When developing Formatives, what are your end goals for your learners?



Happy Wednesday! If you had a three day weekend, you will understand that I am off on my days and have not posted this as of yet. However, it’s a slow chat, so no worries. I hope all of you have a great rest of the week!

@informed_members @Certified_Educators

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That they seeing learning as an opportunity to grow. That the learning process is more important than the answer. To celebrate mistakes and learn from them. To see assessment as an opportunity to get better not just a grade or the end of learning. To provide them with feedback and help them become independent and self reflecting learners.


Great end goals @d.vendramin! I exclusively used GoFormative for Formative Assessment only last year and students knew when we did a GoFormative formative for the day it would be great practice and that perfection was not the goal, but truly learning and growing was the goal.


I want my students to have a safe spot that they can share their thoughts and ideas about the literature we are reading. I want them to feel comfortable to share their opinions and feelings even if they don’t match everyone else in the classroom. Literature should evoke an emotion of some sort, but I think open discussion is a bit too daunting for MS students to express their true feelings.


I use Formatives as ‘stepping stones’ towards mastery. For a particular learning target, I break down the task into small steps, mostly focusing on the math errors that students usually have for those particular concepts. I also try to plan some ‘skippable’ Formatives. When students take a short learning check assessment, if they show mastery of a step, they can ‘skip’ it and it’s marked as Exempt in our grade book. Sometimes I put in prerequisite skills so even the lower ability kids can ‘skip’ a lesson here and there. In a nutshell, my Formatives are designed to promote success, to show progression towards mastery, and to catch errors before they become compounded.


I don’t think there are singular end-goals that I could generalize for my Formatives. Sometimes I’m using them as self-regulation. Sometimes I use them to introduce and explore new topics (like Ray Steinmetz) uses. Other times I’m developing a checkpoint quiz. Finally I use them as summative assessments because sometimes it’s just plain easier to grade.


I really like the idea of “skippable” formatives. Canvas has what’s called “mastery paths” which I love the idea, but it’s just so complicated to set up and use effectively.

Maybe that mastery-path idea could be a feature request in the future.


When I develop formatives I have a particular performance task in mind. While completing the formative I’m hoping students will grow to achieve mastery of a sill.


Making sure that students feel comfortable share their thinking through any platform is such an important first step! If students don’t feel comfortable with it, it’s tough to get an accurate reading of where there at and support them. I am happy to hear that you are focusing on this!


I’d love to hear more about this!


I’d like them to know that making mistakes is part of making progress!


A simple example of mastery pathways is a singular quiz auto-assigning other quizzes to students based off their performance. I’m not sure how it would fit in to Formative. I think it would kind of have to be a quiz within a quiz (like Google Forms has sections you can track to based off of responses).

See this quick graphic I made


@david I just had a thought. If Formative did incorporate some sort of mastery pathways, I could theoretically build out an entire course – entirely within Formative. Base it off of the school curriculum, create blended playlists leading to other blended playlists based on performance. Built-in self-checks, along with summative assessments. The possibilities would be ENDLESS!

You could also get stuck in a loop too. That would be bad. Formative A leads to Formative B which leads back to Formative A…


Thanks for the example! The details definitely help with considering this feature. One workaround for this that I’ve heard others use is providing links to formatives at the end of the one you are having all your students take and letting students self-select based on their performance. I could see you adding the chart you made to the bottom of a formative, allowing students to check their scores, and then go to the proper formative based on it. The formatives that follow could also have their own pathways.


Just found this question.
When I post a formative the end goal for my students is to continue to practice skills and to show proficiency in whatever skills being assessed. Continued practice- changing up how it is presented- strengthens a students confidence. That idea that ‘practice makes perfect’ is a wee bit off, but somewhat true.
@informed_members ELA_educators