How To Incorporate Formative Assessments Into Your Teaching

Formative assessments can be a powerful tool for determining whether students are grasping what you’re teaching. They provide instant feedback, which can help you adjust your teaching style and/or materials on the fly. Formative assessments can not only give you an idea of what the students as a whole are learning, but they can also help you personalize learning to enhance each student’s experience.

Below are recommendations for how to incorporate formative assessments into your classroom.

Replace Tests And Grades With Formative Assessments
The whole point of tests and grades is to quantify learning and measure student progress, but they’re not always accurate depictions of students’ grasps of subjects. The less frequent the tests and grades, the more stress it puts on students to perform at a specific time. Consider replacing some of your testing and grading with formative assessments that give you the feedback you need, without making students feel as if they’ve “passed” or “failed.”

Use Formative Assessments To Facilitate Communication
Formative assessments give you a great opportunity to communicate with students one-on-one to let them know what they need to work on.

Incorporate The Feedback From Formative Assessments Into Your Teaching
As you conduct formative assessments, you’ll glean information about how your students, as a whole, are doing. This can help you make adjustments, if you find gaps between what you’re teaching and what students are learning. If you frequently administer formative assessments, you won’t be caught off guard by disappointing results, when it’s too late to catch up.

Online Professional Development Course On Formative Assessments
If you’d like to learn how to implement assessments, we offer an online professional development course for teachers on formative assessments. In this 1-credit online course, you’ll learn best practices for using formative assessments with your students. The online course (which is approved for LAUSD salary points and is available for graduate level credit) covers how to develop and use formative assessments, as well as tools, technology and resources for teachers.

Click here to learn more about our 100% online formative assessment course for teachers.

Click here to learn about the benefits of formative assessments in teaching.