Most accounting instructors spend a significant amount of time on summative assessment when evaluating students. However, less attention is afforded formative assessment of student learning as a diagnostic tool that provides feedback for decisive instructional intervention. Documentation of formative classroom assessment can be of value to instructors who wish to show tenure committees that activities to improve instruction are taking place. In fact, this study was initially undertaken as a response to such a request by the author’s tenure committee and now serves as the basis for an ongoing dynamic assessment plan that provides valuable feedback for instructional improvement. Institutionally, requirements are in place to administer student evaluations of instructors near the end of each course. Results of the student evaluations are provided to faculty upon completion of the semester and while these ratings are used by instructors for formative purposes, they are also used by administrators when evaluating faculty. This study attempts to lay the ground work for an effective formative assessment plan that augments the institutional student ratings and provides evidence driving constructive classroom instruction.

This article is from the Accounting Instructors’ Report, an electronic journal that provides teaching tips and insights to those who teach accounting and other business courses.

David L. Crawford, PhD, Black Hills State University

Read Deploying Formative Assessment in Accounting Principles.