What are formative assessments? What’s the purpose of formative assessments? When should you have formative assessments? How do you relate formative assessments to the learning cycle? How do you assess in a class room? What are the different ways to present formative assessments?
We’ll look at the answers to these questions in this blog.
Assessment is the measurement of the learners’ achievement of the learning outcomes. The major purpose of assessments is to reinforce learning and also to evaluate the course itself.
The use of assessments to provide feedback to students and teachers in the process of learning is called formative assessment. Information gained through this assessment provides opportunities to make adjustments in the ways instruction is delivered in classroom training.
Formative assessments – assessments FOR learning are conducted to monitor the instructional process and to determine whether learning has occurred as planned. The primary objective of formative assessments, is to provide instant feedback and opportunities to reinforce learning.
Sometimes learners may select the right answer with a different understanding of the concept or logic or even by sheer guesswork. In such cases, the feedback, “yes, you’re right”, doesn’t serve the purpose. Feedback should be given so that it tells learners why the option is correct, or incorrect. This way, learners get a chance to learn and apply knowledge continuously through formative assessments while completing the learning cycle.
Formative assessments are diagnostic in nature and carried throughout the course, unlike summative assessments that are conducted at the end of the teaching. Usually, after every learning objective, formative assessments are conducted. However, as a learning objective is a broad subject , which may include topic wise objectives. So, the designer needs to take a call on whether to conduct formative assessments immediately after every topic (learning point), or after each learning objective is completed.
Similarly, formative assessments in the classroom, provide the information needed to adjust teaching and learning. They help teachers determine the next steps during the learning process, thereby helping fine-tune the instruction to students’ needs. These assessments provide important feedback for both teachers and students. Formative assessments are monitored by teachers, to ensure a continuous cycle of feedback and application.
As far as eLearning is considered, various types of questions such as match the following, drag and drop, etc., can be used in formative assessments, because there are no tracking issues, unlike summative assessments, where generally multiple choice questions are used to avoid tracking issues. We’ll look at more question types that can be used in formative assessments in the next blog.
Formative assessments are conducted to monitor the instructional process. They are diagnostic in nature and are carried throughout the course to determine whether learning has occurred as planned.
If you have other any other points related to the importance of formative assessments, do share your thoughts.