Formative Classrooms Shifting the Focus of Assessment in Higher Education
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Over the past decade, as standards-based assessment of student learning has become prominent, ongoing or formative assessment has emerged to the forefront of education and best practices in teaching. The use of formative assessment in classrooms is reaching an all-time high in elementary through high school. However, many in higher education still utilize a more traditional summative assessment so widely used in years past. Studies are now beginning to show many more productive ways to enhance learning using formative assessment to drive daily instruction. This type of assessment is also referred to as “student-centered,” “ongoing,” or “evidenced-based” assessment. When teachers use formative assessment in the classroom, they themselves become more effective; students become actively engaged; and both become strategic and intentional learners together. The use of formative assessment in higher education is explained and specific examples are provided.