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How does formative assessment work?

The process of formative assessment is a form of communication between teachers and their students. Students are required to know what the teacher needs from their assignments and to give them the necessary feedback. Teachers need to convey their message through this process of communication. To learn more about formative assessment, follow the guide below.

Goals of formative assessment

Understanding the goals
Understanding the goals or targets of a lesson or even a series of lessons must be made clear to both teacher and student. An assessment of ‘how to become a better writer’ would be a series of assessments and not a single teaching assessment. Clarifying the aims
During the process of setting the aims or scope of formal assessment, the teacher must clearly select the areas within the learning curriculum that the student is expected to understand. Part of the teacher assessment is to understand what is good work and how the student must progress towards achieving that goal. Production of work
Once the targets and aims have been decided and understood, the students must be instructed to produce the work that reaches or exceeds the required standard. One of the types of assessment helpful at this stage is through the creation of classroom assignments or strategies to provide both the teacher and students with the correct tools to produce the work through practical learning. Use of comparisons
By having students to compare their work with others within the classroom provides another forms of assessment. Many students will use constructive criticism in comparing the work of those around them and this can be used as an important learning tool in the assessment process. At this point, it is always best to keep criticism constructive and not revert to negative issues.

Advantages of assessments

Evaluation of strengths and weaknesses
The use of formative assessment can be used to evaluate strengths and weaknesses within each students work and together with the teacher this can be used in feedback to the student. Once this feedback is processed, it can lead to a formal assessment through continued teaching of the same goals if required, or even to a review of the complete process if the group feels the programme was not to their benefit. Ultimately the strengths may determine that nothing needs to be done to improve this stage of the process. Control and motivation
With students being in control of their own work assessments serves different purposes. Students being in control of their learning, can become very self motivated and they can learn by evaluating their own completed work. Students can see where they need to show signs of improvement which in turn increases their own efforts through practice and learning.

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