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Formative Assessment: A Step-by-Step Guide for Teachers

Formative Assessment: A Step-by-Step Guide for Teachers

Formative assessment is a process of assessing students’ learning while they are still in the learning process. This assessment is conducted to find out what students have learned and what they still need to learn. It can help teachers plan their instruction more effectively, identify and address students’ misconceptions, and monitor students’ progress. 

Formative assessment is sometimes also called formative evaluation or instructional feedback.

Formative Assessment in the Philippines

The Department of Education (DepEd) defines formative assessment as an ongoing process of providing learners with immediate feedback on how well they are learning.

In the Philippines, formative assessment is commonly used in classrooms. It helps teachers determine which topics to focus on and which skills to emphasize. Teachers also use formative assessment to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses. This information can provide targeted instruction and help students achieve their academic goals. 

Formative assessment is an integral part of the education process in the Philippines. It helps teachers ensure that students are learning and progressing in their studies.

If you are interested in using formative assessment in your classroom, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure that the assessments are aligned with your goals for the lesson.
  2. Choose assessments that are appropriate for your student’s level of understanding.
  3. Provide feedback to students after they complete the assessment so they can understand what they did well and what areas they need to work on.

What Is the Difference Between Formative and Summative Assessment

Formative assessment is a type of assessment that is used to help students learn. It provides feedback to students to improve their understanding of the material. These assessment results are documented but not included in computing learners’ grades.

Summative assessment, on the other hand, is a type of assessment used to evaluate students’ understanding of the material. It measures how well students have learned the material. Summative assessment results are used as bases for computing learners’ grades.

What are the Benefits of Formative Assessment

There are many potential benefits of using formative assessment in the classroom. When used effectively, formative assessment can:

  1. Help teachers understand what students know and do not know so they can adjust their instruction accordingly.
  2. Encourage student engagement and ownership of learning by involving them in the assessment process.
  3. Determine which students need more help and who are ready to move on to the next topic. 
  4. Provide immediate feedback so students can adjust their learning strategies as needed.
  5. Help identify which teaching methods are most effective for each student.
  6. Help reduce test anxiety by providing a more informal assessment of student learning.
  7. Promote a growth mindset by helping students see that their intelligence is not fixed but can be developed through effort and practice.
  8. Help build student confidence by showing them that their teachers are interested in their progress and care about their success.

Formative assessment is also beneficial for students. It helps them stay on track and makes sure they understand the material. Additionally, it prepares them for the assessments that will occur later in the school year.

Overall, formative assessments are a valuable tool for teachers and students. They help ensure that students are learning effectively and provide feedback that can be used to improve instruction.

What Are Simple Formative Assessment Strategies for Learning

There are many different ways to administer formative assessments. Some common methods include observing students as they work, asking questions during or after a lesson, having students complete practice problems or quizzes, giving short presentations or speeches, and conducting research projects. It is essential to use a variety of methods so that you can get a well-rounded view of student learning.

Here are some simple formative assessment strategies that can be used in the classroom:

  1. Goal Checklist. This checklist can help students track their progress and identify areas they need to work on. 
  2. Exit Slips. Exit slips can be used to check for understanding at the end of a lesson or unit. Students can answer a question or provide a short response about what they learned.
  3. Quizzes. Quizzes can help teachers determine if students understand the material and if they need more instruction. 
  4. Classroom Observations. By observing students in class, teachers can better understand how well students understand the material.
  5. Projects. Projects can be used to assess student learning in several subjects, such as science, social studies, and English. For example, a teacher might assign a project on the Philippine Revolution in which students must research and write about different aspects of the war.
  6. Tests. Tests are also a form of formative assessment. Tests can be given at the end of a unit or course to measure student learning. They can help teachers identify areas where students need more help.
  7. Tasks. Asks a student to complete a task and then provides immediate feedback to the student on how well they completed the task. It allows students to identify and correct their own mistakes. 
  8. Ask Questions. Use various questioning techniques to check for comprehension during a lesson. It helps teachers determine which concepts confuse students and allows students to ask questions about the material. 
  9. Have students share their work with the class. One way is to have students share their work with a partner or small group. It gives other students a chance to see what they are doing and how well they are doing it.
  10. Whole-class Discussion. It allows all students to see each other’s work and hear different viewpoints. It also allows the teacher to check for understanding and identify areas that need more explanation.

