Benefits of Formative Assessment in the Classroom

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Check Out the New Blog According to Lang, et al (2008), the formative assessment process came from educators working on ways to accelerate student achievement and help predict how students will perform on standards-based statewide tests.

The benefits of formative assessment is obvious in the classroom. The usage of formative assessments in class as a way to guide instruction and to authentically determine student mastery offers many advantages, far beyond higher test scores. According to Chappius & Chappius (2007), although all formative assessment practices have the potential to increase student learning, some of the distinct benefits of formative assessment ar as follows.

  • Timeliness of results enables teachers to adjust instruction quickly, while learning is in progress.
  • Students who are assessed are the ones who benefit from the adjustments.
  • Students can use th results to adjust and improve their own learning

In very simple terms, formative assessments, unlike summative assessments, allow the student and educator to form a more detailed understanding of the student’s abilities, which can be used to inform remediation, re-teaching, and instructional strategy.

With formative assessment, we work with students, we don’t do something to students. We seek to use the data from formative assessments to help the student master the curriculum and help the student identify his/her strengths and weaknesses.

This is a shift in the classic educational paradigm. Formative assessment allows students to concentrate their efforts on specific areas and hence improve overall performance.

How can you make the most out of formative assessments in your classroom?

From Professional Learning Board’s online continuing education course for teachers: Formative Assessment

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3 Responses to “Benefits of Formative Assessment in the Classroom”
  1. Tara Olchowy says:

    What’s the difference between AFL and AOL?
    There is a significant difference. AFL is meant to advance learning, AOL is to assess learning. AFL is the beginning and the middle of the learning process. AOL is the end. Much like travel, you must know where you are going to map out how you will get there. Before you begin a lesson/a unit/ a semester you must know where you will end before you can determine the stops along the way and that is why backward design is essential to successful use of AFL.

    But how will I get my students to do their work if I don’t assign marks for everything?
    Neither AFL nor AOL are classroom management strategies and should not be used as such. Success in the use of these assessment strategies is tied to good classroom management practices though. Establish an environment where students feel safe, where they are expected to participate and where non-participation is not an option and you will be able to use AFL.

  2. AOL = Assessment OF Learning
    AFL = Assessment FOR Learning

    Is that correct?

  3. Sue Klund says:

    I taught remedial reading in 7th and 8th grades. Without knowing what they didn’t know – I couldn’t provide specific instruction. Everyone did not need the same emphasis. It narrowed down what they needed from me and I could provide specific instruction to those who really needed it. They liked knowing that they didn’t need some of he instruction. As in medicine – you diagnose and then give the correct treatment. They could feel themselves getting better. Over the years since I retired I have heard from several who called to tell me they just finished college or are teaching themselves.

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