Implementing formative assessment through digital portfolios

Project owner

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Project period

January 2017 - December 2018

Project summary

The aim of this project is to develop a model for introducing digital formative assessment in higher education courses. Formative assessment is "the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers, to identify where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there" (Assessment Reform Group 2002, p.2).There is considerable research evidence that formative assessment practices, when integrated in a proper manner in a day-to-day classroom activities of teachers, have a substantial impact on student learning (see Wiliam 2011 for an overview of literature).

The project aims to implement formative assessment through learning portfolios by using Microsoft's digital application 'OneNote for Classroom'. Portfolios are useful tools for assessment due to their formative potential (Burner 2014), which is linked to the portfolio's process-oriented nature.The digital format facilitates assessment practices that would not be possible in a traditional portfolio.

The project will assess student teachers' reactions to this approach to assessment, and will examine the impact that digital formative assessment has on the quality of student teachers' work. Another important goal of this project is to engage participating staff in reflecting critically on the experiences of introducing a new approach to assessment. Project members will develop a practical framework for the use of digital formative assessment on undergraduate programmes in Norway. By modelling good assessment practices we also hope that student teachers might subsequently use these practices in their own teaching in schools once they enter the workforce.