Formative assessment is to "inform" educators in the moment to what effect the lesson has had on the students and inform the students on where they need more work mastering the concepts. For example, using an online survey and smartphones/clickers in the classroom to gauge the level of understanding students have while they are still in the classroom. In other words, the educator can judge if the lesson is effective and needs to be altered to help the students master the material. Another example is assigning students homework problems for which they have answers to self-check. Generally speaking, formative assessment should be non-threatening (i.e., not graded), and students should understand that it is to help them identify their weaknesses.