According to the Collins English Dictionary (2003), formative assessment is the “ongoing assessment of a pupil’s educational development within a particular subject area. Sadler (1999) defines it as the kind of assessment whose intention is to generate feedback so as to improve and enhance students’ learning. This kind of assessment helps development of knowledge, skills and abilities and also enhances understanding without necessarily having to pass any final testing (Black and Wiliam 2003). Formative assessments are learner centered, which means that their goal is to help the student make maximum progress in the learning process.
The assessments are appropriate for primary school children as they embrace the educational objective domains of Blooms taxonomy: psychomotor, affective and cognitive. The cognitive domain that is enhanced by formative assessments revolves around the comprehension, knowledge and ability to critically think about a subject. The psychomotor domain is all about the ability of the pupil to physically manipulate instruments in the learning process. The affective domain on the other hand relate to how learners are likely to react emotionally (Sadler 1998). Formative assessments incorporate all three Bloom’s Taxonomy domains in that they allow the pupil to develop not only recall skills, but also critical analysis skills in the learning process.
There are two types of formative assessments according to Hall and Burke (2004). These are: planned formative assessments and interactive assessments. As the name suggests, planned formative assessments are those that are use to obtain tangible evidence on the way pupils think about a concept that they have been taught in class. These types of assessments are normally semi-formal and may be taken at the beginning or at the end of a certain topic. In these assessments, some assessment activities are prepared to furnish evidence that can be used to improve ...Show more