Formal Recognition for Informal Learning

BDG0103 Quick Formative Assessment

DESCRIPTION: Teachers who earn the Quick Formative Assessment Micro-Credential can quickly check all students for understanding during the lesson and use responses to adjust the lesson and increase student learning.

EARNING THE MICRO-CREDENTIAL: To earn the Quick Formative Assessment Micro-Credential, teachers demonstrate that they can plan and implement quick checks for understanding that solicit feedback from all students. They also demonstrate that they can use student responses to either provide instructive feedback or to revise the lesson in progress to increase student learning. Earners write a partial lesson plan including at least two quick formative assessments, explaining three things:

  1.  how the quick check ties to the learning target,
  2.  how the student data will reveal student understanding or misunderstanding, and
  3.  what the teacher will say or do to remediate any misunderstandings. The earner video-records the planned lesson to demonstrate the ability to employ quick formative assessments and to use the results to inform instruction during the lesson.

RESEARCH BASE: The research base for formative assessments is strong. Black & Wiliam (1998) first demonstrated the powerful research (see below). Black and Wiliam’s (1998) seminal article (below) outlines the initial research. Effect sizes on learning have been shown to be anywhere from .2 (Kingston & Nash, 2011) to .87 (Graham, Hiebert, & Harris, 2015). A nice summary of the research base is provided by Ryerse and Brookhart (2018). See below.

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998) Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan. 80 (2). pp. 139-148 http://www.wyoaac.org/Lit/Inside%20the%20Black%20Box%20-%20Black.pdf

Ryerse, M., Brookhart, S. (2018) The research base for formative assessment. Getting Smart blog article. Retrieved from https://www.gettingsmart.com/2018/07/the-research-base-for-formative-assessment/

BACKGROUND: The following are useful tools to understand more about the topic.

  1. Video: Module 3: Assessment: https://vimeo.com/176207872 (password “assessment”)
  2. Advancing Formative Assessment in Every Classroom: Chapter One (Moss & Brookhart, 2009)
  3. 56 Examples of Formative Assessment Online resource

MICRO-CREDENTIAL CRITERIA: A Quick Formative Assessment Micro-Credential earner can do the following:

  1. Plan multiple quick formative assessments in each lesson.
  2. Check for important lesson understandings.
  3. Ascertain each student’s level of understanding.
  4. Supply meaningful feedback to improve learning.
  5. Adjust instruction so all students learn.


  1. Submit a lesson plan
    Create a simple lesson plan that includes the following:

    • The lesson target or objective.
    • Two different quick formative assessments you will use during the lesson.
    • An explanation of how each relates to important lesson understanding.
    • An explanation of how student responses will be used to assess learning and adjust the lesson.
  2. Submit a lesson video
    Keep in mind the following:

    • Teach and video-record the planned lesson.
    • Obtain permission for students to be video-recorded.
    • Show both examples and resulting instructor follow-up.
    • Edit the video so it is no more than 15 minutes long.
  3. Submit a written reflection
    After completing the recorded lesson, write a written reflection (maximum: 400 words) of the lesson that explains:

    • The impact of the two quick formative assessments on the lesson.
    • The impact of the two quick formative assessments on student learning.
    • The change(s) that can be made to improve the use of quick formative assessments.



Dodge, J. (2009) 25 quick formative assessments for a differentiated classroom. Scholastic https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Formative-Assessments-Differentiated-Classroom/dp/0545087422

Moss, C., and Brookhart, S. (2009) Advancing formative assessment in every classroom: A guide for instructional leaders. Alexandria VA. ASCD http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109031.aspx


Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998) Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. Phi Delta Kappan. 80 (2). pp. 139- 148 http://www.wyoaac.org/Lit/Inside%20the%20Black%20Box%20-%20Black.pdf

Dodge, Judith What Are Formative Assessments and How Should We Use Them? Scholastic Teacher Resources. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-are-formative-assessments-and-why-should-we-use-them

Dyer, K. (2013) Formative Assessment – What it is, why you should use it, and how to make it happen. The Education Blog. https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/formative-assessment-what-it-is-why-you-should-use-it-and-how-to-make-it-happen/

Meyer, J. (2012) What’s Up with Formative Assessment?

Popham, W.J. (2008) Chapter 1: Formative Assessment: Why, What, and Whether? Transformative Assessment. Transformative Assessment. http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108018/chapters/Formative-Assessment@-Why,-What,-and-Whether.aspx


Assessment by Susan Brookhart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OLVf6s7crE

Giving Effective Feedback by Susan Brookhart: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYQE73yhu7g

Formative Assessment Strategies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBtM7hpGXtA

Embedding Formative Assessment into Classroom Practice by Dylan Wiliam: http://www.dylanwiliamcenter.com/webinar-embedding-formative-assessment-into-classroom-practice/

Module 3: Assessment by John Meyer: https://vimeo.com/176207872 (password “assessment”)

Martin Luther College Courses

EDU9520 Formative Assessment that Works – 1 credit (continuing education)

EDU5106 Assessment of Learning and Instruction – 3 credits (graduate level)