Formative and summative assessment
This table gives a brief and general summary of the differences between formative and summative assessment. It does not attempt to define these forms of assessment, but rather to give an indication of general practice with each. It would be incorrect to conclude that formative assessment does not or should not take place as part of summative assessment. One could generalise and say that formative assessment happens when feedback is given that can enhance learning, while summative assessment is normally done prior to reporting, but these are only general distinctions and not a rule.
Why? Purpose used as feedback to improve the process of learning used to measure the learning that has taken place
To whom? the learner receives feedback feedback is often in the form of a report to a third party e.g. the Head of Department or parent
When? this generally happens during the learning process this generally tends to be the final assessment after the learning process and is normally linked to rewards (pass or fail)
In the classroom:
1. An educator assesses a team exercise and intervenes after discovering that some members are being left out. The result is that the team functions better.
2. A teacher marks an essay and gives comments and advice. The student re-writes the essay in response to the comments before being finally assessed.
TV programme popularity ratings (if programmes are rated poorly they know they must improve) In the classroom:
Learners write exams at the end of the year to determine who passes and who fails
Everyday example: Oscar awards for actors (the little Oscar statue is the reward for excellent performance)
Formative assessment is as much a part of learning as it is a part of assessment. The dialogue between the teacher and the learner that takes place during various forms of formative assessment is a vital part...