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Formative assessment is a tool for gauging student learning. This topic is of significant importance within the academic community. It is customary to administer tests to determine a class’s highest achievers or assess comprehension and progress.
However, it is unusual for many teachers to be unaware that this practice is known as formative assessment.
Assessment involves collecting data and comes in different forms within an academic setting. The main purpose of assessments is to enhance or assess students’ performance.
However, formative assessment is a type of evaluation that teachers use during the learning process to adjust teaching methods and activities to enhance student achievement.
The objective of formative assessment is to continuously monitor student learning and provide feedback that instructors can utilize to improve their teaching, and students can use to enhance their learning.
Conducting formative assessments enables you to pinpoint areas of weakness in your students and find ways to address and improve those areas. These assessments are not meant for grading purposes but rather serve as a tool to be used while learning is ongoing.
Examples Of Formative Assessment
There are various methods to assess whether students in a classroom understand the information being conveyed to them, whether through verbal or non-verbal means. Here are a few examples to consider:
When delivering information to students, observing and paying attention to all of them closely is necessary. Teachers with smaller class sizes have an advantage over those with larger classes as they can more easily identify students who are not engaged or paying attention during the lesson.
There are several ways to identify these students, such as noticing those who are silent and do not respond to common phrases, those who do not take down notes from the board, or those who engage in activities unrelated to the class.
Asking questions to these students can help teachers monitor their understanding and determine if they need additional support or improvement.
When students are being instructed and subsequently asked if they comprehend the material, only a few courageous individuals openly admit their lack of understanding. Most students tend to claim comprehension, either out of fear of punishment for disagreeing or with the ulterior motive of having the teacher leave the class for recreational activities.
As an educator, it is important not to rush to dismiss the class until conducting a classwork or quiz, as this will ensure a balanced assessment of understanding among all students. By doing so, those struggling to grasp the material will have an opportunity to catch up.
After covering a lesson or providing an example during class, assigning homework related to the material taught is beneficial. This can help students learn and develop independently through completing assignments.
When students engage in independent work, collaborating with the most knowledgeable peers in the class when teachers are not available to assist them in problem-solving can support their knowledge development without direct teacher involvement.
This cooperative method fosters a deeper comprehension and mastery of the subject matter, empowering students to enhance their understanding autonomously.
This approach entails students contemplating a question or issue, exchanging their thoughts with peers, and presenting their ideas to the class. It fosters active involvement and offers students opportunities to enhance their comprehension through discussion. This concept promotes dynamic collaboration and student participation.
A concept map is a visual representation that illustrates the connections and relationships between ideas and concepts. It is a graphical tool for students to showcase their comprehension of a particular topic. Examining these concept maps allows one to gain insights into students’ understanding of how information is organized and interconnected.
Sharing students’ scripts or works with their peers to receive feedback effectively enhances students’ comprehension. This practice allows each student to reflect on their understanding and offer valuable insights into the scripts or schoolwork owners.
- Engaging in periodic meetings or discussions throughout the semester with students.