Usually on-going assessment. This is often descriptive rather than 'marks' and helps learners to take action to improve before any final assessment.
assessment of student progress as a course is being taught. Methods vary greatly, from written and practical work to oral presentations and tests. For formative assessment to be most effective, students need feedback and time to address any problems prior to the final assessment for the course.
Any form of assessment used by an educator to evaluate students' knowledge and understanding of particular content and then to adjust instructional practices accordingly toward improving student achievement in that area. (Ed Source)