Formative assessments are usually meant to measure learning in order to provide feedback. They are typically low- or no-stakes assessments used with the intent of informing the instructor about how well the instructional approach is working. Formative assessments also provide the means by which teachers may give students feedback, letting them know what they are doing well and where they may need to focus to better succeed. Unlike high-stakes summative assessment, formative assessment and feedback are used to guide learning and adjust teaching over the course of the term. A well-known collection of techniques may be found in Angelo and Cross's 1993 book, Classroom Assessment Techniques. The CTT developed a database of these techniques and the iTGI, a tool for helping instructors identify their highest priority learning goals to assess. For an in-depth look at a particular technique, please contact an instructional designer for your college.
Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques : a Handbook for College Teachers. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Print.