Formative Assessment is a process-driven test that happens in the course of learning and teaching in order to explores how students are performing.

Through formal and informal procedures, formative assessments can provide teachers with information during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment. Student voice is a key factor in formative assessments, because it reflects, suggests and sustains the learning trajectory throughout learning, teaching and leadership.

Formative assessments typically involve qualitative feedback (rather than scores) for both student and teacher. These focus on the details of content and performance instead of the outcomes of testing.

Studies have shown that formative assessment practices that meaningfully involve students can help all learners. The results are most dramatic with struggling or disengaged students. (Chappuis & Chappuis, 2002)


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Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at

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