The Common Core and Formative Assessment


What did you learn?  Combining the Common Core Readiness Standards for Adult Education along with formative assessment provides the instructor and learners with feedback on the lesson.  It allows the teacher to determine where the students are in their learning and make the appropriate adjustments in order to meet the learning targets of the day.

I want to share with the Community an excellent way to get your students involved in the formative assessment process.  You can watch a class in action demonstrating this practice.  It will only take less than 2 minutes of your time.  In this video, you will see how technology is used to assess student learning and give the instructor instant feedback.

What are some formative assessment strategies that have worked for you?  What has not been a success?

Meryl Becker-Prezocki, SME


Hi Leah,

I want to thank you for your response to my post earlier today.  I was delighted that you took the initiative to re-post the message on the Tech Tips for Teachers blog.  Your suggestion to use this idea in a professional development is something that I already have in the planning stage.  I hope that others will benefit from watching this short video and implementing the formative assessment strategies that are demonstrated.

Let us know what you think.


Meryl, Thanks for sharing this 2-minute video on using texting to assess student learning. This teacher uses texting to revisit what students learned from the previous day's lesson, which gives her helpful information to guide her next lesson. I have not yet (I sure intend to start!) used texting in my own teaching, but I can imagine so many ways it could be used effectively. For example, since adult ed classes are often small, a teacher could ask students to respond through texting to questions posed during instruction -- for any subject area The communication would be private, so the teacher could immediately see who is understanding and who isn't.

There are so many ways texting could be used as part of teaching and learning! I am certain that members of our community have oodles of ideas for doing so! Please share your ideas here!

Cheers, Susan

Moderator, Assessment CoP

Thanks for sharing this video, Meryl.  The teacher uses PollEverywhere to ask the questions and receive the responses via texting, and then uses Wordle to make a word cloud out of the responses.  Both tools are free.  In addition to the teacher creating the poll and wordle, students could also create the formative assessment questions and create the polls and wordles as homework.  Great stuff!



Nell Eckersley

Tchnology and Learning SME

Actually, if you haven't used Poll Everywhere in a while, there's a new "CLOUD" option.  Students text back their responses and Poll Everywhere displays it as a word cloud.  Try it out!  I did it at a professional development workshop not too long ago and it was very cool to see everyone's responses immediately in "Wordle" type image.

Hi Lynn,

We all benefit from these tips.  From my point of view, the best situations for learning occur when everyone in the class is actively involved.  I call it learning in action.  I hope that you will come back to this discussion and give us feedback on how the presentation went.


Great topic for discussion! We worked to ensure that students had an option for demonstrating their "formative knowledge."

One of the questions we wrestled with in our Job Corps project in trades was whether the formative assessment should be lesson or unit specific for the content or we should take a larger view and consider the global course content. In the end we settled on the global course content as a focus of the items. The rationale was that when students completed the course(s), they needed to pass a certification exam. By continuing to test their knowledge of the course content, they were better prepared. The general global measure provided a continuous review of the content.

Also, since they would see test items for which they had not yet been taught, they were cued to recognize that new content was forthcoming. One might think of the test items as providing an "advance organizer."

Hope these thoughts are helpful.

Reading and Writing Moderator

Hi Daryl and all, You suggested that getting a preview of test items served as a sort of advance organizer for students, i.e., they were cued to pay attention to certain information in the material they'd be learning next. A classic advance organizer teachers use to introduce a new lesson is the K-W-L, where students identify things they Know, things they Want to know, and then at the conclusion of the lesson, what they Learned. Some teachers add a column for learners to confirm what they thought they knew, so they can correct any previous misconceptions. The Learn column offers teachers and students a good way to summarize and reflect on what was learned from the lesson.

K-W-L is a useful tool to solicit learners' prior knowledge on a topic. It can be effective as both an advance organizer and a formative assessment tool. What other tools are members using as advance organizers and/or for the purpose of formatively assessing student learning? What are some strategies you use to prompt students' think about what they already know about a topic? Has the K-W-L been effective for you? Are there other tools or strategies that are as effective or even more effective than the K-W-L?

Please share your effective teaching strategies and your questions with us here!



Moderator, Assessment CoP