What is formative assessment?
A formative assessment is the term used to describe feedback given to students on an aspect of their performance / work. Whilst formative work is ungraded and is not included in the assessment and does not contribute to the final module mark it is still a very important piece of work as it helps you the student to assess your level of understanding in a particular module. Providing you with the opportunity to undertake a task that relates to the type of work you may have to complete for your assessment (or draws on the same skills the students will need to apply to complete the actual assessment). This way you get a “practice go” at submitting work for which you receive feedback.
This is why the University requires all modules to have an element of formative assessment.
Why is feedback important?
Feedback is very important… you already get this in lectures in answer to questions you ask as an audience, to clarify issues. You get individual feedback in the seminars in relation to your preparation, the quality of your verbal answers/ contributions, the extent of your knowledge and application of this to solve legal problems in scenarios, the quality of your research skills in finding information and going beyond the materials/ reading given.
Formative feedback helps you …
- Understand more fully the demands of the assessment process – as to what is expected of you
- Know where your strengths and weaknesses lie in relation to the assessment task and module learning outcomes
- Improve for the future i.e. do better in subsequent assessments
- Know what you have to do to improve the quality of your work
- Know if you have any misunderstandings so these can be put right before any later work is marked
- Know where you are at in terms of the quality of your current work
- Improve specific aspects of your work – spelling , grammar, the structure of your work, the way you develop arguments or present a particular position on a topic, the way your present, express and link your ideas and understandings about a topic
- Receive guidance in order to meet the learning outcomes more effectively - helps you work smart!
- Improve your referencing and avoid accidentally committing plagiarism
- Know what you are doing right and offer you encouragement and praise
- Get some time to reflect on the feedback so you can make use of this
- Receive comments that are particularly related to your work , which is personal, individual and private to you
- Plan and manage your time when preparing for an assessment
- Gain insight into what you have to do to succeed and to help you ensure that your time at University helps you achieve your goals and is money and time well spent!!
- As a starting point for further discussion with your tutor … how you feel about the feedback and the use you make of this are for you to decide.
So is putting time into completing a task that is not assessed but provides opportunities for all of the above a good thing to do?……. you decide.
FORMATIVE CASE STUDY LAW FOR ACCOUNTING
Prince Henry is to marry his fiancé socialite Lucy Lovelace on Ist July. Derby Pottery have contracted with Mugs R Us to produce commemorative mugs for sale in their nationwide stores. The mugs are to be delivered early May so they can be in the shops in time for the ‘run up’ to the wedding. Rising fuel costs mean the cost of running the kiln have risen so much that contract is no longer profitable for Derby Pottery. They are also struggling to obtain clay from China, delaying delivery of the mugs. Derby Pottery contact Mugs R Us in April and explain the situation, Mugs R us refuse to pay anymore for the mugs but say they will accept the delivery at the beginning of June. Fuel costs continue to rise and Derby Pottery decides they cannot fulfil the contract due to rising costs at the same time the Royal wedding is called off.
Jonathan and Tracey Brown decide to open a fish and chip shop, ‘The Happy Plaice’. It is the first time they have ever attempted to run a business. Using a mortgage, they buy a shop with a flat above it, where they intend to live. Their mortgage lender commissioned a survey on the buildings, which the Browns paid the mortgage company for. The survey said the building was worth £200,000, and they paid this amount. The survey also included a statement that ‘This report is provided without liability on the part of the surveyors’. Jonathan and Tracey also invest £50,000 in equipment for the shop, including a fish fryer, from Speedy Fishy Supplies. Unknown to them, the fish fryer has been negligently manufactured and on the day they open, it explodes, injuring Jonathan and causing a fire which destroys their new counter. They have to close the shop for two weeks, during which time they lose £2,000 in profit.
Just before they reopen, they notice that the back wall of the building has a long crack in it. They later discover that the wall is falling down, and the building is worth only £80,000 as a result.
Advice Derby Pottery, Jonathan and Tracey.