Assessments have long been a tool to evaluate students’ understanding and mastery of a subject. However, they have also been pigeonholed into the realm of summative evaluations—final exams, standardized tests, and other end-point measures of knowledge. But what if we told you that there’s another type of assessment that’s not just about grading, but about learning, improving, and most importantly, sparking creativity? Enter formative assessments. Not sure how they can play a role in your creative process? Don’t fret. Here, we’ll delve into eight formative assessments that can ignite your creativity, inspire novel ideas, and transform the way you approach tasks. And if during this exploration, you find yourself in need of some scholarly assistance, check out this site


A blend of sketches and notes, this assessment allows individuals to visually represent their understanding of a topic. By combining words with drawings, one is pushed to think differently, and often more creatively, about the subject matter. Not limited by the confines of textual notes, sketchnotes encourage a free flow of ideas and can lead to unexpected connections.

Two-Minute Videos

The constraints of a two-minute timeframe force individuals to prioritize their most essential and innovative ideas. To create a video, one must conceptualize, script, film, and edit—all of which require a burst of creative juices. This process pushes you to distill complex ideas into concise and engaging presentations, honing both creative and critical thinking.

Mind Maps

Creating a mind map is an explorative and dynamic process. Starting with a central idea, you branch out into related topics, concepts, and connections, visually laying out the expanse of your knowledge and understanding. This method not only enhances recall but also illuminates new perspectives and insights that might have been overlooked in a linear note-taking format.

Role Plays

Role-playing isn’t just for drama enthusiasts. Stepping into another’s shoes—be it a character, a historical figure, or even an inanimate object—can drastically shift one’s perspective. It necessitates imagination, empathy, and adaptability. By thinking and acting as someone (or something) else, you’re forced to approach problems differently, paving the way for innovative solutions.

Open-Ended Questions

Instead of the traditional yes-no or multiple-choice questions, pose open-ended ones. These questions have no defined answers, pushing individuals to think deeply and come up with original interpretations or solutions. Here is why:

  • Depth over Brevity: Unlike yes-no or multiple-choice queries which push for immediate closure, open-ended questions defy easy answers. They stimulate the brain to dig deeper, encouraging a more profound exploration of the topic at hand. For instance, instead of asking, “Did you enjoy the book?”, one might ask, “What themes in the book resonated with you and why?”
  • Fueling Dialogues: Open-ended questions naturally pave the way for extended conversations. As they aren’t leading or suggestive, they create space for the respondent to share their genuine thoughts and feelings. This can lead to enlightening discussions, diverse viewpoints, and the cross-pollination of ideas.
  • Empowering Critical Thinking: By their nature, these questions demand more than mere recall. They require analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Responding to such questions strengthens cognitive muscles, fostering a habit of critical thinking and promoting creative problem-solving.

Journals and Reflection Logs

Encouraging regular journaling or maintaining a reflection log can be a goldmine for creativity. These tools allow for the processing of experiences, thoughts, and emotions, helping individuals gain clarity and insight. Over time, patterns might emerge, revealing deep-seated interests, passions, or even novel ideas waiting to be tapped.

Peer Reviews and Feedback Sessions

Constructive feedback can be an excellent catalyst for creativity. When others review your work, they provide fresh perspectives, potentially identifying gaps, oversights, or even suggesting alternate approaches. This collaborative process encourages iterative refinement and can lead to more sophisticated and creative outcomes.

Concept Posters

Ask individuals to design a poster on a particular topic or idea. This activity compels one to think about aesthetics, hierarchy, and information dissemination. By visualizing and organizing data or concepts in this manner, new patterns and relationships might surface, offering innovative interpretations or understandings.

Embracing formative assessments as a part of your routine, be it in education or personal growth, can be transformative. They provide continuous feedback, allow for adjustments, and most importantly, inspire creativity by encouraging new ways of thinking and doing. So the next time you’re faced with a task, challenge, or project, consider integrating one (or more) of these assessments. The results might surprise and delight you.