Recently I’ve been thinking of learning as a road trip. Our students start out on the trip but soon they may take a road that does not lead to the destination. In many classes, the instructors do not find out that the students have been on the wrong road until the weekly quiz or even the unit exam. Formative assessment helps to monitor students as they drive. Students do not have to take the same road (differentiation) but they do need to end up at the same destination. Formative assessments helps identify students who have wandered off on dead-ends, have being caught going around traffic circles, or have taken roads that lead in the opposite directions from the destination. Formative Assessment shows them how to get back on a road that leads to the destination and then monitors that they are continuing on that road. Formative Assessment can monitor when students have stopped for an extended break. Formative Assessment celebrates their success as they arrive at the destination.
How do you use Formative Assessment to help your students reach their destination?
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.