Formative Assessment for Students & Teachers (FAST) Overview

Definition of Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes.

Source: CCSSO, winter 2007

Key points by contributors to CCSSO definition

Five Key Research-Based Strategies

  • Questioning: engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning
  • Sharing Learning Expectations: Clarifying and sharing learning intentions and criteria for success
  • Feedback: Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  • Self Assessment: Activating students as the owners of their own learning
  • Peer Assessment: Activating students as instructional resources for one another

Source: ETS, 2005

One Big Idea

Students and teachers using evidence of learning to adapt teaching and learning to meet immediate learning needs minute-to-minute and day-by-day.

Source: ETS, 2005

Keys to Quality Classroom Assessment

  • Arise from and be designed to serve the specific information needs of intended user(s)
  • Arise from clearly articulated and appropriate achievement targets
  • Accurately reflect student achievement
  • Yield results that are effectively communicated to their intended users
  • Involve students in classroom assessment, record keeping, and communication

Source: Rick Stiggins, 2004

Feedback Loop for FAST

Evoking evidence of learning > interpreting the evidence > identifying the gap > setting instructional goals > describing criteria for success > adapting/responding to learning needs > scaffolding in the zone of proximal development > evoking evidence of learning

Source: Margaret Heritage, 2006

This Center for Best Practice is a collaboration between the Maine Department of Education and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, made possible by the contributions of the Maine schools that share their stories.