Dylan Wiliam: Unpacking Formative Assessment

At Fusion 2012 back in June, Dylan Wiliam spoke about the general confusion that hangs over the definition of formative assessment. In fact, we even wrote a blog entitled What is Formative Assessment? to address this confusion and define what we think it means. Here’s our definition:

A planned practice to elicit evidence of learning minute to minute, day by day in the classroom; along with non-summative assessments that occur while content is still being taught. Both of these can inform teachers of what students know or do not know, help students understand what it is they are ready to learn next, so teachers can adjust their instruction accordingly for each of their students.

In his keynote at the event, Dylan touched on “unpacking” formative assessment. You can watch that excerpt below, but the visual here also unpacks it nicely, with the three tracks of where the learner is going, where the learner is, and how to get there, supported by the five strategies of formative assessment that we’ve also blogged about recently.

Unpacking Formative Assessment


Dylan’s thoughts and the above illustration are really what make up our Keeping Learning on Track teacher professional development program. If you haven’t as yet checked it out and are looking for a teacher PD program for your school or district it might be worth a peek. We’d love your thoughts as well, so drop a comment below.