How do I create formative assessments?

Ryan Richins
  • Agilix team member
  • Updated:

Use formative assessments to personalize your students learning path.

We all know that every student doesn't learn at the same pace or from having the same experience; Buzz'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, Buzz 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.

Create the assessment

To create a formative assessment:

  1. Add an Assessment activity to the desired folder, or select an existing assessment and click the pencil (edit) icon.
  2. Open the Settings tab in the Assessment activity editor.
  3. Check the Formative box in the Advanced assessment options card. 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.
Create the assessment

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.  

  1. Make sure the objectives are available in the course: How do I create and/or import objectives?
  2. Align the activities that you want students to be able to skip with objectives: How do I align activities with objectives?
  3. Align assessment questions with objectives: How to I align objectives with assessment questions?
Align objectives to activities and assessment questions

Configure passing criteria

To configure the passing criteria:

  1. Open the Editor tool.
  2. Select Course settings from Tools in the toolbar.
  1. On the Objective mastery card, 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.
  2. Save.
Configure passing criteria

Additional articles


  • 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.

Comments (2)

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Mary Scott Senan


Do formative assessments allow students to place out of material if they skip some questions in the assessment, but answer all questions correctly that are aligned with a specific activity? 

I have not been able to get that to work when "Require Answers" is not checked in the Activity settings of the Formative Assessment. 

Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Brian Williams
  • Agilix team member

Hello Mary!

If a student places above the minimum score for questions aligned to objectives it will place out the student of other activities that are likewise aligned to the objectives. If you need students to answer all of the questions including those that are not aligned to objectives, then you will need to select the Require Answers in the item settings. Otherwise skipping questions not aligned will place the student out of other activities. 


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