1.0 Introduction 简介
The importance of the assessment for learning in modern educational research and practice is increasingly recognized that the assessment for learning helps teachers to understand the basic situation of students, to understand the difficulties and current conditions of student learning and development, and thus solving problems in a targeted way, such as the appropriate adjustment of teaching and learning activities to improve the performance of students (McDonald and Boud, 2003). It is well-known that there are various learning assessment methods, including formative assessment, summative assessment and so on. Different assessment methods have different advantages and disadvantages, for different learning methods, it should take the appropriate assessment methods to ensure that learning assessment can play the desired role. However, in the practice of reality, because of failing to take the correct way of assessment, it leads to that the assessment does not play the desired role, as what Dylan Wiliam said, “We tried assessment for learning and it did not work. But that's because (they) didn’t try the assessment for learning that does work. Taking China's high school education as an example, currently, the education departments and teachers are aware of the importance of autonomous learning methods. They try to cultivate and improve students' autonomous learning ability. However, they still use summative assessment rather than formative assessment as the way for learning assessment, which leads to that students' autonomous learning ability has not been improved as what they have expected (Zou and Zhang, 2013). In this study, it takes the assessment for learning in Chinese high school as the research object to study how to establish and implement the formative assessment towards Chinese high school students’ autonomous learning methods in order to achieve the purpose of improving autonomous learning ability of Chinese high school students’. This study first of all introduces the characteristics of autonomous learning, summative assessment, and formative assessment. Then, it criticizes the current assessment methods of high school education in China. Finally, it recommends on how to establish and implement formative assessment to assess Chinese high school students’ autonomous learning methods.
2.0 Body 正文
2.1 Autonomous learning
Autonomous learning is a way of learning that corresponds to traditional learning. Traditional learning methods are too prominent and stressed to accept and master, neglecting and ignoring discovery and exploration, which in practice leads to the extreme processing of students’ understanding process, so that students’ learning process becomes a passive acceptance, reciting process (Boud, 1995). This learning suffocates people's thinking and wisdom, destroying students’ learning interest and enthusiasm. It not only can not promote students’ development, but also becomes the resistance of students’ development. It makes learning be based on the objectivity, acceptability, dependency of students, leading to that students’ initiative, independence has been eroded, which seriously depresses students’ interest and enthusiasm in learning (Boud, 1995). Autonomous learning takes students as the main body of learning, through students’ independently analyzing, exploring, practicing, questioning, creating and other methods to achieve learning goals. Traditional teaching emphasizes accepted, passive learning styles, the goal of autonomous learning is to change the situation of too much emphasis on passive learning in education, it advocates students’ taking the initiative to participate, willingness in exploring, diligent attitude, it trains students’ ability to collect and process information, the ability to acquire new knowledge, the ability to analyze and solve problems, and the ability to communicate and collaborate with other people (Nicol, 1997; Boud and Molloy, 2013).
Cultivating autonomous learning ability is needed for social development. Faced with the challenges of the new century, people should adapt to the rapid development of science and technology situation, as well as adapt to the requirements of professional conversion and knowledge update frequency, relying on school knowledge is unable for people to meet the above-mentioned purposes, thus everyone must study for life. Lifelong learning ability become the basic qualities that a person must have. In the future development, whether students are competitive, whether they have great potential, whether they have the ability to master knowledge in the information age fundamentally depends on whether students have the ability to study lifelong, so that students should know how to learn in the foundational education stage, which has become a problem that many countries in the world today attach great importance to. Lifelong learning is generally not carried out in schools, there is no teacher accompanying, it depends on a person's autonomous learning ability (Black and Wiliam, 1998; Ivanic et al., 2000). It can be seen that the ability of autonomous learning has become the basic ability of human survival in the 21st century. At the same time as educators, they should more soberly know that in today's era of knowledge, any education can not pass on all human knowledge to learners, the task of education must be cultivating students’ ability to learn, rather than making students learn knowledge. Cultivating students' learning ability is the essence of learning (Black, McCormick, James and Pedder, 2006).
2.2 Formative assessment
Traditional assessment is summative assessment, it refers to the activities carried out for making value judgments on effectiveness of learning. The purpose of the assessment is to identify and select, rather than to promote learning and improve performance; the assessment is concerned about the learning results, rather than the learning process; the assessment methods focus on pen and paper examinations or tests, assessment for learning and examination are often regarded as a same thing, it seems that only exams can be objective, scientific, and just in screening students to provide information on learning regulation (Harlen and Crick, 2003). This makes many students study for scores, and to a large extent, the assessment fails to have the functions of promoting learning and improving performance, it becomes a means for teachers to compel students to learn and it is also a source of intense competition among students to go against cultivating students’ innovative awareness, creative thinking and creative ability, nor is it conducive to students in-depth study. On the basis of reflection on summative assessment, formative assessment has been developed and valued (Dweck 1999; Torrance, 2012; Boud and Molloy, 2013).
Formative assessment refers to the evaluation carried out in the process when an activity is implemented to correct the activity to make the effectiveness of better. The main purpose of formative assessment is to clarify the problems and improvements in the operation of the event, and to revise or adjust the activity plan in a timely manner to achieving a more satisfactory effect (McDonald and Boud 2003). Formative assessment is the evaluation of a student's learning process, to identify the student's potential to improve and develop the student’s learning. The task of formative assessment is to evaluate the performance of a student in daily learning process, his achievements and reflected emotions, attitudes, strategies, etc. (Boud and Molloy, 2013). The purpose is to motivate students’ learning and help students’ to effectively control their own learning process, so that students will get a sense of accomplishment to enhance self-confidence and cultivate the spirit of cooperation (Taras; 2001, 2002, 2003). Formative assessment is not simply from the needs of an evaluator, but more paying attention to the needs of those evaluated to attach importance to the process of learning and the experience of students’ in learning; it has an emphasis on the interaction between people and a variety of factors of interaction in assessment, as well as the communication between teachers and students (Torrance, 2012). In formative assessment, a teacher's duty is to determine tasks, collect information, discuss with students, play the role of guiding in discussion and to evaluate together with students (Sadler, 1998; Sadler, 1989).