How do I create formative assessments?

We all know that every student doesn't learn at the same pace or from having the same experience; Echo's formative assessments help identify and provide personalized opportunities to learn.

Formative assessments are given to monitor student progress, so a teacher can tailor feedback and direction moving forward. To accomplish this, they are generally administered at the beginning of or midway through a semester, unit, etc., to evaluate a student's mastery of specific objectives and then determine which content should be automatically assigned to students.

When students demonstrate mastery of aligned objectives on the formative assessment, Echo automatically allows them to skip activities meant to teach to those objectives. Students are automatically notified that they have been excused from activities upon finishing the assessment.

To create a formative assessment:

  1. Add an Assessment activity template to the desired folder, or select an existing assessment and click the pencil (edit) icon.
  2. Open the Assessment Settings tab in the Assessment Editor.
  3. Check the Formative box. If you want the assessment's score included in the final grade, check the Include formative in final grade box; checking this box makes the score visible to students.
  4. Save or select the Questions tab to create assessment questions.

Align objectives to activities and assessment questions

The second part of setting up a formative assessment is aligning the targeted objectives with both the assessment questions and the activities that you want students to be able to "test out" of and skip.

To align assessment questions with objectives:

  1. Select the desired assessment and click the pencil (edit) icon.
  2. Select the desired question from the list on the left, and scroll to the Objectives section in the panel on the right.
  3. Use the dropdown to limit the displayed objectives to those that are created in the Course, to those inherited from the Parent, or to only the Selected objectives. Any selected objective remains in the list for all three settings.
  4. Check the boxes next to objectives to align them with the activity.
Align objectives to activities and assessment questions

Configure passing criteria

To configure the passing criteria:

  1. Open the Editor tool from the Main Menu
  2. Open Settings from the toolbar.
  3. In the Assessment Settings tab, under Formative Assessment, specify the Minimum number of questions that need to be aligned with an objective, as well as the overall Minimum score a student has to earn on those questions in order to skip the activities meant to teach the objective.
  4. Click Save.
Configure passing criteria


  • Keep in mind that if you align an activity with more than one objective, the learner has to show mastery of all of those objectives in the assessment to skip the activity. For best results, keep your alignments simple and specific.
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