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Ep. 009: Formative Assessment

Formative assessments can sound like a formidable undertaking. But they don't have to be.

Dr. Julie-Ann McFann, CTLT's Program Team Lead, shows us how little, frequent "check-ins" can help us know if our students are really getting it. She helps us wrap our brains around the differences between formative and summative assessments and the differences between assessing and grading. We'll also explore how using formative assessments might assuage your students' constant craving for study guides.

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Show Notes

  • Assessment is used to determine what a student knows or can do (impacts advancement, placement or grades).
  • Grades provide information to the student, and others, regarding your professional opinion of the potential of the student as to the content and skills being studied.  They are an accepted level or standard conveyed via number, letter, or symbol indicating a student’s level of accomplishment.
  • Formative Assessment: Provides feedback to students and instructor on how well students are learning course material (students are still “forming their learning”)
  • Summative Assessment: Provides a final judgment on how well students have learned course material (students are “summarizing their learning”)


Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass.

Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. Jossey-Bass.

Davis, B. G. (2009). Informally assessing students’ learning. In Tools for Teaching (2nd ed., pp. 290–297). Jossey-Bass.

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2019-02-20T16:12:04.702-06:00 2019