Formative Assessment - Definition & Meaning

Formative assessment is an ongoing, interactive, and iterative assessment process used by educators to monitor student learning and provide timely feedback during the instructional process. It aims to gather information about students' understanding, knowledge, and skills in order to guide and enhance their learning.

Unlike summative assessments, which are typically administered at the end of a learning period to evaluate student achievement, formative assessments are integrated into the learning process itself. They provide feedback and information to both students and teachers, allowing for instructional adjustments and targeted interventions to address students' needs.

Formative assessments can take various forms, such as quizzes, classroom discussions, projects, observations, or self-assessments. They focus on providing feedback on strengths, areas for improvement, and guiding students towards mastery of learning objectives. The feedback from formative assessments helps students identify gaps in their understanding, adjust their learning strategies, and make progress towards their educational goals.

Educators use formative assessment to inform their instructional practices, adapt teaching strategies, and differentiate instruction to meet the diverse needs of students. It promotes active student engagement, metacognitive skills, and a growth mindset by fostering a continuous learning process.

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