis. Table 43. Teachers Instructional Changes Based on their Use of Formative Assessment by Number and Percentage Frequency n % Daily 26 32.91 Weekly 40 50.63 Monthly 10 12.66 Quarterly 3 3.8 To address this research question in greater depth, respondents were asked to report how frequently they made specific instructional changes based on formative assessment data. Respondents were given a choice of possible changes: assigning grades, diagnosing indiv idual students strengths and weaknesses, diagnosing the class as a whole, grouping students, communicating academic expectations, motivating or controlling students, re teaching the information, changing instructional strategies, and providing extra help. On a daily basis, 75.90% ( n = 60) of the respondents used formative assessment data to provide extra help, and over 50% of the teachers used the assessment data to motivate or control (54.40%; n = 43), re teach (58.30%; n = 46), and communicate academic expectations (51.90%; n = 41). Weekly, the majority of teachers used the formative data to assign grades (68.40%; n = 54), diagnose the class
60 as a whole (57.00%; n = 45), and diagnose individual strengths and weaknesses (44.30%; n = 35). On a monthly basis, the majority of the respondents (25.30%; n = 20) indicated that they used formative data to group their students and on a quarterly basis the majority ( 8 91%; n = 7 ) reported diagnosing the class as a whole. All of the respondents (100%; n = 79) reported using r e teaching the information and providing extra help on either a daily, weekly, or monthly basis and changing instructional strategies on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis Nearly all of the teachers (98.70%, n = 78) reported using formative assessment data for assigning grades and diagnosing individual strengths and weaknesses on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis Table 44. Frequency Distribution for Changes Made in Instructional Practice Instructional Change Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Total Assigning Grades % n 1.30 1 25.30 20 68.40 54 2.50 2 2.50 2 98.70 78 Diagnosing individual student's strengths and weaknesses % n 1.30 1 45.60 36 44.30 35 5.10 4 3.80 3 98.80 78 Diagnosing the class as a whole % n 2.50 2 24.10 19 57.00 45 7.60 6 8.90 7 97.60 77 Grouping Students % n 2.50 2 27.80 22 36.70 29 25.30 20 7.60 6 97.40 77 Communicating academic expectations % n 2.50 2 51.90 41 35.40 28 6.30 5 3.8 0 3 97.40 77
61 Table 44. Continued Instructional Change Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Total Motivating or controlling students % n 7.60 6 54.40 43 27.80 22 7.60 6 2.50 2 92.30 73 Re teaching the information % n 0.00 0 58.30 46 35.40 28 6.30 5 0.00 0 100.00 79 Changing instructional strategies % n 0.00 0 57.00 45 36.70 29 5.10 4 1.30 1 100.00 79 Providing extra help % n 0.00 0 75.90 60 22.80 18 1.30 1 0.00 0 100.00 79 Other % n 40.50 32 29.10 23 21.50 17 5.10 4 3.80 3 59.50 47 Research Question 3a Research question 3a concerned how teachers rate their assessment knowledge. Descriptive statistics were used to make this determination. Table 4 5 show s respond ents rat ings of their level of assessment knowledge compared to their knowledge of other aspects of teaching and learning. The majority ( n = 66, 83.5% ) of the participants felt that their level of assessment knowledge was equal to that of other aspects of learning, while 6.3% ( n = 5) felt their assessment knowledge was less than other aspects of teaching and learning, and 10.1% ( n = 8) felt that their assessment knowledge was greater than other aspects of learning.
62 Table 45. Knowledge of Formative Asses sment by Frequency and Percentage Knowledge n % Less 5 6.33 Equal 66 83.54 More 8 10.13 Figure 42 shows assessment knowledge by grade level. As the figure shows, there were no significant differences between level of assessment knowledge among g rade levels. 15% (n = 5) of third grade teachers, 9% (n = 2) of fourth grade teachers, and 5% (n = 1) of fifth grade teachers rated their level of assessment knowledge as less than that of other aspects of education. 68% ( n = 22) of third grade teachers, 81% ( n = 18) of fourth grade teachers, and 80% ( n = 20 ) of fifth grade teachers felt that their assessment knowledge was equal to that of other aspects of education. 15% (n = 5) of third grade teachers, 9% (n = 2) of fourth grade teachers, and 15% (n = 4) o f fifth grade teachers felt that their assessment knowledge was greater than that of other aspects of education. Figure 42. A ssessment knowledge by grade level 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Less Equal MorePercent knowledge Source Grade 3 Grade 4 Grade 5
63 Figure 43 presents the relationship between assessment knowledge and degree held. There we re no significant differences between respondents with b achelor s and m aster s degrees Over 80% of respondents with either a b achelor s ( n = 39) or m aster s degree ( n = 37) indicated that their assessment knowledge is equal to their knowledge of other aspects of teaching and learning. The majority (66.70%) of respondents with a specialist degree or d octorate ( n = 3) indicated having more knowledge of assessment than other aspects of teaching and learning. Figure 43. Teachers assessment knowledge by degree. In addition, of interest to the researcher was respondent s understanding of how they acquired their assessment knowledge. Respondents were asked to indicate whether none, some, much or almost all of their assessment knowledge came from the following categories: preservice education, in service professional development, graduate classes, colleagues, administrators, professional literature, and other sources. As seen in Table 46, much (48.10%; n = 38) and almost all (16.50%; n = 13) of teachers assessment knowledge came from their colleagues. The some category was varie d with each cell, except for graduate classes reporti ng 30% or more 0 20 40 60 80 100 Less Equal More Bachelors Masters Specialist/Doctorate
64 Table 4 6 Teachers Knowledge Sources by Percentage and Frequency Knowledge Sources None Some Much Almost All Pre service education % n 12.70 10 60.80 48 16.50 13 10.10 8 In service professional development % n 7.60 6 60.80 48 27.80 22 3.80 3 Graduate classes % n 35.40 28 26 .60 21 25.30 20 12.70 10 Colleagues % n 5.10 4 30.40 24 48.10 38 16.50 13 Administrators % n 13.90 11 51.90 41 26.60 21 7.60 6 Professional literature % n 13.90 11 55.70 44 22.80 18 7.60 6 Other sources % n 30.40 24 43.00 34 19.00 15 7.60 6 Research Question 3 b Research question 3b focused on the relationship between teachers assessment literacy and their frequency of use of formative assessment s to inform instruction. The numeric variable (sum of assessment literacy) and the categoric al variables of frequency (daily, weekly, monthly/quarterly) were analyzed using the Kruskal Wallis test. The p value generated from the Kruskal Wallis test is shown in Table 47. The relationship between teachers level of assessment literacy and the use of formative assessment was not statistically significant.
