Table of Contents

Defining Formative Assessment Practices

The Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers (FAST) group (discussed in Unit 3) adopted the following definition of formative assessment:

"Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes" (2008).

Review the Attributes of Effective Formative Assessment.

According to Dr. W. James Popham, key elements of the FAST definition are:

  • Formative assessment is a process, not any particular test.
  • It is used not just by teachers but by both teachers and students.
  • Formative assessment takes place during instruction.
  • It provides assessment-based feedback to teachers and students.
  • The function of this feedback is to help teachers and students make adjustments that will improve students’ achievement of intended curricular aims.

Transformative Assessment 2008

Time to View

In the following video clip, classroom teachers discuss the value of the formative assessment process in their classrooms. Note specific examples of formative assessment practices that the teachers describe.

(Run time: 5:02)

Source: Measured Progress, Org. 2010
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Select the play button on the video to begin.