TEFA: Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment

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Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment (TEFA) is a pedagogy that my colleagues and I in the UMass Physics Education Research Group — now the UNCG Physics Education Research Group — have been developing and refining since approximately 1993. It’s a method for using “clickers” (classroom response systems, a.k.a. CRSs) to facilitate engaged, student-active, dialogue-rich learning of science in classrooms of any size.

The most definitive articulation of the TEFA pedagogy (written in a “scholarly” style for researchers, not for practicing teachers) is this paper:

During the course of a recent research project, we developed the following short “TEFANotes” introducing teachers to various aspects of TEFA practice:

This paper provides advice on crafting effective clicker questions, aimed at physics instructors:

This “paper” is something I whipped out in one long all-nighter for a professional development meeting with teachers, trying in part to be provocative, which — to my surprise — turned out to be at least somewhat useful. Caveat emptor:

Here’s a poster that attempts to graphically summarize the TEFA pedagogy:

Finally, here are some of the papers by my colleagues as they developed and studied the pedagogy that eventually became TEFA (some not available electronically, alas):

This material is based in part upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. TPC-0456124 and TPC-1005652. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.