Development of formative assessment tool for a primary, technology classroom

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Swathi RR Wendy Fox-Turnbull Kerry Earl-Rinehart Nigel Calder


Teachers and students’ interactions in the classroom include a large number of questions, some of which are a key part of formative assessment. While educators and researchers believe that all kinds of questions have a place in the classroom, multiple studies indicate that higher-order questions that prompt analysing, synthesising or evaluating lead to better student learning outcomes. Higher-order questions can lead to extended dialogue between the teacher and the student and could potentially facilitate a better understanding of the students’ conceptions and alternative conceptions. Technology Observation and Conversation Framework (TOCF) was identified as a framework of higher-order questions specially designed for a technology classroom.  In this qualitative, design-based research, the TOCF was modified for alignment with the New Zealand curriculum and provided to two primary teachers teaching ages 9-10. The aim of this iterative process was to develop an understanding of how teachers used this formative assessment tool in the classroom in an authentic environment. The teachers were interviewed periodically, and modifications were made to the format of the framework. The findings suggest that teachers mainly found TOCF useful when they used it. They found that it provided an avenue to deepen student thinking around technology and also aided in expanding teacher’s understanding of technology. They, however, faced some constraints in implementing the required changes. The findings suggest that the modified TOCF can be a useful resource for a primary, technology teacher but any introduction of a new resource needs to be implemented slowly in the classroom.

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RR, Swathi et al. Development of formative assessment tool for a primary, technology classroom. Design and Technology Education: an International Journal, [S.l.], v. 25, n. 2, p. 101-116, july 2020. ISSN 1360-1431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 apr. 2023.