65 Table 4 7. Relationship between Assessment Knowledge and Frequency of Use Frequency n M ean Standard Deviation p Daily 15 2.07 1.10 Weekly 53 2.13 0.65 Monthly/Quarterly 11 2.18 0.60 .94 Res earch Question 3 c Research question 3c concerned the variables that affect teacher use of formative assessments to inform instruction. Table 48 presents the sum of all types of formative assessments used by the teachers and a comparison of this sum to e ach of the following variables: degree held, grade level, preservice knowledge of formative assessment, in service professional development, graduate classes, and colleagues. The table also contains p values from the Wilcoxon rank sum test and Kruskal Wall is tests. No statistical significance was found for the relationship between the sum of formative assessments used and grade level, preservice knowledge of formative assessment, in service professional development, or graduate classes. There was a statisti cally significant relationship for colleagues ( p = 0.03) and degree ( p = 0.01 ) as indicated by the p values. Table 4 8 Variables Affecting Use of Formative Assessment Degree n Mean Standard Deviation p Bachelor 39 31.8 7.6 Master 37 27.4 6.9 0.0 1 Grade Level Grade 3 32 29.0 6.6 Grade 4 22 30.2 7.8 Grade 5 25 30.2 8.4 0.67
66 Table 48. Continued Degree n Mean Standard Deviation p Preservice Knowledge None 10 29.8 5.7 Some 48 29.8 7.7 Much 13 31.6 7.9 All 8 26.9 7.5 0.47 In service Professional Development None 6 21.8 10.5 Some 48 29.9 6.2 Much 22 31.0 8.4 All 3 33.3 6.0 0.17 Graduate Classes None 28 29.8 6.8 Some 21 29.0 5.7 Much 20 29.4 9.3 All 10 31.6 9.2 0. 0 7 Colleagues None 4 19.5 3.7 Some 24 31.1 5.7 Much 38 29.2 8.3 All 13 31.9 6.3 0.03* Note p .05 Research Question 4 Research question 4 concerned the extent to which teachers believe that the formative as sessments that they use are effective in raising mathematics achievement for their students. Table 49 shows that 8.9% ( n = 7) of the participants reported that formative assessment did not have a positive effective on mathematics achievement,
67 53.2% ( n = 4 2) reported it was somewhat effective, and 38% ( n = 30) reported that formative assessments were highly effective in raising mathematics achievement. Table 49. Teachers Beliefs about the Effectiveness of Formative Assessment by Frequency and Perce ntage Effectiveness n % Not effective 7 8.90 Somewhat effective 42 53.20 Highly effective 30 3 8.00 A closer look at the data is presented in Table 410, which presents how teachers rated the degree of effectiveness for each type of formative assess ment and the total effectiveness for each type. The findings show that teachers perceived oral questioning ( 97.4%, n = 77) and rubrics ( 97.5%, n = 77) to be the most effective types of formative assessments used in their classrooms. Observation ( 89.9%, n = 71), performance task ( 89.9%, n = 71), teacher made multiple choice ( 89 .0 %, n = 71), 89%, and FCAT sample tests ( 88.6%, n = 70) also were perceived to be quite effective in informing mathematics instruction. Teachers perceived the other category ( 43.0 %, n = 34), Exam View test g enerator ( 56.9%, n = 45), and teacher made gridded response ( 57.0 %, n = 45) to be the least effective types of formative assessments used in the classroom. Table 4 1 0. Effectiveness of Formative Assessment Types by Percentage and Number Type of assessment Not used Not effective Somewhat effective Highly effective Total: Somewhat /H ighly effective Teacher made: gridded response % n 36.70 29 6.30 5 36.70 29 20.30 16 57.00 45
68 Table 410. Continued Type of assessment Not used Not effective Somewhat effective Highly effective Total: Somewhat /Highly effective Teacher made: fill in the blank % n 8.9 7 3.8 3 51.9 41 35.50 28 87.30 69 Teacher made: multiple choice % n 3.8 3 6.30 5 6 7.10 53 22.80 18 89.90 71 Performance task % n 5.10 4 5.10 4 21.50 17 68.40 54 89.90 71 District benchmark test % n 1.30 1 16.50 13 69.60 55 12.70 10 82.30 65 District adopted math series test % n 2.50 2 13.90 11 60.80 48 22.80 18 83.60 66 FCAT sam ple test % n 2.50 2 8.9 7 67.10 53 21.50 17 88.60 70 Observation (Checklists) % n 8.9 7 1.30 1 24.10 19 65.80 52 89.90 71 Oral questioning % n 0.00 0 2.50 2 21.50 17 75.90 60 97.40 77 Student self reflection % n 11.40 9 11.40 9 50.60 40 26.60 21 7 7.20 61 Rubrics % n 0.00 0 2.50 2 41.80 33 55.70 44 97.50 77 Exam View test generator % n 36.70 29 6.30 5 39.20 31 17.70 14 56.90 45 Other % n 46.80 37 10.10 8 31.60 25 11.40 9 43.00 34
