Research & Data > ALE Home > Formative Assessment
“Assessment Ladder" by Jenna Roy is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 / A derivative from the original work


"Checking for Understanding presumes that students are able to demonstrate their
understanding in different ways" (Fisher and Frey)
What is Formative Assessment?
A collection of techniques and processes used by both teachers and students to gather evidence for the purposes of improving teaching and learning (Formative Assessment and Assessment for Learning).

How does it work exactly?
As shown in this model, we can see the breakdown in the step-by-step process of formative assessment and how it benefits both teachers and students: 

Mckenna, Kerri D., 2011, Gateway Community and Technical College 
Why does Formative Assessment matter?
Rick Wormeli explains in this short video clip the importance of formative assessment and the integral role it plays in teaching for means of improving student learning.  Formative and Summative Assessment: Critical Feedback on Learning (Right-click and select 'open link in new window')

Dylan Wiliam also gives a great explanation on the importance of formative assessment, in this hour long presentation, and why it is a critical component in producing good teachers. Dylan William Assessment for Learning (Right-click and select 'open link in new window')