Formative Assessments: Best Option For Online Learning

Online learning

In the modern world where skills and techniques are so varied, formative assessment is usually looked over for more summative testing. Summative testing is the usual go-to for checking how students have learnt their lessons. Conducting a test at the end of a term, however, doesn’t guarantee that students have learnt properly. Formative assessments may require more time and preparation to conduct. However, these assessments can help the learning process be better and efficient for the learning process. The formative method of testing is a continuous process that subtly evaluates to check how far the students have progressed. This may include projects where they have to take the lead to see how well they perform, or through other processes such as class quizzes, discussion forums, practise sessions, etc. 

How Is It A Necessity?

A student may have gone through a whole learning process and then participates in a summative assessment only to find that his or her performance needs improvement. That would use up a lot of time which could have been used for devising better ways to teach. Neither the teachers nor the learners would know where they could have improved. Now, with formative assessment, everyone involved can know of the shortcomings in specific parts of the learning process. As a result, they can ensure that learners receive better training to understand their lessons. Formative testing comes into use since the instructors can receive feedback at regular intervals. It can help everyone know if they are on the right path and readily identify where their skills need improvement, and target what’s important.

Benefits For Learners

In an active learning environment for students, instructors can help learners understand where they are strong. Students will also know where they need to change to learn better. It however changes significantly when it comes to an online learning environment. A student will have to take care of their lessons by themselves and there is nobody to correct them if they are not doing anything correctly.

This is where formative assessments can help out learners by identifying their progress. They will also be able to focus on the important aspects of the lessons. It guides learners to stay focused on their target while getting the most out of the process. Designing a formative assessment may require the instructors to look at aspects such as – student engagement, active learning, critical analysis, and thinking. All of these factors maximize the outcome when it comes to learning. When it comes to formative assessments, learners can benefit in a multitude of ways. Another advantage of formative learning is that it breaks through the monotony of learning by ‘gamifying’ the process. 

Using formative testing does not just improve at every section of progression. It also serves as a way to motivate students to learn, as well as helps them feel like they are achieving organically. Online learning of course needs the correct form of tools when it comes to conducting assessments. Exam conducting agencies provide services that can help provide for remote assessments through their online portals. In fact, both students and teachers can benefit from such services as test delivery agencies have tools to create flexible online exams as required. 


Formative tests are one of those tools that make online learning efficient as well as convenient to progress with. Through set guidelines, it can help students progress well without the need for direct interaction with teachers. It may still require instructors to weigh in on how to make the tests flexible. Doing this ensures that the assessments cater to students with a different paces of understanding. As a result, teachers will not be necessary to drive the learning process regularly. Formative assessments ensure that the correct measurements are made to assist online education in an efficient and effective manner.