Formative Assessment is part of the instructional process. When incorporated into classroom practice, it provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve, targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame. Although formative assessment strategies appear in a variety of formats, there are some distinct ways to distinguish them from summative assessments.One distinction is to think of formative assessment as “practice.” We do not hold students accountable in “grade book fashion” for skills and concepts they have just been introduced to or are learning. We must allow for practice.
Summative Assessments are given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. State administered summative assessments could be very bias because all students do not learn in the same way or at the same rate. There are several types of summative assessments such as; state, district, interim, end-of-chapter, or end-of-term, but the one that carries the biggest accountability is PSSA assessments. However, I believe that the PSSA’s to not reflect the true ability of a child.
Assessment (either summative or formative) is often categorized as either objective or subjective. Objective assessment (usually multiple choice, true false, short answer) is a form of questioning which has a single correct answer. These are good for testing recall of facts and can be automated. Objective tests assume that there are true answers and assume that all students should learn the same things.
Subjective assessment is a form of questioning which may have more than one correct answer (or more than one way of expressing the correct answer). In subjective assessments the teacher’s judgment determines the grade. These include essay tests. Essay tests take longer to answer and they take longer to grade than objective questions and therefore only include a small number of questions, focusing on complex concepts.
Peer Assessment and self-assessment is much more than children marking their own or each other’s work. To improve learning, it must be an activity that engages children with the quality of their work and helps them reflect on how to improve it. Peer assessment enables children to give each other valuable feedback so they learn from and support each other. One of the ways in which students internalize the characteristics of quality work is by evaluating the work of their peers. However, if they are to offer helpful feedback, students must have a clear understanding of what they are to look for in their peers’ work. Students can also benefit from using rubrics or checklists to guide their assessments. The instructor must explain expectations clearly to them before they begin. For peer evaluation to work effectively, the learning environment in the classroom must be supportive.
Self Assessment -Students can become better language learners when they engage in deliberate thought about what they are learning and how they are learning it. In this kind of reflection, students step back from the learning process to think about their language learning strategies and their progress as language learners. Such self assessment encourages students to become independent learners and can increase their motivation.
The successful use of student self assessment depends on three key elements:
- Goal setting
- Guided practice with assessment tools
Although constructed response assessments can more easily demand higher levels of thinking, they are more difficult to score.
Selected response assessment items (also referred to as objective assessments) include options such as multiple choice, matching, and true/false questions. These question types can be very effective and efficient methods for measuring students’ knowledge and reasoning. Because many of the standardized tests are based heavily on multiple choice questions, teachers should be skilled at developing effective objective assessment items. In addition, teachers should be able to construct quizzes that target higher level thinking skills (consistent with the application, analysis, and synthesis levels of Bloom’s taxonomy), and they should evaluate their instruments by conducting item analyses.
Pearson ability assessments help you more accurately assess the dimensions of ability, including cognition, reasoning, intelligence, problem solving, and learning potential. These assessments yield detailed information to understand the learning process, predict rate and depth of learning, and pinpoint reasons of performance.
Performance assessment, also known as alternative or authentic assessment, is a way to measure what students can do with what they know, rather than how much they know. It is a form of assessment that requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list (Sweet, 1993). It is not just a testing strategy but an assessment method that involves both process and product. It integrates teaching, learning and assessment. Performance assessment is a dynamic process calling for students to be active participants, who are learning even while they are being assessed. No longer is assessment perceived as a single event (Wangsatorntanakhun, 1997). “The purpose of assessment is to find out what each student is able to do, with knowledge, in context,” (Wiggins, 1997, page 20).
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy ‘items’–efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student’s performance at those valued challenges. Authentic assessments require students to be effective performers with acquired knowledge. Traditional tests tend to reveal only whether the student can recognize, recall or “plug in” what was learned out of context.
Assessment is authentic when we directly examine student performance on worthy intellectual tasks. Traditional assessment, by contract, relies on indirect or proxy ‘items’–efficient, simplistic substitutes from which we think valid inferences can be made about the student’s performance at those valued challenges.
Authentic assessments require students to be effective performers with acquired knowledge. Traditional tests tend to reveal only whether the student can recognize, recall or “plug in” what was learned out of context.
Authentic assessments present the student with the full array of tasks that mirror the priorities and challenges found in the best instructional activities: conducting research; writing, revising and discussing papers.
A standardized test is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or “standard”, manner. Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner. Any test in which the same test is given in the same manner to all test takers is a standardized test.