Formative assessment is to modify or improve instruction. Students have a central part in it. It promotes learning through goals (+ criteria for success), feedback (central function of F.A.; where to improve and how), and (active) questioning (reflection) in the classroom. It increases self-efficacy, improve metacognitive awareness, motivation. Purpose: students take charge of their own learning. Their thinking must become visible. Everyone has to participate. Feedback promotes revision and rethinking. F.A. is very helpful bot for high students but for low and average.
Grades—bad idea, rather moving towards the learning goal. Comments + grades = bad (focus on comparisons, competitions). Example: “This has 3 errors. Find what they are and correct”, “The answer is … Can you find out a way to work it out?”, “You’ve used substitution. Try elimination this time.”
Other names: diagnostic testing, assessment for learning, educative assessment, classroom assessment.