69 Research Question 5 Research question 5 focused on the relati onship between teachers use of formative assessments to inform instruction and their self efficacy. Subquestion 5.1 concerned the level of teacher efficacy in the study sample, which was determined through the use of descriptive statistics Using the data from the TSES Short Form (TschannenMoran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) the results indicated that respondents had high levels of perceived self efficacy. Table 4 11 presents the mean scores, standard deviations, and percent age of participants reporting very lit tle/some (scores of 2 or 4) quite a bit (score of 6) and a great deal (score of 8) In the areas of classroom management and behavior, the teachers mean scores were highest at 7.20 and 7.30, respectively. Their mean score for assessment strategies and motivating students to do well was 6.90. The mean score in the area of motivating low interest students was 6.20 The lowest mean score, 5.30 was in the area of assisting families. Table 411. Descriptive Teacher Efficacy Statistics Survey questions Mean Standard Deviation Very little/some Quite a bit A great deal 1. Control disruptive behavior 7.20 1.3 0 6.40 27.80 65.80 2. Motivate low interest students 6.30 1.43 16.50 50.60 32.90 3. Motivate stu dents to do well 6.90 1.22 6.30 41.80 51.90 4. Help Students value learning 6.60 1.36 12.70 44.30 43.00 5. Craft good questions 6.80 1.12 3.80 53.20 43.00
70 Table 411. Continued Survey questions M ean Standard Deviation Very little/some Quite a bit A great deal 6. Follow classroom rules 7.20 1.13 3.80 34.20 62.00 7. Calm disruptions 6.80 1.32 11.40 46.80 41.80 8. Establish classroom management 7.30 1.05 2.50 29.10 68.40 9. Use a var iety of assessment strategies 6.90 1.32 6.30 46.80 46.80 10. Provide alternative explanations 7.10 1.14 3.80 36.70 59.50 11. Assist families 5.30 1.91 46.80 30.40 22.80 12. Implement alternative strategies 6.80 1.47 10.10 39.20 50.60 The resea rcher also determined an overall mean sum self efficacy score for the entire sample. This score was calculated by averaging each mean score recorded. The overall self efficacy mean for this survey population was quite a bit at 7.35 but not a great deal ( a score of eight or higher), this indicates that the participants had a moderate belief in their ability to affect student achievement. The Spearman correlation coefficient and the Kruskal Wallis test were performed to determine whether there was a relationship between formative assessment variables and teachers sense of self efficacy. Table 412 shows that the relationship between teacher efficacy and the formative assessment variables of types of assessments, assessment knowledge, perceived effectiveness of formative assessmen t was statistically significant: types of assessments ( p = 0.02 ), assessment knowledge ( p =
71 0.02), and perceived effectiveness of formative assessment ( p = 0.02 ) The table also shows that the relationship between years of experience and self efficacy was not statistically significant. Table 412. Self efficacy and Formative Assessments Variable r s p Assessment Type 0.27 0.02* Assessment Knowledge 0.27 0.02* Effectiveness 0.25 0.02* Years of Experience 0.21 0.06 Note. p .05 Summary The f indings indicated that teachers frequently us ed formative assessments to make informed c hanges to classroom instruction and that they perceived these changes to be effective in raising mathematics achievement. Further, respondents wer e comfortable with the i r level of assessment knowledge and had a high self efficacy. Finally, t heir use of formative assessment to inform mathematics instruction in third, fourth, and fifth grade was statistically significant and positively related to teachers self efficacy in the area of assessment type, assessment knowledge, and effectiveness of assessments.
