Assessments FOR Learning

Formative assessments are essential to helping students excel within the classroom. It allows for more time-relevant evaluations of students’ grasp of the content being presented. Formative assessment attempts to stray away from the popular idea of summative assessment. Summative assessment is said to be an assessment “of” learning as opposed to formative assessments that are “for” learning. While implementing summative assessments is still an effective form of analysis, formative assessments prove to be more beneficial while teaching the material. 

The most important aspects of formative assessments come with the data that can be collected, and the feedback that can be provided. This form of assessment focuses on collecting evidence of learning over time. Formative assessments allow for a wide range of creativity when it comes to assignments, which allows for a variety of different data to be collected. Formative. This aspect of formative assessment also allows for a more inclusive classroom. With formative assessments, one is able to be more flexible with assignments, which can lead to struggling learners, like ELL students, being accommodated within the lesson. 

Formative assessment can provide all these benefits only if it is practiced accordingly. All of these benefits sound great, and they are, but only if implemented correctly. Any person can collect data, but if the data is not put to good use, then it’s wasted. The reading, What a Difference a Word Makes: Assessment FOR Learning Rather than Assessment OF Learning Helps Students Succeed written by Rick Stiggins and Jan Chappuis, mentions that there are five categories to ponder when creating formative assessments. These categories include a clear purpose, clear targets, sound design, effective communication, and student involvement. Having a rubric allows teachers to follow sound standards to create their formative assessments, while also allowing teachers to self-evaluate their own work and improve themselves/their assessments. 

I love the idea of formative assessment and think it is one of the best ways to facilitate growth within the classroom. These readings have made me realize that formative assessments are more than just creating quick, fun, low-stress activities for students to complete. Formative assessments need to be properly implemented to foster the most development. This means that teachers must use the data that they collect from formative assessments. It means they must provide insightful feedback on assignments that address, and engage, the students instead of just grading them. It allows for more creativity and inclusion in regard to classroom assignments. I believe that I will be implementing a lot of formative assessments in my future classroom.