Formative assessment facilitates learning in many ways, not the least because it is iterative and provides ongoing feedback. Engaging students is challenging enough, but many effective strategies employ questioning. There are many types of formative assessments that can help engage students by requiring them to recall information from memory and apply that knowledge. See the table below for some examples of small-scale formative assessments discussed in Assessment in the College Science Classroom.
Intended Learning Outcome
Students list everything they know on a given topic or in response to a question
Students retrieve prior knowledge
Students create graphical illustration with connecting arrows indicating relationships
Students synthesize their understanding of complex processes or systems
Immediate Response Systems (“Clickers”)
Class polling systems allow anonymous responses and immediate feedback
Students retrieve information, apply new understanding and correct misconceptions
Quizzing at the beginning of class or online prior/after class
Students retrieve information and apply prior knowledge to answer questions
Do you use assessments to encourage student learning?