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 to the desired folder, or edit an existing assessment.

2.  On the Settings tab, click on the Advanced Assessment Options section to expand it.

3. Check the "formative assessment" box. If you want the assessment's score included in the final grade, check the "include formative in final grade and show score to students" box.

4. Click Save in the top righthand corner when finished, 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 the standards/objectives to questions, see this article.

Configure passing criteria

To configure the passing criteria:

  1. In the course editor, click on the Tools icon to bring up the dropdown menu.
  2. Click on Course Settings.
  3. In the Objective Mastery 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 in the top righthand corner when finished.


  • 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.



Echo is constantly being improved based on the feedback from users and we strive to keep our documentation up to date.  If this document doesn’t match what you are seeing in Echo, please let us know.

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