Work-in-Progress: An agile approach to formative assessment in higher education
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Formative assessment is part of a learning process in which the teacher continuously monitors students' learning and provides feedback intended to let students themselves reflect upon what they have learned and where they need to focus more attention. The underlying goal of formative assessment is to lift the students to a higher metacognitive level where they can monitor and guide their learning while simultaneously improving their learning outcomes. However, many courses are planned before the semester starts and may not include methods to continuously improve the teaching. With continuous monitoring and assessment, the philosophy behind formative assessment has some similarities to the agile methodology often employed in software- and product development. This paper presents an agile framework for formative assessment in engineering courses.By taking the viewpoint of “Knowledge as a product”, this focus ensures: (1) that the students increase their knowledge through sprints and demonstrate it often, and (2), that the methods of teaching and learning are continuously improved through feedback from the students so that the teacher can adapt and improve to enable learning, all supported by formative assessment. Additionally, the agile approach to formative assessment has the potential to improve the non-technical professional skills of students.