Dylan Wiliam’s book Embedded Formative Assessment is filled with a number of insights. The foundation of the book highlights the importance of formative assessment as a tool to improve teacher practice and ultimately improve student learning.
In the book, he provides the five strategies he believes are core to successful formative assessment practice in the classroom:
1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success. That means getting students to really understand what their classroom experience will be and how their success will be measured.
2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning. This refers to developing effective classroom instructional strategies that allow for the measurement of success.
3. Providing feedback that moves learning forward. To accomplish this, teachers must work with students to provide them the information they need to better understand problems and solutions.
4. Activating learners as instructional resources for one another. Getting students involved with each other in discussions and working groups can help improve student learning.
5. Activating learners as owners of their own learning. Teaching students to monitor and regulate their learning increases their rate of learning.
At NWEA, we have a framework focused on four foundational formative assessment practices: clarifying learning, eliciting evidence, providing feedback, and activating learners. Understanding these four, key formative assessment practices can help educators determine which of the many strategies and tactics make sense for their classroom environment.
Get more formative assessment tips and tricks in our e-book “Making it work: How formative assessment can supercharge your practice.”