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The Formative Process Explained

Engaging in the Formative Assessment Process

Our goal is to provide access to a variety of resources to help educators, teams, schools, and districts implement a high quality formative assessment process.

Cycle of Formative Assessment


* Indicates the “start” of the formative assessment process

  1. Plan learning targets --> 
  2. Use teacher designed                  formative practices -->     3. Interpret evidence -->     
  4. Provide formative      
       feedback to student -->
  5. Adjust current learning  
       goals -->

*Continue the process


View this diagram to see student & teacher roles in the formative assessment process. 

Please Note:
The Wisconsin Department of Instruction tries to use the term “formative assessment process” -- the overall cycle shown above -- and “formative practices” -- the teacher strategies that drive this process in lieu of “formative assessments.” This is because the strategic use of formative practices to elicit feedback from students is not a test event, but rather an instructional process.

Understanding the Key Issues in Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment Gas Gauge

Answer the essential questions surrounding implemention of and use of effective formative practices in a strategic assessment system.

Digging Deeper into the Formative Assessment Process

These resources will help you dig deeper into understanding and using formative practices within your classroom, school, or district. To see the formative process in action, click here for classroom videos.

For questions about this information, contact Lauren Zellmer (608) 266-8499