Bennett, R. E. (2009) Formative assessment: Can the claims for Effectiveness be substantiated? Paper presented at International Association for Educational Assessment, 35th Annual conference, September, 2009, Brisbane.
The purpose of this paper is to review the evidence claiming that formative assessment strategies lead to improved student performance. Bennett begins by discussing and reviewing well-known articles with empirical findings on formative assessment, highlighting issues with the measurement techniques used to support authors’ claims. Bennett offers suggestions to improve the quality of research and analysis supporting formative assessment including a clearer, stronger definition of formative assessment and more careful evaluation of evidence. The author notes that although practices associated with formative assessment can support achievement, the effects will vary greatly depending on implementation and student populations. Bennett concludes that empirical findings demonstrating the efficacy of formative assessment should be viewed with caution.