Video thumbnail for Interview Question 2–Margaret Heritage (2/13/17)

What is Formative Assessment and Why Does it Matter?

Formative assessment is a process used during teaching and learning to improve student outcomes. It’s one of the most effective instructional interventions that schools can adopt. View this short video by formative assessment expert Margaret Heritage, and check out our informational briefs to learn more.

What is Formative Assessment?

What Administrators Need to Know about the Formative Assessment Process Thumbnail

What Administrators Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process

School administrators juggle many competing responsibilities while working to fulfill most districts’ stated mission to provide a quality education to all students. Toward that goal, they are charged with helping their staffs select the instructional methods, programs, and support needed to help all students learn. This is where the formative assessment process enters the picture.

 

Themes:
  • Formative assessment process and improved learning
  • Greatest impact on low-performing students
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What Policymakers Need to Know about the Formative Assessment Process Thumbnail

What Local and State Policymakers Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process

Did you know that the formative assessment process is one of the most effective instructional interventions that schools can adopt? This revelation is just one of the many important facts policymakers need to know about the formative assessment process and how it fits into a balanced system of assessment of learning and assessment for learning.

 

Themes:
  • Effective instructional intervention to close achievement gaps
  • Using the formative assessment process in concert with other initiatives
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What Students and Their Families Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process Thumbnail

What Students and Their Families Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process

A growing number of families, teachers, and future employers believe that doing well in school should be primarily about learning (mastering academic content) rather than earning grades (ensuring high grades). And the best way to transition from an earning to a learning perspective is to engage in the formative assessment process.

Themes:
  • Shifting emphasis from earning grades to learning academic content
  • Student ownership and responsibility for learning
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What Teachers Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process

Formative assessment is an ongoing classroom process comprised of several distinct practices that work in concert to promote robust student learning. Some parts of the formative assessment process may be familiar to teachers, yet it will require them to re-envision their practice.

Themes:
  • Formative assessment is an ongoing process rather than an isolated event such as a single test or indicator
  • Teachers AND students engage in the formative assessment process
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What Administrators Need to Know about the Formative Assessment Process
"The purpose of the formative assessment process is to provide information to students to help move their learning forward. By identifying students’ strengths and needs, classroom teachers are able to adjust instruction in order to help students to improve learning and increase achievement of the intended learning targets."
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What Local and State Policymakers Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process
“Because the focus of the formative assessment process is on informing instruction on an on-going basis, it can be used in concert with other educational initiatives that focus on improvements to instruction."
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What Students and Their Families Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process
Learning takes time to develop; the formative assessment process is all about this development and much less about documenting scores and grades along the way.
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What Teachers Need to Know About the Formative Assessment Process
Intentionally integrating the components and elements of the formative assessment process takes study, practice, and reflection; teachers should take a long-view approach rather than the quick-fix approach promoted at more traditional professional development sessions.
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