Thursday, November 1, 2007

Formative assessment update

Formative assessment provides feedback to improve the quality of students’ work according to many researchers. A few necessary key attributes include : it should be corrective in nature, not merely stating that the student’s answer is either right or wrong; it should be prompt – as close to the time of the assignment as possible; it should be specific to the learning criteria established by the teacher, i.e. targets springing from standards and benchmarks; it should be of high quality; it should occur frequently. The Concept of Formative Assessment is clearly and succinctly described in an article by Carol Boston in the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation which can be found at There is a brief bibliography included in the article Dr. Boston references a toolkit that may be helpful to administrators addressing assessment issues in their schools. The toolkit is available from the Northwest Regional Education Lab at a very small cost.

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