Formative Assessment


providing ongoing, interactive feedback to improve teaching and learning

Formative assessment (assessment for learning) monitors student learning on a daily basis to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by teachers to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. Formative assessment helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses so that they can target areas that need improvement. It provides teachers with information about the learning that is (or is not) taking place so that problems can be addressed and teaching can be adapted accordingly. Effective formative assessment happens minute-by-minute and day-by-day, not at the end of a learning sequence.

Formative assessment encourages student engagement as the teacher clarifies learning goals, provides students with frequent feedback on their progress toward the goals and adjusts learning tasks so that they are at the optimal level of challenge for students. Formative assessment increases a student’s belief that they can succeed. When students receive daily feedback and see evidence of progress, they are more motivated to take on more learning challenges.

Formative assessment:

  • reflects a pedagogy in which assessment improves student learning
  • involves formal and informal assessment activities as part of the learning process
  • informs the planning of future learning
  • includes clear goals for the learning activity
  • involves the establishment of clear learning intentions for all lessons
  • provides effective feedback that motivates the learner and can lead to improvement
  • reflects a belief that all students can improve
  • encourages self-assessment and peer assessment as part of regular classroom routines
  • involves teachers, students and parents reflecting on evidence
  • is inclusive of all learners.


>>Back to Educational Framework