How to Use Formative Assessments in Your Classroom

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Description

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.

Advantages

  • 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.

Disadvantages

  • Can be time-consuming to assess learners’ abilities continually.
  • Formative assessments habitually lack the authority of summative assessment pieces.

Implementation

  1. Formative assessments can be stops to get feedback and ongoing questioning of learners.
  2. Use open-ended questions and check your learners’ understanding of the task.
  3. Use guided or independent practice, pop quizzes, or learner-instructor conferences.
  4. 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.”
  5. Provide an entrance or exit ticket when the learners answer a question about the lesson.
  6. Provide a physical or digital place where learners can send questions on the current topic.
  7. 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.

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