To meaningfully determine how well students have achieved learning targets, instructors must adopt specific formative assessment techniques. During the COVID-19 pandemic, existing studies have discovered the techniques instructors in higher education use in their formative assessment practices. However, there has not been any consensus on the prevalent formative assessment techniques used. In this study, we examined empirical documents to determine to what extent formative assessment has supported formal or informal techniques, or both. A total of 15 samples of published documents on the formative assessment techniques used by instructors in higher education were purposively selected and subjected to summative content analysis. The findings revealed that instructors have used more formal than informal formative assessment techniques. The most predominant techniques were paper and pencil tests. The findings imply that formative assessment in higher education amid COVID-19 has followed responsive evaluation/feedback techniques compared to assessment conversations and dialogues. This calls for the need to refocus formative assessment to include both informal and formal techniques by embracing and adapting to technologically enhanced assessment and learning.


formative assessment, formal and informal assessment techniques, higher education, COVID-19, summative content analysis

Author Bio(s)

Daniel Asamoah is studying for his Ph.D. in Education at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education (SHBIE), Universiti Brunei Darussalam. His research interests lie in educational assessment and measurement, psychometrics, and mixed-method research. Please direct all correspondence to 20h9000@ubd.edu.bn

Masitah Shahrill is an Associate Professor and the Faculty Dean at SHBIE, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. She is interested in mathematics education, teaching and learning, teacher education, and classroom research. Please direct all correspondence to masitah.shahrill@ubd.edu.bn.

Siti Norhedayah Abdul Latif is an Assistant Professor and the Programme Leader for Initial Teacher Preparation at SHBIE, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Her research interests lie in teaching and learning, educational and developmental psychology, educational assessment, well-being of adolescence, and mental health. Please direct all correspondence to norhedayah.latif@ubd.edu.bn.

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