Innovation for K12 Assessment

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Formative Assessment Helping Students and Teachers to Be Better

A somewhat contemporary learning concept known as formative assessment may seem somewhat foreign to those of us who are used to getting our only feedback at the end of an assignment in the form of a letter or numerical grade, which would actually be an example of the opposite, known as a  summative assessment. Formative assessment, however, includes ongoing feedback throughout the learning process in an effort to improve students learning and teacher effectiveness alike.

Formative assessment helps students to spot their current strengths and weaknesses, while allowing them to adjust their focus to particular areas of need for their individual learning. Therefore, creating a more well-rounded learning environment and a better balanced knowledge base for the student. 

In regards to improving teacher effectiveness, formative assessment can be great for assisting the teacher in spotting a student's areas of need, and where they can better "teach" the student for his/her individual struggles.

More and more school systems across the country are adopting formative assessment to a curriculum for just about any subject; English, Science, History, even math. In fact, most recently The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) issued a public statement regarding its view on the subject of formative assessment, saying the following:

"Formative assessment is an essential process that supports students in developing the reasoning and sense-making skills that they need to reach specific learning targets and move toward mastery of mathematical practices." (Linda Gojak, President NCTM)

Engaging and involving students in their own learning process was also mentioned in the comprehensive statement released by the NCTM. Another interesting theory is their position that formative assessment can be crucial to adding motivation and self-esteem to students throughout the learning process. More and more today, educators are realizing how vitally important these two factors can be in having a student reach his/her potential.

"LearningStation" offers a suite of advanced cloud applications that enable schools and districts to effectively and efficiently assess student understanding and mastery of Common Core and other state-mandated curriculum standards. Visit our website today for more information.

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