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Accessing NC FALCON through NC Education & Linking to a School or District (pdf, 327kb)
North Carolina's Formative Assessment Learning Community's Online Network (NC FALCON) is an online professional development series of modules. The modules provide information for educators who desire to learn more about how formative assessment can impact instruction and help students achieve targeted learning goals. The modules and other resources to support the use of formative assessment are located in NC FALCON. Find out more about how to create an account and login to NC Education for access to the modules and other resources in NC FALCON and how to link your account to your primary school or district.


Formative Assessment
A process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to help students improve their achievement of intended instructional outcomes.

Formative Assessment includes:

  • Questioning
  • Discussions
  • Learning Activities
  • Feedback
  • Conferences
  • Interviews
  • Student Reflections

Formative assessment is found at the classroom level and happens minute-to-minute or in short cycles. Formative assessment is not graded or used in accountability systems. The feedback involved in formative assessment is descriptive in nature so that students know what they need to do next to improve learning.


Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Definition of Formative Assessment
Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes.


Reasons to Use Formative Assessment
Why should you use formative assessment in the classroom? Formative assessment can be an exciting and productive approach to learning. Once you learn the basics, you can apply them in a variety of ways that make instruction fun for teachers and students alike.


North Carolina Formative Assessment Learning Community Online Network (NC FALCON)
This network has been developed in an effort to provide North Carolina teachers with a basic understanding of formative assessment and illustrate the role it plays in a comprehensive, balanced assessment system. 

The online professional development series modules located in NC FALCON are intended to serve as a primer for teachers wishing to learn more about how formative assessment can impact their instruction and help their students achieve targeted learning goals. Access to the professional development modules is managed by using NCRegistration user account management features.


Help Desk Information for NC FALCON
For additional information on setting up password-protected accounts, error messages, profile edits, module problems, or PLC troubleshooting, please contact the NC FALCON Help Desk at:

  • 919-515-1320

The NC Help Desk operating hours are 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM Monday - Friday. E-mail requests are responded to within 24 hours.




NC FALCON: Helping Students Soar to Success (pdf, 61mb)
Information on NC FALCON implementation presented by Mary Russell at the Healthy Schools conference in Hickory, NC on June 21, 2010.


A paper prepared by Dr. Sarah McManus for the Formative Assessment for Teachers and Students (FAST) State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that explains the attributes of effective formative assessment




Formative Assessment and Learning (mov, 30mb)
Watch formative assessment being practiced in a classroom setting. Dr. Sarah McManus outlines steps in the formative assessment process before the actual practice begins.

  • A transcript for the Formative Assessment and Learning movie (pdf, 11kb)


Learning Tools


Formative Assessment Tools
What makes formative assessment such a powerful instructional tool? The attributes are a good place to start.


Examples of Formative Assessment in Practice
Read vignettes of formative assessment being practiced in the classroom and see if you can pick out the attributes.


Formative Feedback for Math Problem Solving (pdf, 25.5kb)
The formative feedback approach on these pages suggests ways to give students effective formative feedback on their use of problem solving strategies.




FAST Research Resources (pdf, 76kb)
A document that summarizes the key findings or points of the most significant research on formative assessment