Formative Assessment Processes that Promote Student Learning

(You don't need to "Join This Wiki" to use this course. See below for info on how to get started.)

Hello! Welcome to the adventure of learning and working with formative assessment. In this course you will be able to start at ground level or wherever you feel you are in the process. Several teachers have provided their narratives and stories to help you understand the common struggles and successes that go along with formative and summative assessment. Hopefully their experiences will provide you with ideas and information to help you in your own journey.
You will also have opportunities to read, think about and use formative assessment processes in your own classroom, at your own pace. We want you to try out these processes, get feedback from your students, then share your experiences and resources with other Ingham County teachers. We want this to be a useful online learning community.
This course covers the following main topics:
1. The “what and why” of formative vs. summative assessment
2. How formative assessment helps students:
  • tracking students’ progress with learning targets
  • giving descriptive feedback to students that motivates them to take control of their own learning by changing their learning tactics to re-learn something
3. Grading with formative and summative assessment
4. How formative assessment helps teachers to make everyday decisions about the pace and effectiveness of their teaching
5. Finding ways to get the whole school to use formative assessment

  • We highly recommend that you purchase and use the book Classroom Assessment for Student Learning: Doing it Right – Using it Well by Rick Stiggins, Judith Arter, Jan Chappuis and Steve Chappuis. It's somewhat expensive ($52 on Amazon) but worth it. If you are taking the course for credit, there are many assignments that come out of this book.

If you need any further information or would like to talk to someone in person about anything on this site or in the categories, please contact Theron Blakeslee and he will put you in contact with the right person.
Enjoy the journey!

How to Use this Course

You don't need to "join" the wiki to use this course, so don't click the "Join This Wiki" button. You can write in the discussion tabs without being a formal member of this wiki. Just contact the instructor directly or register at

This wiki is primarily intended to convey information about various processes related to formative assessment and allow teachers to share their own experiences and ask questions of other teachers. Please use the discussion tabs on each page to share your experiences and pose your questions - or answer other's questions. This is not an instructor-led course. Any feedback you get on your postings will come from other users of this wiki.

You can earn either 0.5 or 2.0 SB-CEUs for this course, depending on how much work you want to do - 5 hours of work for 0.5 SBCEUs, 20 hours of work for 2.0 SBCEUs. To earn credit, participants will read about formative assessment processes as they are being used in teachers' classrooms, then use them in their own classroom, and then write short reflections in the appropriate discussion tabs about how they worked with their students, including any suggestions to other teachers for improving the strategies. Participants will also be encouraged to submit samples of student work to post on the course, including interviews with students about how the formative assessment processes helped their learning.

To earn 0.5 SB-CEUs, you should read the two teacher stories, then read, use and respond to 1 of the 6 components. To earn 2.0 SB-CEU's, you should read the two teacher stories, then read and respond to 4 of the 6 of the components and submit at least one sample of student work or an interview (transcript or video) with a student.

The course provides explicit instructions, forms and hand-outs to use in classrooms. As a professional learning community, participants will be able to ask questions of each other, give advice, and share resources.

The resources that are currently in this online professional learning community are oriented toward mathematics teaching, although you could customize them to your own subject area. If you teach in another content area, we are counting on you to share your good ideas for formative assessment on our discussion pages.

A note on the videos that are embedded in several pages: They open in Windows Media Player if you're using a Windows-based computer. If you're using a Mac with QuickTime, you'll have to download and install the Perian codec for QuickTime.

To join this course, please contact the instructor, explaining in your email what you'd like to learn and accomplish through this course - which components you're interested in, how many SBCEU's you want to earn. Then do the work at your own pace. When you've completed your work, email the instructor again to receive confirmation of your accomplishments for your school records. Instructor: Theron Blakeslee, Ingham ISD, 517-244-1201.