On their own, assessments do not help students learn. Instead, the feedback and reflection that goes with an assessment is what drives student learning. This strategy for breaking down assessment questions is one way to provide an opportunity for feedback and reflection after students have completed either a formative or summative assessment. The goal is to get the students and teacher to process through the specifics in each assessment question and its answers. This process requires students to justify their understanding of how questions are written and what answers are correct or incorrect and why. The specific information provided in the students' answers will not only help the teacher gauge students’ understanding of learning , but also provide specific information regarding the effectiveness of the assessment.
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One of the most talked about and debated aspects of education in recent years have been assessments. More specifically, formative and summative assessments. These are the two most commonly used assessments and often times are misused and misunderstood. To put it simply, formative assessments are assessments FOR learning and summative assessments are assessments OF learning. An analogy to sports could be player performance. Performance in practice would be the formative assessment and performance in a game would the summative assessment.
Formative assessments are performed during instruction when learning is taking place and they provide feedback and information to both the teacher and students. This informal process is ongoing and
the information collected should be used to fine-tune instruction and identify areas of improvement. A quality educator is constantly checking for understanding. Some examples of formative assessments that can be used are:
Summative assessments take place after learning has occurred and is used to provide information about the amount of student learning that has taken place. A formal grade is assigned at the completion of a summative assessment. Data collected from summative assessments can be used to evaluate the level of proficiency that has been achieved at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it to a standard. Examples of summative assessments:
Ben Rubey | Middle School Instructional Coach
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