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Curriculum-embedded Formative Assessment at HKU

March 15 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm HKT


Date: 15 March 2024 (Friday)
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm (HK time)
Venue: Learning Lab (RRS321, 3/F, Run Run Shaw Building, Main Campus, HKU)

  • Prof. Luke Fryer, Assistant Director, TALIC, HKU
  • Dr. Alex Shum, Senior Lecturer, TALIC, HKU


Formative testing is a tried and tested means for enhancing learning outcomes and is in fact one the most powerful correlates of achievement in higher education (Hattie, 2015). It is also efficient and low cost (time and resources; Dunlosky et al., 2013). When implemented effectively, formative testing provides students with regular feedback and corrective opportunities prior to summative assessments, and teachers with feedback on student performance. Formative testing during class time (synchronously) is far more effective than during individual learning (asynchronously) (Black & William, 2009). So why isn’t formative testing a core component of classroom experiences during university?

This seminar will review results from four years of formative testing in large-scale lecture halls at HKU. The implementation of classroom formative testing and its practical and theoretical outcomes will be discussed. A strong argument for the usefulness of classroom formative testing in everyday tertiary teaching will be put forth and colleagues will be invited to join the discussion.

Staff are encouraged to come with their experiences using formative testing, their questions, and concerns regarding its use. Formative testing is not new, but it is powerful and underutilised in higher education broadly and at HKU specifically. We aim to convince educators that now is the time to rectify this. The seminar will conclude with a hands-on opportunity to try a formative testing platform designed for lecture halls and quick use.

  • Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5–31. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11092-008-9068-5
  • Dunlosky, J., & Rawson, K. A. (2015). Practice tests, spaced practice, and successive relearning: Tips for classroom use and for guiding students’ learning. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1(1), 72–78. https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000024
  • Hattie, J. (2015). The applicability of Visible Learning to higher education. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1(1), 79–91. https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000021

About the speakers

Prof. Luke Fryer
Prof. Luke Fryer is an associate professor in the Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre at HKU. He teaches within and manages the university’s faculty and research postgraduate teaching-learning programmes. He provides consultation regarding grants, research projects and faculty teaching-learning initiatives.Dr. Alex Shum
Dr. Alex Shum is a senior lecturer in the Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre at HKU. He primarily train postgraduate teaching assistants how to teach, and provide training to incoming teaching staff at HKU.


March 15
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm HKT
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