What Is Formative Evaluation & Name Some Functions And Characteristics Of Formative Evaluation

Formative evaluation is used to monitor the learning progress of students during the period of instruction. Its main objective is to provide continuous feedback to both teacher and student concerning learning successes and failures while instruction is in process.Feedback to students provides reinforcement of successful learning and identifies the specific learning errors that need correction. Feedback to teacher provides information for modifying instruction and for prescribing group and individual remedial work. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

Formative evaluation helps a teacher to ascertain the pupil-progress from time to time. At the end of a topic or unit or segment or a chapter the teacher can evaluate the learning outcomes basing on which he can modify his methods, techniques and devices of teaching to provide better learning experiences.The teacher can even modify the instructional objectives, if necessary. In other words, formative evaluation provides feedback to the teacher. The teacher can know which aspects of the learning task were mastered and which aspects were poorly or not at all mastered by pupils. Formative evaluation helps the teacher to assess the relevance and appropriateness of the learning experiences provided and to assess instantly how far the goals are being fulfilled.Thus, it aims at improvement of instruction. Formative evaluation also provides feedback to pupils. The pupil knows his learning progress from time to time. Thus, formative evaluation motivates the pupils for better learning. As such, it helps the teacher to take appropriate remedial measures.

“The idea of generating information to be used for revising or improving educational practices is the core concept of formative evaluation.”

It is concerned with the process of development of learning. In the sense, evaluation is concerned not only with the appraisal of the achievement but also with its improvement. Education is a continuous process.Therefore, evaluation and development must go hand in hand. The evaluation has to take place in every possible situation or activity and throughout the period of formal education of a pupil.

Cronback is the first educationist, who gave the best argument for formative evaluation. According to him, the greatest service evaluation can perform is to identify aspects of the course where education is desirable. Thus, this type of evaluation is an essential tool to provide feedback to the learners for improvement of their self-learning and to the teachers for improvement of their methodologies of teaching, nature of instructional materials, etc.

It is a positive evaluation because of its attempt to create desirable learning goals and tools for achieving such goals. Formative evaluation is generally concerned with the internal agent of evaluation, like participation of the learner in the learning process.

The functions of formation evaluation are:

(a) Diagnosing:

Diagnosing is concerned with determining the most appropriate method or instructional materials conducive to learning.

(b) Placement:

Placement is concerned with the finding out the position of an individual in the curriculum from which he has to start learning.

(c) Monitoring:

Monitoring is concerned with keeping track of the day-to- day progress of the learners and to point out changes necessary in the methods of teaching, instructional strategies, etc. For Educational Evaluations in US visit here

The characteristics of formative evaluation are as follows:

a. It is an integral part of the learning process.

b. It occurs, frequently, during the course of instruction.

c. Its results are made immediately known to the learners.

d. It may sometime take form of teacher observation only.

e. It reinforces learning of the students.

f. It pinpoints difficulties being faced by a weak learner.

g. Its results cannot be used for grading or placement purposes.

h. It helps in modification of instructional strategies including method of teaching, immediately.

i. It motivates learners, as it provides them with knowledge of progress made by them.

j. It sees role of evaluation as a process.

k. It is generally a teacher-made test.

l. It does not take much time to be constructed.