Measurement for Learning

Summative and Formative Assessments

5 Key Strategies

  • Clarifying, Understanding and Sharing Learning Intentions
  • Engineering Effective Classroom Discussions, Tasks, and Activities That Elicit Evidence of Learning
  • Provide Effect Feedback to Move Students Forward
  • Activating Students as Learning Resources for Each Other
  • Activating Students as Owners of Their Learning

Summative Testing

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.

Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

  • a midterm exam
  • a final project
  • a paper
  • a senior recital

Information from summative assessments can be used formatively when students or faculty use it to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses.

Formative Assessment

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

  • draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
  • turn in a research proposal for early feedback
Big image

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

Effective Classroom Environment

Utilizing both formative and summative assessments can create an effective learning environment for both students and teachers. With formative assessments, students are able to gain relevant feedback from the instructor as to how they are performing. For teachers, it allows them to easily identify areas of needs and successes for students and teachers. Summative assessments are really a necessary tool in our culture of learning to assess one's overall learning performance at the end of a school year or course. Without this piece it is hard to determine the amount of learning that took place, and where adjustments should be made on the teacher's side of instructing.