Formative Assessment: Not Just Another Test

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New York’s Formative Assessment Project aims to change how educators think about formative assessment.

Formative assessment is comprehensive, interactive, and a model of mastery learning, in which a student develops skills and confidence under the guidance of a seasoned professional.

Research shows that students make dramatic achievement gains when their teachers:

• Break instructional units into a progression of clear, well-defined learning targets

• Involve students in setting learning goals and assessing their own progress

• Give students immediate and corrective feedback

• Set up peer collaboration activities to build content mastery

As frequent formative assessment helps students become more involved in setting their own learning goals and assessing their progress, they become comfortable analyzing and discussing with teachers and peers how well they understand target knowledge and skills.