72 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This chapter presents a summary of the findings, their implications, and recommendation s for further research The primary aim of this study was to determine whether there was a relationship between teachers use of formative assessments and t heir sense of self efficacy. A quantitative, nonexperimental design, using survey research, was employed by the researcher to ad dress this objective. Using third, fourth, and fifth grade elementary teachers in one southwest Florida school district, the researcher administered a we b based survey to determine teachers assessment beliefs, practices, and sense of self efficacy. S ubgroup beliefs and assessment practices also were analyzed by demographic characteristics to determine whether there were any statistically significant relationships Summary of the Findings Research Question 1 Research question 1 concerned how often teacher s use formative assessments. Two thirds of the teachers reported that they used formative assessments on a weekly basis. The types of assessments used varied, which indicated that teachers formative assessment practices may be aligned with Black and Wilia m s (1998 b) categoriz ation of formative assessment types as on the fly, planned for, and curriculum embedded. O ral questioning, an onthe fly assessment, was used the most frequently Over three quarters of the teachers reported its use on a daily basis N early all t eachers also reported a high use of teacher made multiplechoice assessments, a planned for assessment This assessment was used by over half of the teachers on a weekly basis by just over a third on a monthly basis and was used by a few teach ers on a quarterly
73 basis. Third grade teachers utilized teacher made multiple choice assessments the most, followed by fourth grade, and fifth grade teachers Finally, a curriculum embedded test, the d istrict adopted m athematics series t est was used almos t all of the time. Third grade teachers reported using it most frequently on a monthly basis compared to its use by fourth grade and fifth grade teachers The findings showed that t he percent age of u se on a monthly level declined as the grade level increas ed. The results for FCAT sample tests were similar T hird grade teachers used them most often on a quarterly basis followed by fourth and fifth grade respectively Research Q uestion 2 Research question 2 focused on how often teachers change their instructional strategies based on formative assessment data. Regardless of the technology available or the existence of a collaborative culture, if teachers do not examine data and mak e instructional decisions based on data, little benefit from any model of datadriven decision making will be fully realized (Boudette et al. 2005). Th e survey data indicate d that over half of the teachers changed their instructional strategies on a weekly basis. As indicated by Heritage (2007) there are four core elements of for mative assessments: identifying the gap, providing feedback, involving students, and tracking learning progressions. More than half of t he teachers in this study reported the use of assessment data on a weekly basis to motivate or control provide extra help, re teach, and communicate academic expectations. Additionally, o n a w eekly basis more than half of the teachers sampled use d the formative data to diagnose the class as a whole and assign grades. Each of these areas correlates with the core elements as reported by Heritage. Slightly less than half of the teachers diagnosed students individual strengths and weaknesses making it questionable as to whether t h e findings in this
74 study support Yehs (200 6 ) contention that frequent testing with quick feedbac k can a ssist teachers in rai sing student achievement levels of instruction, and student thinking i n day to day classroom activities. Research Q uestion 3a Research question 3a concerned how teachers rate their assessment knowledge. In regard to t eacher assessment lite racy, much of the literature indicates that teachers do not have sufficien t knowledge to make an impact on student achievement outcomes (Mertler, 2003; Murnane et al. 2005; Plake, 1993; Warren & Nisbet, 2001) I n this study, however, the ma jority of participants reported that their level of assessment knowledge was equal to that of other aspects of learning The teachers in this study reported that they are knowledgeable about assessment. Notably, t eachers must be assessment literate to supp ort learning in their classroom (Bol, 2004; Bol et al., 2002; Lukin et al., 2004). Nearly 10% felt that their assessment knowledge was greater than that of other aspects of learning. There were no significant differences between grade levels. Fourth and f ifth grade teachers were at or slightly above the 80% level in reporting that their assessment knowledge was equal to that of other aspects of education, and third grade teachers were just below the 70% level. Research Q uestion 3b Research question 3b f ocused on the relationship between teachers assessment literacy and their frequency of use of formative assessment s to inform instruction. The results indicated that there was no significant relationship between assessment literacy and frequency of using formative assessments to inform instruction. This lack of significance was surprising to the researcher, as many studies indicate a relationship
75 between the use of formative assessment and assessment literacy (Husman et al. 2005; Ladd & Linderholm, 2008; Lukin et al., 2004; Mertler, 2003) This finding may suggest that teachers simply follow district curriculum maps and test students when suggested, rather than possess a true understanding of the assessment practices that they employ. Research Q uestion 3c Research question 3c concerned the variables that affect teacher use of formative assessments to inform instruction. The findings indicated a statistically significant relationship between knowledge gained from colleagues and the use of formative assess ments to inform instruction. Tomlinson (2008) stated that the greatest power of assessment information is its capacity to help educators become better teachers. By w orking in professional learning communities, colleagues are able to discuss data, reflect o n teaching practice, and refine strategies. Through these collaborative discussions, teachers collect the tools that they need to scaffold learning experiences for all children and, ultimately to improve student progress. Arter (2001) also emphasized the importance of colleagues and assessment literacy by advocating for the use of a ssessment literacy learning teams that study and practice highquality, student involved classroom assessment. In addition, this research question focused on whether the demogr aphic variables of grade level or degree had an effect on teacher use of formative assessment to inform instruction. The findings showed that there was a positive relationship between the use of formative assessment and the participants degree. This resul t is also somewhat puzzling to the researcher because the survey results indicated that slightly more than one third of the respondents reported learning nothing about assessment from graduate
