Tech, Teaching and Me

Trying to turn off my brain by writing it down

Formative Assessment vs Summative Assessment

on February 8, 2012

After reading the article Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom, I understood the different types of assessments with more focus. The very nature of the titles are clear to me. Formative is a formal assessment, generally with a grade or a tangible result of some sort. Consequences, while a result of both types, good or bad with a formative assessment the consequence is larger. A passing grade or an evaluation of the test scores if the assessment is more of a district or national basis would be a result of a formative assessment.

A  summative assessment is a more casual and more frequent.  The consequence, on the surface, seems smaller. Perhaps a participation grade is given, or no grade at all after a summative assessment. Yet, I will argue the result is “greater” than the formative assessment. The summative assessment is aimed to see what the student has learned, what the student knows about the material. The real reward, the “greater consequence” of the summative assessment is the opportunity for the teacher to see what is working in the lesson and what is not working. What a gift to the teacher AND the student!


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