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Formative Assessment - A Brief Review

Formative Assessment - A Brief Review

Author: carolyn fruin

This tutorial will introduce to you the what, why and how of formative assessment. This is intended to be a review for anyone who is less familiar with this type of instruction. In the following tutorials, we will look into specific tools and how to access and analyze the data these tools provide.

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Formative assessment is purposefully directed toward the student. It does not emphasize how teachers deliver information but, rather, how students receive that information, how well they understand it, and how they can apply it. With formative assessment, teachers gather information about their students' progress and learning needs and use this information to make instructional adjustments. They also show students how to accurately and honestly use self-assessments to improve their own learning. Instructional flexibility and student-focused feedback work together to build confident and motivated learners.

In brief: Formative assessment helps teachers
  • Consider each student's learning needs and styles and adapt instruction accordinglyTrack individual student achievement
  • Provide appropriately challenging and motivational instructional activities
  • Design intentional and objective student self-assessments
  • Offer all students opportunities for improvement

Formative Assessment in the k12 Classroom

This 3-part series is designed to give every teacher something they can use in the classroom. Vicki Davis found that formative assessment is an area that many teachers are lacking that can substantially improve classroom learning. We can do better than the old “show of hands” they were using in the 1980’s when she was in high school. Formative assessment took her classroom forward by leaps and bounds. The following podcasts are short and informative.

Episode 1 Top Tips, Tools and Techniques for Easy Formative Assessment (page)     Podcast Tony Vincent

Episode 2 Top Tips for Fast Formative Assessment that Works (page)

Podcast Steven W. Anderson

Episode 3 4 Key Factors for Fantastic Formative Assessment (page)

Podcast Dr. Douglas Reeves


What does research say about Formative Assessment?


Guide to Formative Assessment