Formative assessment – light up your teaching practice

Are you the type of educator that is tired of only handing out tests as the only tool of evaluation? And also tired of only one type of assessing students? Read this interesting article to learn how to test  differently your students.

Do you know what you can actually assess your students while learning the content?   Formative assessment is a method of continually evaluating students and the teacher can be learning-oriented, which is excellent for those who want to achieve success when it comes to student’s learning.

Written by: Michele Canola Rojas 

Formative assessment may be integrated in all parts of the lesson: before the lesson, during the lesson, and after it. 

Before the lesson, the learner would be able to understand its purpose, and the teacher would determine it. During learning process, learners would monitor their progress, the teachers on the other hand tracks learning. 

After learning, students should identify learning achievement along the teachers, when assess if the learning objectives were achieved. It is an outgoing assessment to check students understanding through the instruction unit. It helps teachers make adjustments in instructional paces.


Formative assessment cycle By: Dr. Reshan Richards

Examples of formative assessment:

Check lists

Exit slips

Journal entries

Self-check scales


Verbal written summaries

Hand signals to show

Heather Confey defines it:

“Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides explicit feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment is a method of continually evaluating students’ academic needs and development within the classroom …”

Formative assessments can be quick and Informal, educators do not have to prepare an impressive assessment after investigation content, and students can find it tiresome. It can be used to cause reflection; we could come and go without realizing student’s misunderstandings and doubts. Reshan Richards makes it very objective:

“For my purposes, qualitative formative assessment is the ongoing awareness, understanding, and support of learning that is difficult or impossible to quantify. An informal observation or the look on a learner’s face can inform a teacher about a student’s progress, yet such signals are challenging to capture or convey to the relevant agents (i.e., the learner, the teacher, or the parent).”

It is also used to test our practice. Yet it informs about students learning and the effectiveness of instruction. We should try over and over different types of approaching contents; it may not be effective the same way every time.

If students did not understand the content, we assess them, we find out, and try again with another approach,  after all, it makes the teaching effective.

This type of assessment is not grated, that comes the misunderstand for us; we try to grade everything we assess. That would be Summative assessment.


  1. “The Value of Formative Assessment.” Retrieved 6 April 2009 from FairTest: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing Website: [return]

  2. “Formative assessment” – Heather Confey

  3. “The Qualitative Formative Assessment Toolkit: Document Learning with Mobile Technology” – Dr. Reshan Richards –



One thought on “Formative assessment – light up your teaching practice

  1. Pingback: Brainstorm– What we have learned – Formative assessment | Bilingual Education Activities

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