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Formative assessment including feedback to students on their learning is widely recognized as an effective means to support student learning. Research has found that the potential of formative assessment in improving student learning is often not fully realized in classroom practice. IT provides a possible solution for overcoming some of the obstacles when implementing formative assessment. This chapter reviews various ways in which IT has been used in formative assessment, focusing specifically on digital learning environments, gamebased assessment, classroom response systems, Web 2.0, and video feedback. The results suggest that using IT as a platform for feedback provides opportunity to individualize feedback, increase student engagement, collect learning evidence for all students, facilitate reflective processes, and support self-regulated learning. Reported potential challenges to the utilization of IT include time restrictions, limited response formats, technical difficulties, access to evidence of student learning for teachers, and teacher knowledge and skills. One key finding is that although innovations in technology have evolved considerably, many promising possibilities are not yet being exploited for the purpose of formative assessment. Most importantly, research demonstrates that not the technologies themselves, but the ways in which they are used impact on their formative potential. Bringing together IT and formative assessment may open up the potential for moving from convergent forms of feedback to more open, divergent feedback practices


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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