Formative Assessment


In this 3-minute video (see youtube link below), Professor Dylan Williams unpacks formative assessment and discusses its five main strategies, namely:

  • Setting learning intentions
  • Questioning
  • FeedbackD. Williams Form Ass
  • Activating self
  • Activating peers


The formative assessment tasks presented are first done by students individually – 15 to 20 minutes. Students’ work is then collected and corrected using specific marking schemes. When correcting, teachers do award marks but these are not communicated to the students but kept in the teachers’ record sheets. Instead, students are given comments. At this stage, the teacher would have evidence of students’ knowledge about the mathematical ideas assessed.

When students are handed back their work, they are expected to reflect on the written feedback provided Рthis part usually takes between 5 to 8 minutes. Students need to carefully read the comments and ask the teacher for clarification of some points or issues raised. At this stage, the teacher makes sure to follow formative assessment strategies. That is, s/he starts by setting the learning intentions, questions students while visiting groups, and activates both self and peer.  Hence, students are divided in groups Рusually between 3 to 4 students per group Рand they are asked to improve their work by working collaboratively. By the end of the lesson students will be expected to come up with an improved piece of work.

As already pointed out, it is important that, at the beginning of the lesson, the teacher communicates and discusses the assessment criteria – available for projection on the interactive board through power-point slides (see power-point slides).

There are three tasks of this sort, namely:

These tasks are intended to assess how well students can apply what they have learned from the topics covered through the units used in class.

For each of these tasks, a TRACK card is available to assist the teacher in both carrying out and assessing students’ work and engagement during the activity.


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