Distinguishing Formative Assessment from Other Educational Assessment Labels
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From the publisher: “In this document, the FAST SCASS (Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers – State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards) aims to clarify the meaning and uses of the types of assessment most frequently used in education. By so doing, the FAST SCASS intends to clarify what formative assessment is and is not in order to increase both the understanding and implementation of formative assessment practices in classrooms.”
The authors of this resource effectively state their purposes and meet them, supporting their assessment definitions through both research and recognized assessment experts. As a result, this paper makes an important contribution to the field, especially helping to define what formative assessment is and isn’t. For one good example: “Formative assessment takes place during the course of ongoing instruction to support student learning as it develops.” Some of the distinctions between assessment types are rather minimal, such as progress-monitoring assessment compared to benchmark assessment. Communications quality is acceptable, although the resource is sometimes laden with long sentences and academic language. Utility should be reasonably high, and, although evidence of effectiveness is not provided, the overall qualities of this resource suggest a favorable impact on learning.