What is it?
‘Formative assessment describes all those processes by which teachers and learners use information about student’s achievement to improve their achievements. So it’s about using information to adapt your teaching, to adapt the work of your pupils to put the learning back on track … to make sure the learning is proceeding in the right direction and to support that learning. So it’s what happens when you don’t just lecture students and rattle through the material and then ask them if they understood OK.’ Dylan Wiliam, Nov 2006
Broadly speaking there are two kinds of assessment used in education – summative and formative. They differ mainly in terms of their purpose, how the evidence gathered will be used and by whom.