76 classes. This result may be attributed to the fact that respond ents with a m aster s degree had more overall teaching experience and/ or are more thoughtful practitioners of instructional techniques. Many researchers suggest that teacher preparation should include courses on assessment and dat a driven decision making (L ukin et al., 2004; Olah et al., 2010; Popham, 2009). Research Q uestion 4 Research question 4 concerned the extent to which teachers believe that the formative assessments that they use are effective in raising mathematics achievement for their students. Most of the teachers surveyed felt that formative assessments are useful for raising mathematics achievement. Th ese data are in keeping with those of researchers who found that the use of assessments to inform instruction had a positive impact on student achievement ( Ayalla et al 2008; Brunner et al., 2005; Fontana & Fernandes, 1994; Guskey, 2003; Vogel et al. 2006). Research Q uestion 5 Research question 5 focused on the relationship between teachers use of formative assessments to inform instruction a nd their self efficacy. Teachers with a high level of efficacy believe that they can control, or at least strongly influence, student achievement and motivation. Descriptive statistics indicated that the participants had a high level (7.35 on an 8point sc ale) of perceived teacher self efficacy Individual efficacy scores indicated that the participants had the greatest confidence in their ability to establish a classroom management system contro l disruptive behavior, follow classroom rules, provide alternative explanations, followed closely by motivating students to do well, implement alternative strategies, us e a variety of assessment
77 strategies, craft good questions, help students value learning, calm disruptions, and motivate low interest students The findings showed that th e respondents are confident in their knowledge of assessment, their ability to choose appropriate assessments, and the effect that these assessments will have on their students achievement. The researcher had expected this outcome, as these variables are naturally linked, as suggeste d by previous research. For example, Webb ( 2002 ) defined assessment literacy as the knowledge of how to assess what students know and can do, interpret the results of these assessments, and apply these r esults to improve student learning. Additionally, Black and Wiliam (1998a, 1998b) reported that when appropriate assessment strategies are consistently implemented, student achievement increases. Ultimately, increased assessment competency can enhance teachers confidence in their ability to make an impact on student achievement, inform stakeholders and hold policy makers accountable for supporting sound assessment practices for children and the programs that serve them (Jones, 2004). Implications of the Findings There is a strongly held belief that the path to school improvement is paved with frequent and intense standardized testing. Preparing students to do well on such tests can dominate teachers work, and, insofar as these tests encourage drills to produce right answers to short, out of context questions, they can lead teachers to act against their own better judgment about the best ways to develop the learning of their students ( Black & Wiliam, 1998a ). N ational R esearch C ouncil ( 2001) found that w hen assessments focus on superficial aspects of learning, they adversely affect classroom instructional practices. Because high stakes are inherent in statewide assessments,
78 public school teachers may willingly or not align what they teach to what is teste d. I f t eaching and learning are driven by inappropriate and highstakes assessments, the n the results can be decreased quality of student learning. Traditional classroom practice s, especially testing and societal norms have created environments in which students may not be motivated to take risks, put forth their best effort, or demonstrate the ir intellectual competence (She p ard, 2001 ). As researchers have reported, high stakes tests typically dominate teaching and assessment but, unfortunately serve litt le purpose other than securing public confidence in the accountability of schools ( Black & Wiliam, 1998a). To utilize assessment as a tool for learning, i t is essential that teachers conceptualize the purpose of assessment in a more meaningful manner and use it to guide instruction. For example, nineteen participants stated that they use formative assessments, but as shown in Table 42, the findings suggest that teachers might lack a clear conceptual understanding of what formative assessment is. This finding bears out Murnanes point that conceptual understanding is foundational to teachers abil ity to use formative assessment for learning. They must clearly understand the difference between assessment for learning and assessment of learning. Unfortunately many teachers still question why they are testing students and wonder about the impact of assessment on their day to day instructional practices and student performance. Teachers need to understand th at the value of stand ards based formative assessment t ools lies in their ability to provide ongoing results to guide their instruction. Additionally, they must see how assessment for learning can have an impact on teaching and learning in their classroom and, ultimately on student succe ss on high stakes test s.
79 The results of this s tudy indicate that the majority of the teacher s reported using formative assessments on a frequent basis and felt that the use of formative assessment to inform instructional practice has a positive impact on student achievement i n mathem atics. Similar to the findings of Black and Wiliam (1998a ), Brunner et al. (2005), and Yeh ( 2006), in this study, t he importance assigned to a variety of assessment practices indicated the need for teachers wide ranging use of varied assessment to ols, both formal and informal, for the purpose of improving instruction and learnin g. The r esults of this study also indicated that the sources of teachers assessment knowledge w ere limited ( Plake & Impara, 1993; Popham, 2009; Stiggins, 2002) The major ity of teachers indicated that their assessment knowledge comes mostly from colleagues The findings revealed differences in teachers exposure to assessment knowl e dge, which strengthens the need for in service and preservice professional development and institutes of higher education to determine the most efficient means of providing assessment information to intermediate level educators When crafting a professional development plan associated with assessment, it would behoove the school district to del ve more deeply into teachers understanding of formative assessment and their identification of performance assessments, teacher made ass essments, rubrics, and multiplechoice assessments as holding the most importance within the classroom. Understanding t he reasons for teachers assignment of assessment value would help to guide what should be taught in professional development inservice Further school districts should consider staff development that fosters the use of assessment data to make instruction al decisions. As the literature
80 suggests, the most effective use of assessment data demands a strong foundation in assessment literacy and, thus underscores the need to promote an increased assessment literacy level among teachers ( Murnane et al., 2005; S harkey & Murnane, 2003) at the preservice level and during inservice professional development Studies of school improvement and school effectiveness suggest that neither administrators nor teachers, working independently, have the capacity to accomplis h the tasks necessary for school improvement ( Arter, 2001; Popham, 2003; Stiggins, 2004). If the principal is the instructional leader in the school and has the task of both setting the vision of effectiveness and leading the school organization toward thi s vision, and if assessment is an essential feature of effective schools, then it follows that education al leaders should have the assessment skills to develop a clear vision of sound assessment practices Educational leaders must demand that districts prov ide the time and commitment for leaders to be trained in the use of assessment to inform instruction. One such model of training, as presented by Arter (2001) is leadership learning teams In such training, g roups of educational leaders work together in a leadership learning team to understand classroom assessment and its relationship to student achievement, negotiate the balance between standardized hig h stakes assessment and classroom assessment, identify assessment needs relevant to one's own school, d evelop an action plan for improving classroom assessment, and inspire staff to make a commitment to deepen assessment literacy. Such programs should be provided at the district level or embedded in graduate programs.
