Formative assessment tools

Move away from paper and pen and enable online assessments with Digiexam. Continue reading to learn about formative assessment and the advantages of formative assessment tools.

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What is formative assessment?

Understanding what a formative assessment is

While the concept of formative assessments has only existed since 1960, educators have used “formative assessments” in various forms since the invention of teaching. It refers to a wide variety of methods teachers use to conduct evaluations of the student’s comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress during an instructional period, for example, a course, semester, program, or school year. 

Formative assessment helps educators:

  • identify what concepts or skills the students may have trouble understanding
  • determine what students have retained from previous learning experiences
  • refocus students on the learning process and its intrinsic value
  • encourage students to build on their strengths rather than dwell on their weaknesses
  • help students become aware of their learning needs, strengths, and interests
  • give students more detailed, precise, and valuable information based on their needs
  • reduce learning and achievement gaps between students
  • accelerate the educational process and achievement of all students.

Formative vs. summative assessment

Understanding the difference between formative and summative assessment

Formative assessments are usually contrasted with summative assessments. The difference being that summative assessments are used to evaluate the students’ learning process and achievements after the conclusion of an instructional period. 

Formative assessments are for learning, whereas summative assessments are of learning. 

The distinction between them can be somewhat fuzzy in practice, and there are divergent interpretations of the formative and summative online assessments. However, both are considered vital parts of effective teaching and learning. 

Types of formative assessments methods

5 types of formative assessment methods

There is no shortage of formative assessment programs, strategies, techniques, and methods available to educators who use formative assessments in the classroom. Here are a few of the more commonly used types of formative assessments:

  • Exit slip is a questionnaire given to each student at the end of a lesson. The questions can be about the lesson’s content - what they liked about it, what they remember, etc. - or how the students felt after the lesson. Exit slips give educators an understanding of how the students feel at that moment, giving you essential insights into how you can help them improve.
  • Self-assessments are when you ask your students to reflect on their learning to find strengths and weaknesses to create a plan of action. Self-reflection helps students identify areas of improvement without the pressure and fear of a letter grade or teacher judgment. 
  • Worksheets and questionnaires of different types allow the students the opportunity to practice the targeted standard or goal thoroughly. 
  • Educational games are an engaging and often a very appreciated and fun way to practice various skills. 
  • Examination/Tests, the most tried and tested form of assessment, are used both before and during the course, program, semester, etc., as a formative assessment. 


Formative assessment with Digital Tools vs. Pen and paper

Understanding how formative assessments with digital tools are different from pen and paper assessments

The use of formative assessment with digital tools and similar online learning solutions skyrocketed during the pandemic when pen and paper became obsolete and inaccessible. And they are here to stay. The concept of “digitization” has been on everyone’s lips for a long time and has taken root in almost every industry. 

Paper-based learning has slowly but surely been phased out at all levels of education institutions, from primary school up to university. The transformation was already ongoing when the pandemic hit, which further accelerated it. 

While the digitization of the classroom and remote learning has their fair share of challenges, the advantages of formative assessment technology and online learning are hard to deny.

Selecting the right formative assessment programs for your needs

How to select the right formative assessment platform?

The saying “a tool is only as good as its user” goes both ways. Without proper formative assessment tools, the assessment process can become a time-consuming ordeal, and the assessment can potentially drop in quality. 

While the benefits of online assessment tools for teachers are (hopefully) clear, it can be challenging to choose the right option. What works for your classroom depends on a wide variety of factors. To help you along the way, we have created a three-step process based on our experience and the feedback from our existing clients for identifying the best formative assessment tools based on your needs:


  • Determine your end goal: The first step is establishing a clear goal. Identify current and future needs that the assessment tool can solve. Explore the opportunities it can create for your institution. Find out how you can benefit from the tool. 
  • Take a technology audit: Audit your classroom to determine what tools you already have available and brainstorm how these tools can help you establish an engaging, effective, and interactive formative assessment process. 
  • Figure out what features you want and need: Create a comprehensive list of what features you absolutely must have and what features you want. 


Want to know about our formative assessment technology?

The Digiexam formative assessment tool

Advantages with the Digiexam formative assessment tool

There is a wide variety of methods with different formative assessment programs for every type. The Digiexam formative assessment technology is designed to safely and reliably power the whole test lifecycle. With it, you can create both formative and summative assessment examinations/tests to gain valuable insights into the students’ knowledge levels and understanding of the subject.

Ensure academic integrity and enhance your assessments’ efficiency while giving both students and teachers the best possible experience with Digiexam.

Contact us for more information about our all-in-one platform.

What our customers say

As the University continues to pursue a remote assessment strategy for all courses, confidence in the systems we use to support exam integrity is vital.

Maggie Gibson Birmingham City University

Digiexam receives a lot of attention in the south of Germany since a lot of people share the belief that it will be the only product that will meet the regulatory and data privacy requirements for future online testing.

Dr. Martin Franzen Aalen University

It has come to the stage where we don't give Digiexam much thought beyond the fact that this is the tool that we use for digital exams.

Eric Oest Toronto Prep School