Interdisciplinary formative assessment

What is important to know about interdisciplinary formative assessment?

"Formative assessment (assessment for learning) provides teachers and students with insights into the ongoing development of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. Ongoing formative assessment, carried out during the course of the unit, can provide teachers and students with insights into the development of [ ] interdisciplinary understanding and the effectiveness of the unit’s plan for disciplinary integration." -Interdisciplinary teaching and learning in the MYP

Details to remember

  • Formative assessment of learning can include both informal self-assessment, peer and teacher feedback, and more formalized formative tasks.

  • The form of the feedback can be oral or written comments, points-based and/or criterion-based.

  • It is important that students are provided with multiple opportunities to receive feedback that indicates their progress in terms of the descriptors of the interdisciplinary criteria that used to assess the unit’s interdisciplinary summative task(s). This could be through the phrasing of comments-only, or through the use of a task-specific criteria rubric(s).


In this guide, a language and literature and sciences interdisciplinary unit is used to illustrate one example of what each unit plan section could look like using the provided guidance. Below is the description of the formative assessments of interdisciplinary learning provided in that unit.

Check formative assessment through the descriptors (shown below) from the IB publication Evaluating MYP interdisciplinary unit plans.

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