On the relationship between assessment for formative and summative purposes

Developing synergies between formative and summative assessment

on the relationship between assessment for formative and summative purposes

The answer to this is to balance both summative and formative classroom links to classroom learning, and gives specific input on how to reach the next step in When teachers use sound instructional practice for the purpose of gathering. ABSTRACT. The central argument of this paper is that the formative and summative purposes of assessment have become confused in practice and that as a. The Relationship Between Formative and Summative Assessment By the end of this module, you will be able to: identify purposes of formative and summative.

Using Evidence to Make Tradeoffs Response recognizes multiple perspectives of issue and explains each perspective using objective reasons, supported by evidence, in order to make a choice. Accomplishes Level 3 AND goes beyond in some significant way, e. Uses relevant and accurate evidence to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of multiple option, and makes a choice supported by the evidence.

Missing, illegible, or completely lacks reasons and evidence. X Student had no opportunity to respond. Science Education for Public Understanding Program Page 69 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Keyed to standards and goals, such systems can be strong on meaning for teachers and students and still convey information to different levels of the system in a relatively straightforward and plausible manner that is readily understood.

Teachers can use the standards or goals to help guide their own classroom assessments and observations and also to help them support work or learning in a particular area where sufficient achievement has not been met.

Devising a criterion-based scale to record progress and make summative judgments poses difficulties of its own.

Formative vs Summative Assessment - Eberly Center - Carnegie Mellon University

The levels of specificity involved in subdividing a domain to assure that the separate elements together represent the whole is a crucial and demanding task Wiliam, This becomes an issue whether considering performance assessments or ongoing assessment data and needs to be articulated in advance of when students engage in activities Quellmalz, ; Gipps, Specific guidelines for the construction and selection of test items are not offered in this document.

Test design and selection are certainly important aspects of a teacher's assessment responsibility and can be informed by the guidelines and discussions presented in this document see also Chapter 3. Item-writing recommendations and other test specifications are topics of a substantial body of existing literature for practitioner-relevant discussions, see Airasian, ; Cangelosi, ; Cunningham, ; Doran, Chan, and Tamir, ; Gallagher, ; Gronlund, ; Stiggins, These concepts also are discussed in Chapter 3.

Validity and reliability are judged using different criteria, although the two are related. It is important to consider the uses of assessment and the appropriateness of resulting inferences and actions as well Messick, Reliability has to do with generalizing across tasks is this a generalizable measure of student performance? What these terms mean operationally varies slightly for the kinds of assessments that occur each day in the classroom and in the form of externally designed exams.

The dynamic nature of day-to-day teaching affords teachers with opportunities to make numerous assessments, take relevant action, and to amend decisions and evaluations if necessary and with time. With a single-test score, especially from a test administered at the end of the school year, a teacher does not have the opportunity to follow a response with another question, either to determine if the previous question had been misinterpreted or to probe misunderstandings for diagnostic reasons.

With a standardized test, where on-the-spot interpretation of the student's response by the teacher and follow-up action is impossible, the context in which responses are developed is ignored. Measures of validity are decontextualized, depending almost entirely on the collection and nature of the actual test items. More important, all users of assessment data teachers, administrators and policy makers need to be aware of what claims they make about a student's understanding and the consequential action based on any one assessment.

Relying on a variety of assessments, in both form and what is being assessed, will go a long way to ensuring validity. Much of what is called for in the standards, such as inquiry, cannot be assessed in many of the multiplechoice, short-answer, or even two-hour performance assessments that are currently employed. Reliability, though more straightforward, may be more difficult to ensure than validity.

Viable systems that command the same confidence as the current summative system but are free of many of the inherent conflicts and contradictions are necessary to make decisions psychometrically sound.

The confidence that any assessment can demand will depend, in large part, on both reliability and validity Baron, ; Black, As Box indicates, there are some basic questions to be asked of both teacher-made and published assessments. The teachers recorded the number of questions being correctly answered in each area for each student. This systematic record helped the teachers to sort out areas which were understood well or areas which need to be improved for each student.

The analysis formed the basis of what follow-up actions or strategies were required before the start of the next learning stage. In terms of how to follow-up on the systematic analysis she describes it as follows: The very first task the teachers had to do was to prioritize the action to be taken.

The teachers then could develop learning tasks which are focused on the area generally weak for the whole class followed by a quiz which would retest the same thing. The main advantage of these processes as identified by the teacher is that she can plan teaching interventions better and can choose a specific area for follow-up e. Supporting less able students One of the main potentials of the strategy being adopted was seen as being its potential to support the less able students.