81 Recommendatio ns for Further R esearch Within the context of this study, the researcher considered assessment practices, assessment literacy, perceived assessment effectiveness, and the relationship between assessment practices and teacher self efficacy in a sample of 79 teachers in one school district To move this research toward more practical applications, further research related to how assessment beliefs and the importance of assessment practices directly affect the selection and implementation of assessment s within the classroom must be conducted with larger randomized samples across school districts in a variety of locations. Because this study did not determine causal relationships, additional investigation of how assessment beliefs affect the selection and implementation of specific a ssessments would help to explain how teachers make decisions to guide their instructional practices within the elementary classroom. Additionally, future research could examine the impact of professional development in assessment practices by comparing teachers use of formative assessment practices prior to and after receiving the professional development. Another area of study could focus on how the practice of interpreting assessment differs when it is conducted with teams of teachers both with and wit hout administrators. To address how teachers facilitate assessment for learning practices in their classroom, a study that compares achievement outcomes among students who monitor and self assess their progress as a component of formative assessment with that of a cohort group who does not self assess their progress could be conducted Additional research should attempt to control for the potential of social desirability bias by using instruments that measure this construct and eliminate participants who show high social desirability bias from further analysis.
82 Finally, a study that compares teachers beliefs about formative assessment and includes observations during classroom instruction is warranted. A study design, utilizing not just survey measures, but focus groups and interviews as well, would provide the rich detail that this study could not Limitations of the S tudy This study relied on the use of self report data. One inherent limitation of self reporting is that it is subject to social desirabi lity bias F urther, t he use of a convenience sample does not permit the results to be generalized. The r esults reflect teachers self reports of assessment beliefs, practices, and self efficacy. No data were gathered to validate whether the self reports we re consistent with actual practice in the third, fourth, and fifth grade classrooms. Pajares (1996) advocated the assessment of efficacy by comparing self efficacy beliefs and real classroom effects. However, given that three of the four classroom management items on the self efficacy scale were highest, this indicates that this scale did not focus enough on instruction and suggests that a different self efficacy scale should be used in future studies. R esearchers have noted the multi faceted nature of tea chers use of formative assessment (Bol 2004; Plake, 1993) as well as self efficacy ( Pajares, 1996; TschannenMoran & Woolfolk Hoy 2001) beliefs. In a self administered survey there is no opportunity to ask for clarification or conduct further explorati on of a response, which leaves some responses either inaccurate due to a misunderstanding or the survey items failure to elicit an accurate response. The introduction of a qualitative measure could strengthen the research on how teachers conceptualize ass essment beliefs and self efficacy. Despite these limitations, researchers have concluded that there i s a positive relationship between teachers assessment literacy and effective use of student
83 assessment data to infor m instructional practice (Lukin et al 2004 ). In this study a positive relationship was found between teachers self efficacy and assessment type, assessment knowledge, and effectiveness of assessments. Conclusion The testing mandates of NCLB require that all classroom teachers engage in systematic coordination of precise teaching, critical analysis, and targeted goal setting. Formative assessment practices can assist in this process. Smith (2007) noted that f ormative assessments provide a mechanism to provide feedback about the effectiveness of instruction and student progress. The results of these assessments provide feedback to students and offer guidance to instructors in subsequent teaching and learning activities Future studies might explore teachers pedagogical content knowledge in mathematics and knowledge/use of formative assessment. Using survey methods, t his study explored third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers assessment practices, assessment literacy, perceived assessment effectiveness, and self efficacy. The f indings indicat ed that teachers had a high sense of self efficacy, frequently used formative assessments to make informed instructional decisions and were comfortable with thei r level of assessment knowledge but attribute d this knowledge to one overwhelming source, thei r colleagues. In addition, the respondents use of formative assessment to inform mathematics instruction was positively correlated with self efficacy in relationship to assessment type, assessment knowledge, and effectiveness of assessments. The educati onal community has made great strides in making the science of teaching on par with the art of teaching (Marzano et al., 2001). The results of this study however, show that there is still progress to be made. Promoting assessment literacy
84 while giving teachers the knowledge and tools that they need to effectively organize and analyze assessment data, will help all stakeholders reap the full benefit of mandated assessments. Further, e ducational leaders must understand the relationship between the belief in the value of using formative assessments and teacher self efficacy to enable teachers to effectively select and implement assessments within the classroom. As teachers develop greater assessment literacy, and become even more confident in their ability to utilize assessments to inform instruction, their sense of self efficacy will increase. They will believe that they can make a difference in their classroom. Once this is accomplished, the school, district, state, and students, above all else, will reap enormous instructional and learning benefits
85 APPENDIX A PERMISSION LETTER: C LASSROOM ASSESSMENT PRACTICES From: Eufemia, Francine [mailto:EufemiFr@collier.k12.fl.us] Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 11:16 AM To: Bol, Linda Subject: Research request Dear Dr Bol, My name is Francine Eufemia, and I am presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida. I am planning to conduct research in the use of formative assessment for my dissertation and would like to request permission to use/modify your sur vey, Survey on Classroom Assessment I wish to survey third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers about their understanding and use of formative assessment data to inform instruction. Any suggestions and advice, as I begin this journey also would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your consideration of my request. Yours truly, Francine Eufemia Bol, Linda [firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 1:49 PM To: Eufemia, Francine Please feel free to use this questionnaire with the proper credit, citati ons Best of luck to you on your dissertation and your future academic career. I hope you have considered my other work in this area for background research.
86 APPENDIX B SELF EFFICACY RATING SCAL E Teac hers Sense of Efficacy Scale (Short F orm) Directions: This questionnaire is designed to help us gain a better understanding of the kinds of things that create difficulties for teachers in their school activities Please indicate your opinion about each of the statements below Your answers are confidential. How much can you do? Nothing Very Little Some Influence Quite A Bit A Great Deal 0 2 4 6 8 Teacher B eliefs 1. How much can you do to control disruptive behavior in the classroom? ( 0 ) (2) (4) (6) (8) 2. How much can you do to motivate students who show low interest in school work? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 3. How much can you do to get s tudents to believe they can do well in school work? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 4. How much can you do to help your students value learning? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 5. To what extent can you craft good questions for your students? (0) (2) ( 4) (6) (8) 6. How much can you do to get children to follow classroom rules? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 7. How much can you do to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 8. How well can you establish a classr oom management system with each group of students? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 9. How much can you use a variety of assessment strategies? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 10. To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when stude nts are confused? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 11. How much can you assist families in helping their children do well in school? (0) (2) (4) (6) (8) 12. How well can you implement alternative strategies in your classroom? (0) (2) (4) ( 6) (8) Thank you for participating.
87 APPENDIX C PERMISSION LETTER: S ELF EFFICACY SCALE Anita Woolfolk Hoy, Ph.D. Professor Psychological Studies in Education Dear Francine Eufemia: You have my permission to use the Teachers Sense of E fficacy Scale in your research. A copy of both the long and short forms of the instrument as well as scoring instructions can be found at: http://www.coe.ohiostate.edu/ahoy/research instruments.htm Best wishes in your work, Anita Woolfolk Hoy, Ph.D. Professor College of Education Phone 614 2923774 29 West Woodruff Avenue www.COE.OHIO State.EDU/AHOY Columbus, Ohio 43210 1177 Hoy.email@example.com
88 APPENDIX D SURVEY ON CLASSROOM ASSESSMENT AND TEACHER SELF EFFICACY The Relationship between Formative Assessment and Teachers Self Efficacy WELCOME! Please read carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study : The purpose of this study is to determine whether there is a relationship between teachers' assessment literacy, their instructional use of assessment data, and their sense of self efficacy. Additionally, the researcher will examine how teachers rate their understanding of formative assessment and whether they feel that their use of student assessment data has an impact on student learning and achievement in mathematics What you will be asked to do in the study : If you consent to participate, you will first answer demographic q uestions about yourself Next you will be asked a series of questions pertaining to your classroom assessment practices in regard to mathematics instruction. Finally you will answer a series of questions that will be used to measure your self efficacy. T ime required: Approximately 1520 m inutes Risks and Benefits : There is no risk for participation in this study There are no known benefits for the participants. Compensation: You will not be compensated for your participation. Confidentiality : Your ident ity will remain anonymous as you are not to provide any personally identifiable information (e.g., name, school name) anywhere on the questionnaire. All of your responses will be kept confidential When the study is completed, and the data have been analy zed, your answers will be destroyed. Your individual answers will not be used in any report, scientific meetings, institutional policies, or published materials that may result from this research. Data Security : Surveygizmo will be used to collect data. Su rveygizmo holds all information in strict confidence and prevents the collection of personally identifiable information that could be used to identify your answers Your responses will be password protected, and your IP addresses will be masked from the researcher Voluntary participation : Your participation in this study is completely voluntary There is no penalty for not participating. If you choose not to participate, please close the browser window.
89 Who to contact if you have questions about the study : Francine Eufemia, Doctoral Student, University of Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Linda Behar Horenstein, Professor, Department of Educational Administration and Policy, 1212 Norman Hall, PO Box 117049, Gainesville, FL 32611, 352273 4330, lsbhoren@ ufl. edu Who to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study : IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, G ainesville, FL 326112250; 3523920433. You are encouraged to print a copy of this page for your own records. 1) Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure, and I have been provided with the option to print this form for my own records. Clicking this button means that I agree to participate in the study as described, and the program will proceed with the study presentation. *This question is required. [ ] I agree DIRECTIONS : Please respond candidly to each question by clicking on your answer. Please respond in terms of your overall assessment practices in regard to ma thematics instruction. Demographic Information: 2) Including the present year, how many years experience do you have teaching? 3) Gender ( ) Male ( ) Female 4) What grade level do you teach? ( ) 3 ( ) 4 ( ) 5 5) Please select your highest degree earned: ( ) Bachelors ( ) Masters ( ) Specialist ( ) Doctorate
90 Survey on Classroom Assessment PART I: TYPES OF ASSESSMENTS 6) How frequently do you use formative assessment (assessment for learning)? ( ) Never ( ) Daily ( ) Weekly ( ) Monthly ( ) Quarterly 7) More specifically, how frequently do you use the following types of assessments in a formative way (to inform your instruction)? Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Teacher Made: Gridded Response ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Teacher Made: Multiple Choice ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Teacher Made: Fill in the blank ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Teacher Made: FCAT Format ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Performance Task ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) District Benchmark Test ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) District Adopted Mathematics Se ries Test ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) FCAT Sample Test ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Observation (Check list) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Oral Questioning ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Rubrics ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Student self rating ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Exam View Test Generator ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 8) How frequently do you change your instructional strategies/practices based on student formative assessment data? ( ) Never ( ) Daily ( ) Weekly ( ) Monthly ( ) Quarterly
91 PART II: ASSESSMENT PRACTICES 9) Ho w frequently do you use assessment data for each of the following purposes? Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Assigning grades ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Diagnosing individual student's strengths and weaknesses ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Diagnosing the class as a whole ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Grouping students ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Communicating academic expectations ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Motivating or controlling students ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Re teaching the information ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Changing your instructional strategies ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Providing extra help ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Other ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 10) How often do you use the following strategies? Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly Tell students the expected achievement targets ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Explain assessment methods prior to teaching ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Provide descriptive feedback ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Provide opportunities for students to self assess ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Comment on specific strengths and weaknesses ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Discuss the extent to which goals were met ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
92 11) How effective are the following assessments in informing your instruction? Not Used Not Effective Somewha t Effective Highly Effective Teacher Made: Gridded Response ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Teacher Made: Fill in the blank ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Teacher Made: Multiple Choice ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Performance Task ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) District Benchmark Test ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) District Adopted Mathematics Series Test ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) FCAT Sample Test ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Observation (check lists) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Oral Questioning ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Student self rating ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Rubrics ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Exam View Test Generator ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Other ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 12) Does the use of formative assessment data to inform instruction have a positive effect on student achievement in mathematics ? ( ) Not Used ( ) Not Effective ( ) Somewh at Effective ( ) Highly Effective
