Professor Dylan Wiliam
This paper reviews the debates around the definition of formative assessment and proposes a refined definition based on the function of the assessment in testing pupil achievement, placing instructional decision-making at the heart of the issue.
Williams suggests that assessment can be thought of as the bridge between teaching and learning: only through some forms of assessment can educators decide whether their teaching has had its intended effect.
Williams strengthens his argument with a discussion of different types of assessment mechanisms, specifically whether assessment is proactive, measuring performance before instruction; interactive, measuring during instruction; or retroactive, after instruction. He briefly explores the relationship between formative assessment and self-regulated learning.
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