A formative assessment refers to a low-stakes assessment that does not normally contribute towards a student’s final grade. A formative assessment may include summarizing the main points in a lecture or a weekly quiz to test comprehension of the reviewed content. Students’ feedback on these assessments is used to improve their learning while they’re still learning. These assessments are used to inform in-process teaching and allow instructors to personalize their course to meet students’ needs.
Formative assessment is also used to provide ongoing feedback to both teachers and students. Teachers can then improve their teaching while students can improve their learning based on their achievement. These assessments help students identify their strengths and weaknesses in specific areas and help faculty address students’ struggles immediately.