Formative Assessment & Feedback

Last updated on 2023-08-21 | Edit this page



  • Why is formative assessment so essential in a lesson?
  • What role does feedback play in iterative lesson development?
  • How is the iterative aspect of lesson development incorporated into Collaborative Lesson Development Training?


By the end of this session, participants should be able to…

  • explain the importance of feedback to an iterative lesson development process

Reading List

Discussion Questions

  • What are different formative assessment strategies that can help diagnose issues with the lesson? Discuss the effectiveness of those strategies. Give some examples of what actionable feedback might look like.
  • How do you think the optimal ratio of time spent on teaching and exercises changes as learner expertise increases? E.g. do you think a novice lesson will include more content to be taught and less time devoted to challenges/discussions, compared to an intermediate lesson on a similar topic?
  • What are some advantages and disadvantages of requiring trainees to teach (some of) their new lessons as part of their training?
  • How complete do you like a lesson to be before you teach it for the first time?
  • Some trainees are reluctant to trial incomplete or unstructured material, feeling a lack of confidence at being able to improvise in response to questions/unexpected results, or fill in steps in the teaching examples on the fly. What guidance would you give to a trainee, to help them find a balance between preparing lesson content and taking an opportunity to gather feedback by teaching it?
  • What strategies could we encourage trainees to use, to convert the feedback they gather when teaching a lesson into actionable recommendations for improving it?

Key Points

  • The effectiveness of a lesson can only be assessed by teaching it.
  • Direct and indirect feedback collected while teaching should be used to improve the lesson for next time.
  • Trainees are required to try teaching a section of their new lesson in a “trial run” during the break in Collaborative Lesson Development Training.

  1. Via A, Palagi PM, Lindvall JM et al. Course design: Considerations for trainers – a Professional Guide [version 1; not peer reviewed]. F1000Research 2020, 9:1377 (document) (↩︎