Dynamic Assesment

Assessment is a vital part of education. This vital part of education should be integrated with learning. Assessment procedures such as formative assessment and summative assessment give feedback and information on a student's learning ability after learning happens. What if we need to measure ability while learning happens? Luckily, we have "dynamic assessment". According to Tzuriel (2001), dynamic assessment can be stated as an "assessment of thinking, perception, learning, and problem solving by an active teaching process aimed at modifying cognitive functioning." (p.6). Dynamic assessment does not indicate a single methodology, it encompasses a variety of approaches that incorporates mediation into the assessment (Poehner, 2008). It is a way of assessment of individuals "at times hidden potential capacity in a fluid process-oriented, diagnostic, engaged and flexible manner in which aiding or guidance via instruction" (Murphy, 2011, p.9). Dynamic assessment differentiates from the standardized test in some dimensions such as goals, orientation, context, interpretation of results, and nature of the task. According to, the goals of dynamic assessment are to assess change, mediation, deficient cognitive functions, and non-intellective factors. In standardized tests, results are used for future success and for making a comparison between students. However, in dynamic assessment, orientation is not the result, orientation is the process of learning, metacognitive process, and understanding the mistakes (Tzuriel, 2001). If one wants to understand the learners' development and support the ongoing process, dynamic assessment is needed. The history of dynamic assessment can be traced back to the Socratic dialogues. Socrates asks leading questions to launch a new way of thinking on a specific topic and continues to explore the topic with more questions and suggestions (Poehner, 2008). The theoretical background of dynamic assessment is mostly explained with Vygotsky's Socio-cultural Theory and his zone of the proximal development concept. According to Poehner (2008), Vygotsky realized that observing students while problem-solving reveal developed abilities, but it does not reveal developing abilities. According to Poehner (2008), one of the main perspectives of Vygotsky is that instruction, thus learning, has a leading role in development. Therefore, a difficult task should be offered with different kinds of support so that the scope individual's abilities can be revealed. In addition to this, Vygotsky's zone of proximal development is "a mean of capturing both developed and developing abilities" in the context of assessment (Poehner, 2008, p.42) Therefore, assessment procedures that need teachers to mediate students' performances to reveal the scope of student abilities should be used instead of using traditional assessments which isolate individuals (Poehner, 2008). According to Poehner (2008), there are 5 models of dynamic assessment such as Budoff's Learning Potential Measure Approach, Guthke's Lerntest Approach, Brown's Graduated Prompt Approach, Carlson and Wiedl's Testing-the-Limits Approach, and Feuerstein's Mediated Learning Experience. For more information about these models, please read the book Dynamic assessment: A Vygotskian approach to understanding and promoting L2 development by Matthew E. Poehner.

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