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In the numerous research studies that have been conducted in the last year, formative assessment has been shown to be among the most effective tools for instruction that can positively impact student performance. When students, teachers, as well as their peers, effectively utilize the formative assessment as a tool, they can make informed choices about what they will do next to ensure the best learning and instruction processes to ensure enhanced learning.

Formative assessment helps create a flexible and flexible learning environment in which teachers and students are able to self-correct their work based on the assessments data. Self-correction can increase the probability of every student mastering the standards and achieving their learning objectives. One of the main components of data from formative assessments is qualitative feedback.

What is reflective feedback?

Descriptive feedback can reveal areas of confusion and provides students with suggestions on how to enhance their learning instead of describing what they did wrong. Descriptive feedback helps facilitate a mutual learning process between students and teachers.

Descriptive Feedback in Formative Assessment

By analyzing the five elements of formative assessment, it is clear how descriptive feedback can increase the engagement of students, student accountability and joy for students within the educational process:

  1. Lerner’s GoalsTeachers making clear and achievable goals for what the student is expected to learn, master, and do at the end of the unit or lesson is a great place to start for formative assessments.
  2. descriptive feedback when the student is provided with detailed and precise feedback on the work they have done, they are given the opportunity to review the things they did good and what part(s) require improvement. The descriptive feedback that describes how to improve their work is highly recommended.
  3. Peer and Self-AssessmentStudents are able to use feedback from peers to evaluate their work and self-assess. When students collaborate to enhance their work, they can create a sense of cooperation. Students can judge themselves by determining the extent to which their work is compared with the criteria and the exemplar.
  4. individual learning goals:Lastly deliberating on outcomes that are based on personal learning goals is an essential component of assessment through formative. The act of celebrating accomplishments helps boost confidence. Even if an activity isn’t the child’s favourite but they still can gain a lot by thinking about how they might change their ways when they return. 1

Seven Keys to Effective Feedback

In the end, ASCD has created a fantastic guide named seven keys to effective feedback which offers a few suggestions to consider when giving feedback to students in your formative assessment strategy.

About Dr. Sally I’Anson

As the Senior Director for Professional Services at PowerSchool Dr. Sally I’Anson collaborates with educators all over the U.S., engaging in discussions on the latest innovations in K-12 technology which foster academic curiosity and freedom, encourage creativity, and inspire teams and individuals’ determination to achieve excellence. Sally is a professional educator with more than 30 years of teaching experience.


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