What is Formative Assessment?

As we talk with teachers, administrators, policy makers, and even researchers, we find that the concept of formative assessment is not universally understood. To ensure a common definition, we have compiled this page of resources to share with colleagues.
Maryland uses the following definition:

Formative Assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes.

AERA/APA/NCME (2014)
FAST SCASS/CCSSO (2007) 

The Attributes of Formative Assessment




This visual illustrates the key differences between formative and summative assessment, including the target audience for each type of assessment.



Feel free to use this fun visual that provides examples of formative assessment strategies.