Formative assessment involves assessing learners’ learning during the learning process, not only at the end. Formative assessments can occur at one point in a unit of work or during a lesson. This type of evaluation helps the student identify their strengths and weaknesses right away. Areas that need improvement are evident instantly.
- Allows instructors to adjust their teaching if learners are not quite up to where you expected, or if they are exceeding your expectations.
- Learners get feedback on their progress before the summative assessment, allowing them to adjust.
- Provides the instructor with a better understanding of their learners. If a learner fails a summative assessment but the instructor knows the learner could complete the task at the formative stage, more investigation can take place to see why there is a discrepancy in academic performance.
- Can be time-consuming to assess learners’ abilities continually.
- Formative assessments habitually lack the authority of summative assessment pieces.
- Formative assessments can be stops to get feedback and ongoing questioning of learners.
- Use open-ended questions and check your learners’ understanding of the task.
- Use guided or independent practice, pop quizzes, or learner-instructor conferences.
- Use a quick game to gauge understanding. You can have learners sketch a concept map; quiz a neighbor with five questions; complete a 3-2-1 activity after class where they write three things they learned, two things they want to learn, and one question they have; older learners can summarize what was discovered in a 140-character “tweet.”
- Provide an entrance or exit ticket when the learners answer a question about the lesson.
- Provide a physical or digital place where learners can send questions on the current topic.
- Write a one-minute paper responding to the essential idea of the day, something that was perplexing, something they think may be on the exam, an aha or surprising thought.