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Building on Learner Thinking: A Framework for Improving Learning and Assessment


The authors describe an approach to formative assessment, Building on Learner Thinking (BOLT), that treats assessment and instruction as two facets of a single enterprise. The BOLT approach is based on research on learning and cognition which finds that students bring many kinds of preconceptions to the classroom that affect the way they think about new learning experiences. Formative assessment provides a mechanism for teachers to address the preconceptions that are problematic, thus improving student performance.