When used well, assessments can help teachers measure and guide improvements in student learning as well as help students and families understand student progress related to learning goals. As stated by the Danielson Framework for Teaching (2013), effective teachers design formative and summative assessments that are aligned with clear learning goals and differentiated for student needs (e.g., English learners, students with disabilities). They also are able to explain what it means for students to demonstrate mastery on a given assessment. Additionally, effective teachers can articulate how they will use the results of formative assessments to provide feedback to students and modify future instruction to enhance student learning (i.e., opportunities for remediation or enrichment). Finally, effective teachers engage students in the process of assessing their own work and providing peer feedback.
Below are descriptions of skillful use of formative assessment during unit of instruction: