7 Steps to Mastering Formative Assessment: Definition, Examples, Strategies, and Tools

Explore the world of formative assessment with Qridi. Learn about the definition, examples, strategies, and tools to enhance student learning and understanding.

7 Steps to mastering Formative Assessment: Definition, Examples, Strategies, and Tools

Are you looking to revolutionize your teaching approach and improve student outcomes? Dive into the realm of formative assessment with Qridi as your guide. In this article, we'll explore the definition, examples, strategies, and tools of formative assessment, empowering you to engage and support your students effectively. We will outline 7 practical measures and tools to achieve good formative assessment practices in the classroom.

Qridi is widely used specifically in Finland, where learning outcomes are among the best in the world. One reason for the success of the Finnish education system is considered to be the emphasis on formative assessment in teaching.

What is Formative Assessment?

Formative assessment is a dynamic process used by educators to monitor student learning progress and provide timely feedback for improvement. Unlike summative assessment, which evaluates student learning at the end of a unit or course, formative assessment occurs throughout the learning process. It aims to identify student strengths and areas for growth, guiding instructional decisions and fostering continuous improvement.

Using this approach, students are allowed to use assessment as a tool to gain ownership and understanding of their own learning. Teaching the skills of self-assessment help improve students' metacognitive abilities and support them with their growth towards becoming independent and self-regulated learners.

What is formative assessment?

7 Examples of Formative Assessment Measures

1. Classroom Discussions: Engage students in meaningful conversations to gauge their understanding of key concepts and identify misconceptions.

2. Digital portfolios: Allow students to record different stages of their learning progress and reflect on it. This builds children’s metacognitive abilities and guides them towards becoming self-regulated learners.

3. Quizzes and Polls: Administer short quizzes or polls during lessons to check for comprehension and adjust teaching strategies accordingly.

4. Self- and Peer Assessment: Encourage students to provide constructive feedback to their peers, promoting collaboration and self-reflection.

5. Observations: Observe student behavior, participation, and problem-solving skills during group activities or projects to inform teaching practices.

6. Visualize the learning paths: In order to be aware of the current stage of progress, what has already been covered and what lies ahead, different visualisations can be used. Learning objectives and their sequence can take the form of a train, house, mountain or a tree for example.

7. Set goals with students: Having a clear goal in mind can help learners understand the path they are on. Working on goals on an individual level and also keeping parents informed and included in formulating the goals greatly enhances the awareness of the current learning path.

Formative vs. Summative Assessment: Understanding the Difference

While both formative and summative assessments are valuable tools for evaluating student learning, they serve different purposes. Formative assessment focuses on providing ongoing feedback to support student growth and improve instruction.

In contrast, summative assessment measures student achievement at the end of a learning period and often carries more weight in grading.

Formative vs. Summative Assessment: Key Differences and When to Use Each

Understanding the distinction between formative and summative assessments is crucial for educators aiming to optimize both the learning process and learning outcomes. Here’s a deeper look at how these assessments differ and the appropriate contexts for each

Formative vs summative assessment

Choosing the Right Assessment

The choice between formative and summative assessments should be guided by the educational goals:

  • For ongoing instruction adjustments and immediate student feedback, formative assessments are ideal. They help teachers identify where students are struggling and provide corrective measures that aid in learning retention and concept mastery.
  • For measuring efficacy of instruction, student competency at the end of a learning cycle, and preparing students for high-stakes environments, summative assessments are necessary.

By blending both formative and summative assessments effectively, educators can provide a balanced approach that not only measures learning outcomes but also enriches the educational journey. Integrating formative assessments with the strategic use of summative assessments ensures that students not only achieve learning objectives but are also guided continuously towards achieving those goals efficiently and effectively.

Supporting the Development of Metacognition

The power of formative assessment lies in its use as a tool to support learners' development of metacognition: If we allow students to practice relflection through our use of formative assessment methods, we nurture their development of self-evaluation skills.

Ultimately, the objective is to assist learners in becoming self-regulated, self-aware, and motivated participants in their own learning journeys, fostering a sense of ownership over their learning endeavors.

Metacognition in education

Leveraging Formative Assessment Tools with Qridi

Qridi offers a range of powerful tools and features designed to streamline the formative assessment process and enhance student learning experiences. From customizable assessments and real-time data tracking to interactive feedback mechanisms and collaborative features, Qridi empowers educators to engage, assess, and support every learner effectively.

Qridi introduces learners and teachers to look at learning and progress as a group and as individuals. Learning is planned and monitored under the teacher’s guidance, future skills are strengthened and personal strengths identified. The learning journey is recorded and made visible with the help of different functionalities. The resulting data acts as an instrument for dialogue in learning.

Formative assessment tools
Qridi's features make formative assessment easy in the classroom

Benefits of Digital Formative Assessment

Digital formative assessment has transformed learning in many ways, and its benefits are astonishing! Here are a few highlights:

  • Makes learning more individualized: Every learner is unique. Digital formative assessment allows learning to be tailored to individual needs.
  • Improves learning outcomes: Digital formative assessment provides more accurate information about learning. As a result, there is a better understanding and the possibility to improve outcomes.
  • Helps identify learning bottlenecks: Digital formative assessment reveals where learners need additional support and guidance.
  • Reduces teacher workload: Automating assessment processes with digital formative assessment tools frees up more time for teachers to focus on the quality of teaching.
  • Makes feedback more timely: Learners receive immediate feedback, which helps them progress faster.
  • Increases student engagement and agency: Participation in the assessment process encourages students to engage actively in learning and take responsibility for their own development.
  • Enhances students' assessment skills: Formative assessment teaches important skills, such as self-assessment and recognizing one's strengths.
  • Captivates students: Innovative assessment methods make learning more interesting and motivate students.
  • Makes assessment more transparent: Formative assessment brings transparency to the assessment process, benefiting all parties involved.

Qridi offers all of this to students and teachers!


Formative assessment is a cornerstone of effective teaching and learning, providing valuable insights into student progress and promoting continuous improvement. By understanding the definition, examples, strategies, and tools of formative assessment, educators can create dynamic learning environments that inspire growth, achievement, and success for all students.

Tests, exams and quizzes are essential building blocks of traditional student assessment. They can be effective in measuring concept comprehension and knowledge, but often fail to recognize the development of skills and attitudes.

Furthermore, as traditional testing is descriptive and summative, it is not able to provide insights into learning processes or support students’ learning.

Finally, understanding the importance of supporting learner's active participation in the assessment process and how it affects their development of metacognitive skills will helps teachers increase the impact of their teaching and achieve greater results in learning.

Join the formative assessment revolution with Qridi and unlock the full potential of your classroom today!

Further Reading

Nord Anglia Education: Power of Metacognition

Nord Anglia Education Metacognition Study

Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement (John Hattie)

HundrED Spotlight: Formative Assessment - Improving Learning for Every Child