Assessment For Learning: The Role of Feedback

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Elizabeth Böttcher


Formative assessment (FA) and learning-oriented assessment (LOA) focus on the learning process. These ongoing assessments for learning can be an integral part of instruction and may add a new dimension to the learning mandate inherent in the classroom. Assessment for learning is founded on the notion that learners can raise their consciousness of their learning aims through the process of assessment and work towards improvement (Luoma & Tarnanen, 2003). Leung (2004) defines classroom-based FA as “the noticing and gathering of information about student language use in ordinary (noncontrived) classroom activities, and the use of that information to make decisions about teaching (to promote learning) without necessarily quantifying it or using it for reporting purposes” (p. 20). Indeed, FA or LOA serves both the teacher in terms of planning future curricula as well as the students in giving them feedback so that they become aware of their strengths, weaknesses, and what needs to be implemented to make improvement. This discussion will focus on the important role of feedback in FA or LOA.

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