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The Power of Formative Assessment
March 1, 2019 - December 31, 2285
Welcome to the Power of Formative Assessment! Since the early 2000s standardized testing has been on the rise, which may have eclipsed the use of formative assessment since schools were held accountable for student performance on high stakes, standardized tests. Yet research consistently points to the power of formative assessment for student learning (Transformative Assessment, Popham, 2008). The purpose of this course is to highlight the possibility for teaching and learning that formative assessment affords beginning with a working definition of this elusive concept. We will use Popham’s work as a guide for our modules.
The Power of Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment 480x270

Professional development
  • Self-paced, asynchronous, start any time
  • 10 hours of learning, includes full lifetime access to course discussions and materials
  • Certified badge (micro-credential) awarded upon successful completion of final project
Competencies addressed

As a result of viewing the video segments, and engaging in the related discussion and activities, you will be able to:

  • Define formative assessment and evaluate its connection to classroom instruction
  • Identify formative assessments as affective, classroom climate, instructional, or metacognitive
  • Generate a unit topic and learning progressions
  • Generate a plan for their classroom to ensure that relationships are built between students and between the teacher and students
  • Reflect on the various ways that formative assessment can be used to enhance both their instruction and their leadership in the classroom

Standards met

Meets InTASC professional standards for the licensing of new teachers.

6(a) The teacher balances the use of formative and summative assessment as appropriate to support, verify, and document learning.
6(b) The teacher designs assessments that match learning objectives with assessment methods and minimizes sources of bias that can distort assessment results.
6(c) The teacher works independently and collaboratively to examine test and other performance data to understand each learner’s progress and to guide planning.
6(e) The teacher engages learners in multiple ways of demonstrating knowledge and skill as part of the assessment process.
6(j) The teacher understands the differences between formative and summative applications of assessment and knows how and when to use each.
6(r) The teacher takes responsibility for aligning instruction and assessment with learning goals.
6(t) The teacher is committed to using multiple types of assessment processes to support, verify, and document learning.
7(d) The teacher plans for instruction based on formative and summative assessment data, prior learner knowledge, and learner interest.
7(l) The teacher knows when and how to adjust plans based on assessment information and learner responses.

  • Any teacher can take this course (no prior knowledge or actual classroom experience is required).
  • Access to Internet on mobile device or computer. No purchase of additional materials needed.
  • Review and engagement of all content material included in the course, in the sequence presented.
  • Successful completion of final project.
Content and format
  • 5 research-based modules, each taking roughly 2 hours to complete
    1. Defining Formative Assessment
    2. Types of Formative Assessment and its Uses
    3. Backward Design and Learning Progressions
    4. Formative Assessment and Classroom Leadership
    5. Reflecting on Formative Assessment
  • Final project: Polishing and refining a learning progression that features at least 4 unique types of formative assessment
About the author

Dr. Jori Beck is Assistant Professor of Teaching & Learning at Old Dominion University. Her article “Making a Case for Case-Based Teaching in Data Literacy” appeared in the Kappa Delta Pi Record journal (July–Sept issue, 2017). She specializes in qualitative methods, including case study, as well as works with school–university partnerships on the theme of equity.