As Alison puts it, "for the weaker ones, the data collection is valuable and then it is necessary to identify an area for improvement. In terms of pre-test revision for the less able, Alison notes that it is important to limit the scope of what they are trying to learn e. She notes some positive outcomes, for example, "their attitude is better and they are more active in participation".

My interpretation was that the weakest students seemed to make the most gains from the systematic pre- and post-test interventions. Alison also pointed out that another factor was that the higher ability students often achieved high marks in the quiz so the potential for improvement was less e. Alison mentions some strategies which support the less able students.

What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?

She notes that oral feedback is more useful than written feedback through marking, as she puts it, "speaking individually to the weaker ones is a good strategy. The individual approach can help them build confidence".

The quiz before the test can also help them to focus their learning and if they are reasonably successful can play a role in building up their confidence. I remember that one of the strategies that I used about their "corrections" was that I asked them to refer back to their books and notes for the answer instead of just going through them like what my colleagues usually do.

Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom

I think it is a good chance to develop their learning skills. They have to actively "do something" for the answers not just passively "listen" to their teachers.

Formative vs. Summative vs. Diagnostic Assessment

After that, there were two times of writing practices where both Bobby and Heidi [two of the less able students] did try to refer to their story books and notes to find the words or sentence they like to use in their own writing. In the past, they would just ask their teacher directly and "wait" for the answer.

Overall impact of innovation Overall, Alison felt that the innovation was successful, although it did lead to an increase in teacher workload and it was not particularly welcomed by colleagues.

She saw the benefits as being fourfold.

Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom

Firstly, she identified better reinforcement of learning by students as they were directed to plan their revision more wisely. Secondly, as she puts it, "I can see that at least for the weak ones, they feel more confident about learning".

A third positive aspect was the systematic nature of the analysis of student performance: Fourthly, Alison also viewed the process as a form of professional development and increases awareness about the relationship between curriculum, pedagogy and assessment and how to make good use of test data.

She attributes this partly to their view that a test is the end of learning and then they go on to another topic.

As she puts it, "in their view all testing is summative, they lack the formative concept". She notes that "Teachers have to be aware of using the results and their implications, using the data and not just reporting it". In other words, she perceives her colleagues as seeing assessment as something to measure and report, rather than to use for the purpose of enhancing learning.

on the relationship between assessment for formative and summative purposes

There are also negative implications for teacher workload which is already heavy: Analyzing and interpreting the examination data systematically is a very time consuming process.

It took the teachers around an hour just for recording the data for a single class. The staff meeting followed for strategic planning of follow-up actions demanded even more time and effort of the participants. The heavy workload of teachers may hinder them from adopting, or persistently adopting the approach because this is not the only task teachers have to do in their daily teaching role. Even though there is strong evidence that students do improve using the approach and recognition have been gained from their colleagues for their professionalism, it is still difficult for a teacher to persist it when there is pressure of being overload.

As one teacher commented, "It is really an effort-demanding process and I might easily be tempted to give up if I do not have enough support from you during those hard times". In view of these challenges, Alison perceives that the role of management is particularly important in terms of supporting colleagues. She viewed support from middle management as being crucial e. In sum, the innovation seemed to have positive potential for pupils in terms of reinforcing their learning and in increasing their confidence.

For the teacher, it increased workload, but represented a systematic intervention which contributed to her professional development. Conclusions The reconciliation of formative and summative assessment is not a new challenge, but it is a crucial one if formative assessment is to meet its potential.

Formative assessment is difficult for teachers to implement. This is the case in all contexts but it may be particularly difficult in a context, such as Hong Kong where summative assessment has tended to swamp approaches of a more formative orientation. In such a situation, if formative and summative are not integrated at all, the formative aspects are likely to be neglected.

In Confucian heritage cultures to date, teachers do not seem to have really come to grips with the learning potential of assessment. There is clearly further work that needs doing both in terms of professional development for teachers and research with teachers.

This paper has presented one diligent and well-informed teacher attempting more formative approaches to assessment. In a test-dominated context, the strategy of attempting synergies between formative and summative assessment seems a promising one.

Or to put it another way, if schools are going to spend a lot of time on testing, it is essential for students to derive some solid learning from the test process, before, during and after. Two particular strategies have been discussed.

on the relationship between assessment for formative and summative purposes

Pre-emptive formative assessment represents an attempt to tinker with exam practice and make it a learning process that promotes timely input and student engagement. The formative use of summative tests seeks to use data from test results in a productive way to enhance student learning. Primary schooling in Hong Kong. Learning from international perspectives. Assessment and classroom learning: Assessment in education, 5 1 ,