Sep 20
Forming Formative Assessment

Last week we profiled Robert Funk - Construction Electrician Instructor and this year's recipient of the Mervin Maxwell Award.

One of the key improvements that Robert identified in his evolving teaching practice is the use of more formative assessment.

Formative assessment is ongoing feedback to the student about progress and to the teacher about the effectiveness of instruction. It is no/low marks, low stakes, and should take place all throughout a lesson.

Consider formative assessment in contrast to summative in this table:

Formative Assessment

Summative Assessment

Assessment FOR LearningAssessment OF Learning
“A Moving Picture"“A Snapshot in Time"
Essential Question: How can I help my students learn more?Essential Question: What have my students learned already?
Purpose: To improve learningPurpose: To prove learning

Essentially we want to be asking ourselves: How will my students and I know if they are taking in new knowledge and skills? How will I give feedback as they practice?

Good questioning is an excellent place to start. Here are a few tools and techniques that I have used to help give feedback to students and gather it for myself: 

How do you incorporate formative assessment into your lessons? Click on the “sign in" button on the top right of the screen. Enter your RRC credentials and then share a comment. Join the conversation!


I am definitely interested ...

I am definitely interested in learning more about this topic!  Something I learnt in CAE is to use the following activity:
- print out a few informative articles about the lesson plan topic; (5-6 copies of 5-6 different articles)
- number the respective articles
- hand out in class
- students take 5 minutes to read their article, then enter into groups with students that have different articles (so each group member has a different article)
- students are to explain their article to the group members.  I walk around to eavesdrop and guide discussion
- we then discuss as a class

This activity really helps me gauge whether students grasp the topic well enough to explain it.
Picture Placeholder: Lindsay Mulholland
  • Lindsay Mulholland
 on 9/20/2019 9:34 AM

This is a great topic and i...

This is a great topic and interesting to hear different perspectives.  Thank you!  Case study simulation activities have been an excellent tool for my students as they are faced with a real workplace situations and must complete an associated task.  They enjoy these learning activities and at the same time provides me with the opportunity to interact with them through their problem solving and review of their completed task.  Simulated activities are a great formative assessment tool.  Look forward to hearing more ideas.
Picture Placeholder: Wanda Jane Daza
  • Wanda Jane Daza
 on 9/20/2019 11:08 AM

I put a practice test in Le...

I put a practice test in Learn that has questions similar to the actual test and encourage my students to do it before test day. Each time they do the practice test, the questions are scrambled and the numbers change. They can do the practice test as many times as they want to. I encourage the students to see who can finish the practice test is the least amount of time (and get 100%) and post the fastest students' name from each intake on a leaderboard that shows up at the beginning of the practice test. The competition gives my faster learners an excuse to get even better and the normal students opportunities to practice. I look at the results to see who I should be spending more time with.
Picture Placeholder: Andrew Warren
  • Andrew Warren
 on 9/23/2019 9:16 AM