How to use formative assessment in the classroom: five effective ways (2023)

Formative assessment is one of the most critical parts of teaching and learning. It helps both teachers and students to achieve the final goals.

Each teacher uses a different oneapproachingevaluate assessment in the classroom. But more generally, two types of assessment are commonly practiced: formative andsummative assessments. Formative assessment helps close learning gaps and assess student progress during the learning process, unlike summative assessment.

Therefore, modern teachers use formative assessments to create an intellectual learning environment in their classrooms. So let's take a closer look at formative assessment before we adopt it in the classroom.

What is formative assessment?

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Formative assessment refers to a set of methods that teachers use to monitor student progress in the process. Formative assessment monitors the comprehensive review of a student, including academic, special needs, etc.

Using formative assessments in classrooms helps teachers assess a student's academic growth in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Which subjects are difficult for a student to learn?
  • What are the learning standards for the individual students in the classroom?
  • What skills are difficult for them to acquire?

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Once teachers have completed the assessment, they can adjust lessons based on individual student needs and goals.

Formative assessment, in short, is something teachers ask or do to gather information about a student. Asking your students to raise their hands if they have questions, for example, is also a form of formative assessment.

Related reading: How to create an outdoor classroom: a step-by-step guide

Formative assessment examples

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Without even knowing it, you are taking various formative assessments in your classroom. Here are some common examples of formative assessment:

  • Ask your students to bring up topics or topics that are difficult for them to understand.
  • Give students a specific worksheet or journal to express their thoughts.
  • Request class monitors to evaluate the performance of their interns.
  • Ask students to self-assess their growth and performance, etc.

Formative assessment assessment

How to use formative assessment in the classroom: five effective ways (4)

Formative assessment is not a new concept. has been a part ofteaching methodssince 1960. However, this teaching technique entered the mainstream in recent years.

Digitization, intentional studies and modernization of the education system have boosted formative assessments. Schools are increasingly encouraging more teachers to use formative assessment strategies. They motivate teachers to adapt learning to create better learning opportunities for all.

Why should you use formative assessment strategies in your classroom?

How to use formative assessment in the classroom: five effective ways (5)

Formative assessment is a debatable topic among educators. Some consider it a vague method of evaluating performance, and others believe it is not an effective way to monitor performance. But regardless of what people say, it is indisputable that formative assessment provides the following benefits:

1. Goal-based learning

Constant tracking of progress highlights final learning goals. Help students remember what they want to achieve with a particular course or class. On the other hand, teachers can make sure that students are moving in the right direction or need extra help to achieve their academic goals.

2. Student-centered learning

Through formative assessments, teachers can understand each student's requirements. They can know the pace of learning and the caliber of a student. This helps to promote astudent-centered learningclass environment.

3. Improves the level of education

When teachers collect constant feedback through various methods, they will stay abreast of students' academic growth in real time. By using this knowledge, they can build a bridge between the learning objectives and the students' knowledge. Teachers can implement different strategies to help slow students down, such as visual or auditory learning.

4. Raise students' motivation

When students receive regular updates on their progress and notes on how to achieve their learning goals, their engagement improves. Formative assessments keep students motivated and inspired to improve every day.

Related reading: How to create effective project-based learning plans for classrooms

5. Personal learning

Formative assessment allows teachers to practice personalized learning in the classroom. They can build individual relationships with each student in their classroom and understand their strengths and weaknesses. This helps teachers use students' strengths to teach them new concepts.

6. Self-evaluation

Self-assessment is the best way to improve student performance. In this, students assess their own progress during the semester and compare it to the standards set by their teachers. This will reduce the burden on teachers to monitor student performance and improve their productivity.

7. Effective decision making

When teachers have rigorous data in their hands, they can make effective and timely decisions. If teachers find that a student is struggling with a subject, they can use different strategies to teach the student. And if a student is still struggling, you can suggest alternative solutions before it's too late.

Types of formative assessments

How to use formative assessment in the classroom: five effective ways (6)
Related reading: What makes summative assessment a powerful tool for teachers?

1. Questionnaires

Impromptu quizzes are the preferred way to conduct formative assessments. After teaching a lesson, many teachers request tests to find out how many students have understood the concept.

