Understanding Formative Assessment: A Special Report

Formative assessment is one of the most widely used—but poorly understood—instructional techniques. This special report highlights common misconceptions about the approach and shows how formative assessment differs from other kinds of assessments, such as summative or benchmark tests. It also illuminates some ways that educators can use formative assessment in their classrooms to find out on the spot whether students are really "getting it."


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Ask five teachers what formative assessment is and you're likely to get five different definitions.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

Richard J. Stiggins, an advocate of classroom assessments in the service of learning, identifies common misunderstandings about formative assessment.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

Experts warn against grading formative assessments, but teachers sometimes worry that students won't take the tasks seriously any other way.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

PARCC and Smarter Balanced have formative assessments that enable teachers to see if students 'get it' long before the tests.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

In a growing number of schools, student self-assessments are just another part of the learning process.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

In the Grand Canyon State, teachers are getting a leg up in their efforts to improve the on-the-spot assessments and instructional decisions they make in the classroom.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

In Denver and elsewhere, learning progressions offer one tool teachers can use in the formative-assessment process.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

Education-technology tools have made it easier for teachers to keep tabs on students' understanding.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

What is the difference between formative and interim assessments? This chart provides a guide for distinguishing different kinds of student assessments.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

Watch how formative-assessment techniques play out in the classroom.
November 11, 2015 – Education Week

In this live chat, Richard J. Stiggins, a national authority on classroom assessment for student learning, will answer your questions about what formative assessment is—and isn’t.
November 17, 2015 – Education Week

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