On Formative Assessment

by Les Howard, Oakland Schools Literacy Consultant

Formative assessment is a hot topic at the moment, and for a good reason. The research behind formative assessment indicates it is one of the most powerful things a teacher and students can do for learning.


The research from John Hattie, Dylan Wiliam, and others indicates formative assessment can produce an effect size of up to 0.7. This means it is possible for a student to experience two years growth in one year in a classroom that uses formative assessment. Interestingly, it is the lowest achieving students who may benefit the most from a classroom where formative assessment is used.


Wiliam and Leahy have written a great book to support formative assessment in the classroom: Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms (Learning Sciences International, 2016). The book begins with “Why Formative Assessment Should be a Priority for Every Teacher” (Chapter 1), and shares insights into effective professional learning for educators (Chapter 2).

Learn More About Formative Assessment Via Online Modules

Literacy Consultant Les Howard is writing a series of six formative assessment modules that will be available online in mi Place (Oakland Schools' virtual professional learning platform) in early 2016. Each module will take about an hour to complete. The series is structured around the Five Key Strategies of Formative Assessment by Wiliam and Leahy.


To learn more about Formative Assessment in general or the upcoming online modules please feel free to email: Les.Howard@oakland.k12.mi.us.

Oakland Schools Literacy

Kimberly Adragna

2111 Pontiac Lake Road

Waterford, MI 48328

(248) 209.2195