2. Investigations

Polls are useful for gathering immediate feedback. During online surveys, surveys can help teachers better understand students' views on a particular topic.

3. Admission tickets

Before starting a new lesson, teachers can ask questions to check how much students already know. This helps teachers assess the level of instruction needed for students to understand a lesson.

4. Exit slip

Teachers use this formative assessment technique at the end of a lesson. In this approach, students are asked to write down a few points or share opinions about the lesson. This will allow teachers to assess how much students have learned and what they missed.

5. Measuring sticks

Test strips are a quick and easy method of knowing how much students have understood in the classroom. In this formative assessment strategy, teachers can hand out a worksheet to students at the end of the day or week. It's like a mini-test to monitor progress.

6. Label Comments

It is a method of peer evaluation where students evaluate the performance of others. Label feedback provides detailed information as students are better able to discuss with their peers than with their teachers.

7. Interviews and group discussions

You can arrange an individual interview with your students after a longer period to understand their needs. Having a 10-minute interaction with your students can help you learn a lot about them. In addition to this, you can organize group discussions to get a better insight into your students' overall development.

Related reading: Engaging social-emotional learning activities for the classroom

8. Practical exercise

Teachers can ask students to use the lesson in the real world. With this exercise, students can learn how to implement an academic lesson in a real-life situation. Teachers can also know whether students understood the basic concept or not.

9. Investigations

Another method of formative assessment is to ask students to take a short survey after class. You can also send an online survey to parents. This will broaden the scope of your evaluation.

How to implement formative assessment strategies in your classroom?

How to use formative assessment in the classroom: five effective ways (7)

The success of your formative assessment strategies depends on how you implement them. Therefore, it is crucial to implement formative assessments in the right order in your class, such as:

1. Define performance criteria

Teachers must explain the performance evaluation criteria to students to work on personal improvement. Describe e.g. the test score requirements for students. Teachers can also hold whole-class discussions to define performance criteria.

2. Promote students' self-evaluation

It would be helpful to ask students to use the pre-determined criteria to assess their own progress. This practice will save time and make students understand their shortcomings. Teachers should ask students to rank their best work to find their strengths.

3. Give full feedback

The best feedback is corrective and prospective. So don't just point out problem areas in your comments. You should also provide a detailed solution to resolve the issue. Also share feedback on feedback to confirm whether students have learned anything from previous feedback.

4. Encourage peer-to-peer discussions

Teachers should invite students to discuss the formative learning process together. These discussions help teachers understand and respond to students' concerns about courses. Teachers can gain valuable information through group discussions to define learning objectives.

5. Collect constant data

You cannot provide accurate feedback to students based on past information. You need the latest data to help students and design formative assessment strategies. Therefore, you should feel free to collect relevant data from the students in order to give them the right feedback. Teachers must make a constant effort to monitor their students' performance.

Related reading: How to successfully execute a flipped classroom model

Let's adopt formative assessments today!

If you hope to provide your students with a personalized and futuristic learning environment, formative assessment is one way to do it. These evaluations will allow you to teach in a better way. You can help each student grow with regular evaluations.

That's why we've already shared how to implement a successful formative assessment strategy in your classroom. Now let's take a leap of faith and raise educational standards through formative assessments.

With SplashLearn's assessment-based learning, you can now improve your students' learning outcomes and help them become fearless learners!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the purpose of formative and summative assessment?

Formative assessment aims to monitor students' ongoing learning progress and provide immediate feedback. The purpose of the summative evaluation is to analyze a student's learning at the end of a course. It is important that teachers focus on both assessments to improve the level of learning.

What is formative assessment in the classroom?

Formative assessment provides teachers with documentation of where students are in their learning programs. Formative assessment in the classroom therefore means supporting reflective learning. These assessments help teachers make adjustments to the curriculum based on student performance.

Is the homework a formative assessment?

Yes, homework is a formative assessment if used in the right way. In formative assessment tasks, students have more opportunities to practice, receive feedback and improve. Homework is the best tool for testing new skills without putting pressure on students.

What is a good formative assessment?

A good formative assessment strategy involves asking students to answer questions such as "why" and "how". High-level questions require deep thinking and give teachers better understanding.


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