The Formative Assessment process used by teachers can help them determine what their students are not learning, giving them the ability to adjust their teaching – in the moment- and to move all learners forward. Embedding formative assessment dimensions in everyday teaching is a research-based practice to improve individual student learning.
The definition of formative assessment is that the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) as a system embraces is from the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). This definition was developed by the Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers (FAST) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) or FAST SCASS. The definition of formative Assessment is: Formative assessment is a planned, ongoing process used by all students and teachers during learning and teaching to elicit and use evidence of student learning to improve student understanding of intended disciplinary learning outcomes and support students to become more self-directed learners. Additional information about the formative assessment definition can be found on the CCSSO website. There is also a resource that provides an overview of the FAST SCASS’s revised definition on formative assessment.
Effective use of the formative assessment process requires students and teachers to integrate and embed the following practices in a collaborative and respectful classroom environment:
Clarifying learning goals and success criteria within a broader progression of learning;
Eliciting and analyzing evidence of student thinking;
Engaging in self-assessment and peer feedback Providing actionable feedback; and
Using evidence and feedback to move learning forward by adjusting learning strategies, goals or next instructional steps.