How to Use Formative Assessment Effectively

Here are some essential tips to get the most out of formative assessment and its importance to use it effectively:

  1. Integrate formative assessment into your regular instructional routine. Do not wait until the end of a unit to assess student learning.
  2. Make sure your assessments are aligned with your instructional goals. Make sure the evidence you collect will give you insights into whether students are meeting the goals you have set for them.
  3. Use a variety of formative assessment strategies. Do not rely on just one strategy (such as asking questions during class). Using multiple strategies will give you a more well-rounded picture of student understanding.
  4. Give students regular feedback. Feedback should be timely, specific, and actionable. It should also be positive and focused on areas of improvement rather than on mistakes.
  5. Encourage student self-assessment. Self-assessment is an integral part of the formative assessment process. Teach students how to assess their learning and progress.
  6. Make sure your formative assessments are valid and reliable. In other words, ensure they accurately measure what you want them to measure.

What Are Some Challenges of Formative Assessment

Like anything, formative assessment has its challenges. One challenge is that it can be time-consuming for teachers to implement. 

Another challenge is that formative assessment requires ongoing communication between teachers and students. This communication is essential for formative assessment to be effective. 

Finally, formative assessment can be challenging for students who are struggling academically. These students may need extra support to be successful. 

Despite these challenges, formative assessment is a powerful tool that can help teachers improve student learning.

What Are the Different Types of Formative Assessment Questions

Formative assessment questions can be classified into different types, such as knowledge-based, skill-based, and affective questions.

Knowledge-based questions assess students’ understanding of the content, while skill-based questions test how students can apply what they know. Affective questions measure how students feel about the material. 

The most important thing to remember when creating formative assessment questions is that they should be geared towards helping students learn and improve. There is no right or wrong answer to formative assessment questions, so do not worry about coming up with the perfect question. Just focus on creating questions that will help your students learn.

Some ideas for knowledge-based questions include:

  • What are the main ideas of the lesson?
  • How do these ideas connect to what we already know?
  • What are some key vocabulary words that we need to know?
  • What are some examples of the concepts we are learning about?

Skill-based questions might look like this:

  • How can we apply what we are learning to a real-world situation?
  • What are some different ways we could approach this problem?
  • How can we use what we know to create something new?

Affective questions might ask students about their thoughts and feelings on the material:

  • Do you feel like you understand the concepts?
  • Do you find the material interesting or boring?
  • What are your thoughts on the application of this knowledge?

No matter what type of formative assessment question you choose to ask, the most important thing is that it’s something that will help your students learn. Do not be afraid to experiment with different questions until you find something that works well for your class.

What Are the Benefits of Using Formative Assessment Questions

Formative assessment questions can help teachers identify what students understand and what they need help with. It allows teachers to give students more targeted instruction. Additionally, formative assessment questions can help teachers determine how well their lessons work and adjust as needed. Finally, formative assessments can motivate students by providing immediate feedback on their progress.

What Are Some Examples of Formative Assessment Questions

Formative assessment questions can take many different forms. Some examples include:

  1. Multiple choice questions
  2. True or false questions
  3. Short answer questions
  4. Essay questions
  5. Exit tickets
  6. Quizzes
  7. Tests

How to Use Formative Assessment Questions in the Classroom

There are many ways to use formative assessment questions in the classroom. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Use exit tickets to gauge student understanding at the end of a lesson.
  2. Give short quizzes throughout a unit to check for understanding and adjust instruction as needed.
  3. Use essay questions on tests and exams to assess student learning.
  4. Ask formative assessment questions during whole class discussion to understand student comprehension.

How to Use Formative Assessment Data to Improve Student Learning

One way to use formative assessment data is to create learning goals for each student. Teachers can then track whether or not each student is meeting these goals. This information can help teachers determine which students need more assistance and who are ready to move on.

Another way to use formative assessment data is to create diagnostic assessments. These assessments help identify which skills students have already learned and which skills they still need to learn. This information can be used to develop tailored instruction that meets the specific needs of each student.

Overall, formative assessment data can be used in many ways to improve student learning. By using this data effectively, teachers can help all students reach their full potential.


Now that you understand the basics of formative assessment, it is time to practice them in your classroom. Remember, formative assessment should be a regular part of your teaching routine, not just a one-time event. Start by incorporating some of the techniques we have discussed today and see how they work for you and your students. Be sure to track student progress so you can make adjustments as needed. 

What is your experience with formative assessment? How do you use data from formative assessments in your classroom? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

How to Cite this Article

Llego, M. A. (2022, August 29). Formative Assessment: A Step-by-Step Guide for Teachers. TeacherPH. Retrieved August 29, 2022 from, https://www.teacherph.com/formative-assessment/


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Mark Anthony Llego

Mark Anthony Llego, from the Philippines, has significantly influenced the teaching profession by enabling thousands of teachers nationwide to access essential information and exchange ideas. His contributions have enhanced their instructional and supervisory abilities. Moreover, his articles on teaching have reached international audiences and have been featured on highly regarded educational websites in the United States.

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