Tag Archives: summative

Reconsidering K–12 Assessment Formats

assessments_120x105Assessment in Education #2 … an ongoing series on assessment

What do we mean when we talk about assessments in education? Testing can provoke a lot of anxiety for students, parents, and teachers alike, so a close consideration of the goals of assessment is essential.

As we discussed last week, the billion-dollar assessment market is in flux. While this situation creates uncertainty, it also affords test makers, school systems, and other stakeholders a valuable opportunity to rethink the goals and the design of assessments. As a result, in the future we may see more models for assessments rooted in new educational philosophies. Although no assessment format is perfect, a few key models seem to endure.

Formative Assessments

Formative assessments offer instant information about a student’s educational progress. The goal of a formative assessment isn’t usually to gauge the efficacy of a teacher or a school, but rather to shed light on where students stand within a particular lesson, unit, or course. Think of these as the “present tense” of assessment: a snapshot of a student’s learning. Continue reading