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Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

• help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work.

• help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately.

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no “point value.” Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

• create storyboards for their cumulative filmmaking project.

• write criticism of films they have watched in class as a way to demonstrate their understanding of the content.

• complete a basic filmmaking exercise, such as a “shot scavenger hunt,” which yields a basic tangible product that demonstrates their understanding of the principles of filmmaking.


Higher stakes summative assessment strategies will allow instructors to meet curricular goals and standards and to deliver final grades.

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