Feedback and Formative Assessment Tools

Why Feedback is Important to Learning?

Formative assessment is a valuable tool that enables instructors to provide immediate and ongoing feedback to improve student learning (Shute, 2008). Formative assessment can involve providing feedback following an assessment, but more importantly, this feedback is delivered during instruction, allowing instructors to identify student misunderstandings and help them correct their errors. This formative feedback is crucial for improving knowledge, skills, and understanding, and is also a significant factor in motivating student learning.

A commonly cited definition of formative feedback states that it is “information about the gap between the actual level and reference level which is used to alter that gap” (Ramaprasad, 1983, p.4 ).

Actual performance

Formative Feedback

Desired performance

Students must use this feedback provided by the instructor to engage in the appropriate actions required to close the gap between the actual and desired level of performance. Therefore, for successful student learning, formative feedback must not be one-sided; instead it involves both the instructor and the students.