Formative Assessment Comments

In one of the professional development sessions taking place in our school, there was a good discussion about the importance of the analysis of test results and how formative assessment comments can be very effective in the process of teaching and learning. The discussion ended up with the following useful ideas. 


It is true that the analysis of test results help teachers modify their teaching strategies to effectively meet the different needs of their students. (Differentiation). It is also true that formative comments can be very effective in elevating the standard of students’ performance. In fact, effective formative comments take students from where they are to where you want them to be. Formative comments help students on this journey.

Creating a learning conversation on how to improve students’ work

Rule 1: Students need to be working.
Rule 2: Teacher is free to walk around the room and observe. (Look at the objectives and see how students are working).  Meanwhile, a teacher can give formative comments to support students with the objectives.

Differentiation can be considered at this stage and comments should differ according to the level and needs of each group of students. The objective here is to have as many interactions as possible around the objectives. The teacher can encourage students to write comments about their peers. (A positive comment) – how best they can actually improve their learning. In this way the teacher can create a learning classroom.



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