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Formative Assessment

The term assessment can reference either an instrument used to collect data or it can reference a process used to collect data. Assessment data may be either qualitative (e.g., narrative description of performance) or quantitative (e.g., score from a midterm exam). Either way, formative assessment occurs before or during program implementation. The formative data are used to improve program outcomes, which are often related to student development. As such, it is often referred to as assessment for learning or considered as learner-centered assessment. This entry defines formative assessment and evaluates its strengths and weaknesses. The entry also explains key components of formative assessment and provides an overview of its utility to improve student learning in the classroom.

In general, formative assessment is an effective tool to ...

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