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Formative Assessment Process

Formative assessment is a planned, ongoing process used by all students and teachers during learning and teaching to elicit and use evidence of student learning to improve student understanding of intended disciplinary learning outcomes and support students to become more self-directed learners.   (CCSSO FAST SCASS Austin, Texas June 2017)

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What's New

Two 4-part webinar series that supports the use of the formative assessment process in online learning environments

Use this document to begin a 3 point discussion of formative assessment

Becoming Aware

The resources below provide a beginning understanding of the formative assessment process. The purpose is information only. Used by itself, this background information is not likely to enhance formative assessment practices.

This 15-20 minute module provides an overview of the formative assessment process and its essential components and elements that contributed to successful implantation.

The document shares some classroom examples of formative assessment in practice. The vignettes are very short descriptions of formative assessment, some of which represent formative practices and some do not.

Companion article by Paul Black and Dylan William based on the influential research on formative assessment

The Michigan State Board of Education endorsed in May 2016 a set of assessment literacy standards for administrators, teachers, students, parents, and policymakers

Written by the Michigan Assessment Consortium as a summary description of formative assessment

Margaret Heritage describes why it is critical to make the distinction that formative assessment is not a tool but a process as part of effective teaching and learning

 Emerging Applications

Two 4-part webinar series that supports the use of the formative assessment process in online learning environments

The resources below provide a deeper understanding of the formative assessment process.

This is a summary of observations from international formative assessment experts that may impact how state and federal government officials, school leaders, and classroom teachers support and practice formative assessment

Margaret Heritage presents definitions and attributes of learning progressions and how they support instructional planning and formative assessment

While written for policymakers, the primer provides a general description of formative assessment and its place in a comprehensive assessment system.

This is a collection of labels that are currently used to describe various educational assessment types.

Links to Margaret Heritage's presentation "The Role, Purpose, and Power of Assessment for Learning in an Assessment System" followed by links to an interview with Margaret.

Extending Learning Opportunities

 It is recommended that the deepest applications of the formative assessment process occur in learning opportunities that are job embedded and collaborative. Each is a long-term, supported learning experience that provides opportunity to learn, implement, and reflect on teaching and learning.

MDE's Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME) since 2008 has provided professional learning opportunities for teams of educators, led by a coach, to develop, read about, implement, and reflect on the formative assessment process. Teams are developed locally and share multiple configurations of members. Learning teams are provided a learning guide and access to a FAME resource website and encouraged to stay tougher for up to three years.


 Related Resources