93 PART III: TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE OF ASSESSMENT 13) Rate your knowledge of assessment methods and theory in relation to your knowledge of other aspects of teaching and learning. ( ) Less ( ) Equal ( ) More 14) Rate your knowledge of assessment in relation to your perception of other teachers' knowledge of assessment. ( ) Less ( ) Equal ( ) More 15) How frequently do you use the following sources for your classroom assessments? Never Daily Weekly Monthly Quarterly I develo p my own assessments. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) I use the ones that come with the mathematics series. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) I use assessments that other teachers have developed. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) I use assessments that other teachers and I develop collaboratively. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) I use sample questions from the state standardized tests (Test prep books or state website). ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) I develop my own using software provided with the mathematics series (Exam Generator). ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Other sources. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
94 16) How much of your knowledge about assessment comes from each of the following? None Some Much Almost All Pre service education ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) In service Professional Developme nt ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Graduate Classes ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Colleagues ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Administrators ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Professional Literature ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Other Sources ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) 17) What criteria do you use for selecting assessment methods? Never Rarely Sometimes Frequently Always Ease of development ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Ease of scoring ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Time required to administer ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Methods match strategy used to teach ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Methods match desired achievement standards ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Produces valuable data ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Other criteria ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
95 SELF EFFICACY RATING SCALE How much can you do? Directions: This ques tionnaire is designed to help us gain a better understanding of the kinds of things that create difficulties for teachers in their school activities. Please indicate your opinion about each of the statements below. 18) How much can you do to control disru ptive behavior in the classroom? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 19) How much can you do to motivate students who show low interest in school work? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 20) How much can you do to get students to believe they can do well in school work? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 21) How much can you do to help your students value learning? ( ) Not hing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 22) To what extent can you craft good questions for your students? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal
96 23) How much can you do to get chil dren to follow classroom rules? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 24) How much can you do to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A grea t deal 25) How well can you establish a classroom management system with each group of students? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 26) How much can you use a variety of assessment strategies? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 27) To what extent can you provide an alternative explanation or example when students are confused? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal
97 28) H ow much can you assist families in helping their children do well in school? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very little ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal 29) How well can you implement alternative strategies in your classroom? ( ) Nothing ( ) Very litt le ( ) Some influence ( ) Quite a bit ( ) A great deal Thank y ou! Thank you for taking our survey. Your response is very important to us. Please close the browser to exit the survey.
98 APPENDIX E PRINCIPAL EMAIL Dear Colleague: I recently received approval from Collier County's Office of Planning & Accountability to collect data for my dissertation study on formative assessment and teacher self efficacy. I am requesting your quick assistance by sending out the email below to the third, four th, and fifth grade teachers in your school. Their participation is completely voluntary. You may preview the surveys here: Thank you so much for your assistance. Sincerely, Francine Eufemia
99 APPENDIX F TEACHER EMAIL Dear Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Teachers: Your opinion and instructional knowledge is sought to help determine whether there is relationship between teachers' assessment literacy, teachers' instructional use of assessment data, and teachers' self efficacy. Pleas e assist in the collection of relevant data by accessing this short survey: http://edu.surveygizmo.com/s3/505963/Survey onClassroom Assessment and Teachers Self Efficacy Thank you, Francine Eufemia
100 APPENDIX G TEACHER REMINDER EMA IL Reminder email sent out one week after initial email. Dear Colleague: A week ago, you were asked to complete a survey as part of a study to determine whether there is a relationship between formative assessment and teachers self efficacy. By participating in this study you will provide insight into what types of student assessment data are most frequently used and to what extent and what e ffect these data have on your instruction. If you have had a moment to complete the survey I would like to thank you. If you have not yet had a chance to access the survey, I hope that you will be able to in the coming week. Your response will help provide valuable information to advance teacher practices in general and your grade level specifically. The survey will remain open and active until June 10, 2011. Should you have any questions regarding this survey, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com Sincerely, Francine Eufemia
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110 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Francine Eufemia attended Hightstown High School in Hightstown New Jersey Sh e graduated from Stockton State College in 1985, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies. Francine worked for Lenox China for three years as a Merchandising Coordinator. In the fall of 1989, Fra n cine decided to pursue her love for teaching and enter ed the Master of Arts in T eaching program at The College of New Jersey Two years later, she graduated with a Master of Education in e lementary e ducation. In the winter of 1991, Francine began her teaching career as a second grade teacher at Garfield Park School in Willingboro, New Jersey. Francine remained in the classroom for 15 years, teaching elementary and middle school in New Jersey, New Mexico, and Florida. During this period, she earned h er Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership degree fro m Nova Southeastern University and started h er first administrative position as a Dean of Students for Golden Gate Elementary School Since then, she has served as an assistant principal at Manatee Elementary School and is currently the principal at Estates Elementary School. Francine is the youngest child of the late Frank A. Eufemia and Josephine Eufemia Sh e is married to Neal McAlister and is the step mother of two boys Eric and Kyle Francine enjoys riding motorcycles watching her olde st son pl ay college basketball hiking with her husband and friends, and playing with her two dogs, Sadie and Lucy.