Australia’s national education evidence body
Gathering and interpreting information to progress student learning

Overview

Formative assessment is the practice of gathering and interpreting information about student learning as it is happening in your classroom. It can involve a variety of methods. Using formative assessment helps you know where students are at in their learning so that you can adapt your teaching to meet their needs. 

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Formative assessment is related to Focus Area 5.1: Assess student learning in the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Research

Formative assessment has a strong evidence base that meets our highest standards of evidence. For more information about the evidence base, see below:

Two A4 paper sheets with the AERO formative assessment tried and tested practice guide

Tried and Tested practice guide

This guide outlines evidence-based practices for applying formative assessment in the classroom.
 Two A4 paper sheets with a list of references from an AERO research paper

Annotated reference list

An overview of the research evidence cited throughout our formative assessment resources.

Using the practice

To be effective, formative assessment needs to be implemented well. See below some ‘things to know’ when using the practice. 

Snapshots of practice

Formative assessment may look different in different contexts. See below examples of formative assessment in a variety of classrooms and settings.

Two A4 paper sheets with the AERO formative assessment teacher vignette

Teaching vignette

Short stories from practitioners about how they use an evidence-based practice in their classroom.
Video thumbnail for Formative assessment at Walford Anglican School for Girls

Formative assessment at Walford Anglican School for Girls

 Kerri Proctor, Head of English at Walford Anglican School for Girls, uses different formative assessment methods to track student progress. 

Implementation tools

Here you will find tools to help you implement formative assessment in your classroom or setting.

One A4 paper sheet with the AERO formative assessment implementation checklist

Implementation checklist

Practical steps you can take to support the use of formative assessment in your setting.
A group of 5 adults sitting and standing in front of a computer screen in discussion

Free high-quality curriculum resources

AERO has partnered with Ochre Education to provide Australian teachers free access to hundreds of high-quality curriculum resources to help drive excellence and equity in educational outcomes.

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