6.3 Formative assessment

Formative assessment

Key Concept: Use the online space to state assessment rationale, task instructions, deadline, and technical guidance.

Formative assessments may take the form of submitting a piece of work, creation of an online resource or contributing to a collaborative tool. Formative assessment differs from other online activities in that there is:

  • A specific deadline.
  • Marking criteria.
  • Mechanism for feedback.
  • Direct connection with subsequent work and summative assessments.

Structuring formative assessment

Screenshot showing a Procedural Essay linked within a Yorkshare module site left menu.

Formative assessment offers a clear opportunity for feedback and enables students to learn through the process of assessment. The tool chosen should not just allow students to submit in a format appropriate for the assignment, but also enable feedback to be returned to the student in a timely manner. Formative assignments may be placed anywhere in your Yorkshare module site. Some programmes may choose to put assignment tasks within one Content Area or left menu item (see the image on the right). Others may adopt a more integrated approach, embedding the assignment within seminar tasks or lab work preparation. Either way, you will need to sign-post students towards the assignment and ensure that the following is included:

  • Details of the assignment, including format for submission, deadline and how the assessment links to the module as a whole.
  • A link to the tool used for submission, including specific tasks to be undertaken.
  • Technical guidance on how to use the tool.
  • A contact for queries.
  • When and how feedback should be collected.

Approaches to formative assessment

Key Concept: Online tools allow you to assess a variety of submission types such as essays, reflective blogs, posters, videos and portfolios.

The following examples and summary table detail approaches to formative assessment, with the tool, format of submission and mode of feedback possible.

NOTE: Students should not submit work containing their exam number when using any of the approaches with the tools listed below as this will jeopardise the anonymity of the submission.

Detailed examples of formative work

View the following pages for further details on how to put together different types of formative work:

  1. Written assignments and file submission
  2. Group assignment tasks
  3. Visual digital presentations
  4. Tests and adaptive release
  5. Reflection and peer feedback
  6. Audio/video submission

Summary of approaches

Approach Tool Submission type(s) Feedback type(s)
Essay plan or formative essay/report (non anonymous). Can be individual or group based. Standard Assignment Submission (non-anonymous) Word doc or other file type
  • Online marking Assignment Submission tool
  • Download Word doc, comment, and re-upload to Assignment Submission tool for student
  • Summary comments and file attachment via Assignment Submission tool or Grade Centre
  • Automated release model answer
Formative essay/report (non-anonymous) for student self-assessment Turnitin Word doc
  • Turnitin automated text-matching report
  • Download Word doc, comment and return back using Grade Centre or email
  • Automated release model answer
Self-checking knowledge / revision quiz Test Quiz question types include: multiple choice, text answer, ordering, matching and fill-in-the-blanks
  • Automated marking, model answer or suggested discussion point depending on question type
Public blog (external engagement) Blogger or WordPress Online blog comprising any form of text, image, file
  • Commenting tool (publicly visible)
  • Grade Centre column with rubric
Presentation slides (students make slides available to whole class) Google Drive, Wiki (table template), Blog (course mode) Upload to shared Google Drive folder; PowerPoint attachment into wiki/blog
  • Existing presentation feedback mechanisms
  • Rubric-based feedback using Yorkshare
  • Peer-feedback via tool comments
Portfolio Google Sites Online website comprising any form of text, image, file
  • Commenting tool within Google Sites
  • Grade Centre column with rubric
Video YouTube, Replay (assignment folder), Replay (student presentation lecture capture) Private upload, shared with marker
  • Commenting tool within YouTube / Replay
  • Grade Centre column with rubric
Audio JournalGoogle Drive Journal post with audio attached; Google Drive folder shared with marker
  • Commenting tool within Journal
  • Grade Centre column with rubric

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