ERIC Number: ED470206
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Concept of Formative Assessment. ERIC Digest.
This Digest addresses the benefits of formative assessment and provides examples and resources to support its implementation. Formative assessment is the diagnostic use of assessment to provide feedback to teachers and students over the course of instruction. Since the goal of formative assessment is to gain an understanding of what students know and dont know in order to make responsive changes in teaching and learning, techniques such as teacher observation and classroom discussion have an important place alongside analysis of tests and homework. P. Black and D. William (1998) encourage teachers to use questioning and classroom discussion to increase their students knowledge and improve understanding. They suggest several strategies to involve all students. Teachers can assess students understanding in a number of ways that include interviews and brief, in-class writing assignments designed to determine understanding. Tests and homework can be used formatively, as can portfolios. Because formative assessment is tightly linked with instructional practices, teachers must consider how their classroom activities, assignments, and tests support learning aims and allow students to communicate what they know, and they must use this information to improve teaching and learning. Some useful resources for teachers interested in formative assessment are listed. (Contains 15 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Elementary Secondary Education, Evaluation Utilization, Feedback, Formative Evaluation, Student Evaluation
ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, 1129 Shriver Laboratory, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 800-464-3742 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, College Park, MD.