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Chapter image Chapter 17: Strategy 15: Formative assessment and feedback

Self Evaluation

Please rate yourself or a teacher you have closely observed.




15.1    Employs formative assessment

You regularly evaluate all learners’ progress during lessons to ascertain what has or has not been understood, retained and generalized. You use a range of formative assessment tools, including checklists, quizzes, tests, observations, learning journals and discussions with individuals or groups to obtain this information. On the basis of this information, you adjust your teaching.


Mitchell, 2014, pp183–190.

  1. During each lesson you check on learners’ understanding and recall of key ideas.
  2. You adjust your teaching to take account of the information obtained in the formative assessment process.
  1. Indicators #1 and #2 are both regularly met.
  2. Indicators #1 and #2 are met only occasionally.
  3. Indicator #1 is met, but there is no evidence of #2 being met.
  4. Neither indicator is met.

15.2 Provides regular feedback

You frequently monitor all learners’ knowledge and understanding and give regular and explicit feedback to them. Feedback can come from a variety of sources: directly from you and via other learners, written material and computers.


Mitchell, 2014, pp183–190.

  1. All learners receive personalized feedback at least twice a day.
  2. Feedback occurs as soon as possible after assessment occurs.
  3. Feedback clearly describes where the learner’s performance was accurate or inaccurate.
  4. You periodically check that learners use previous feedback in their subsequent work.
  1. All indicators are met.
  2. Indicator #1 and two of the other indicators are met.
  3. Learners receive personalized feedback only once a day and the remaing indicators are only partly met.
  4. None of the indicators are met.

YouTubeYouTube links

Principles of formative assessment. (14.30 UK)

Paul Black and Chris Harrison discuss the principles of formative assessment and its implementation in science and mathematics classes in Oxfordshire, England.


Rick Wormeli: Formative and summative assessment. (4.49 US)

Rick Wormeli, author of Fair Isn’t Always Equal and Differentiation, explains the difference between formative and summative assessment and how formative assessment can be used to offer better feedback to students.


websitesWeb links

Classroom assessment (Part 1): An introduction to monitoring academic achievement in the classroom.

This module discusses how progress monitoring can affect the academic outcomes of students, and it demonstrates how to implement curriculum-based measurement with a classroom of students.


journalsJournal links

Smith, H. and Higgins, S. (2006). ‘Opening classroom interaction: The importance of feedback’. Cambridge Journal of Education, 36(4), 485–502.

Efforts to encourage ‘interactive practice’ in the National Literacy (NLS) and Numeracy (NNS) Strategies in the UK have led to an emphasis on teacher questions. This article uses evidence gathered from a largeā€scale research project examining classroom interactions during literacy and numeracy lessons, and the researchers’ critical reflections upon this process, to examine conceptions of interactive pedagogy. It is argued that in order to ‘open’ classroom interaction, emphasis should be less on the questions teachers ask and more on the manner with which teachers react to pupils’ responses to questions. Episodes of classroom interaction from video-recorded literacy and numeracy lessons taken as part of the study are used to support this argument. They present evidence of teacher behaviours in reaction to pupils’ responses that succeed in facilitating a more interactive learning environment. The implication that such behaviour will contribute towards a model of effective interactive practice is also discussed.