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Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment

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Formative Assessment

Formative assessment provides a useful way of giving students feedback and assessing their existing knowledge without affecting their eventual grades.

It is a particularly useful tool in with a new cohort or on a new module to help guide staff in their teaching and give students a chance to try new skills without fear of affecting their eventual grades.

Formative assessment does not have to be onerous, for colleagues or for students. It could be a quick online quiz, a short piece of written work or even a list of points addressing a particular question or topic. It could be completed and marked automatically online (see Canvas quizzes) or used to stimulate discussion and debate.

Students are sometimes reluctant to undertake formative assignments because of the emphasis placed on grades rather than feedback and intellectual development. They often respond better if teaching staff can offer a quick explanation of why a certain exercise is useful to them and to those leading the course.