Formative Assessments: Formative assessments (interactive classroom discussions, self-assessments, warm-up quizzes, mid-semester evaluations, exit quizzes, etc.) monitor student learning.
- These are short term, as they are most applicable when students are in the process of making sense of new content and applying it to what they already know.
- The most striking feature of these types of assessments is the immediate feedback, which helps students make changes to their understanding of the material and allows the teacher to gauge student understanding and adapt to the needs of the students.
- These types of assessments often do not carry any credit associated with the student grade.
Interim Assessments: Interim assessments (concept tests, quizzes, written essays, etc.) may be more formal and can occur throughout the semester.
- Typically, students are given the opportunity to revisit and perhaps revise these assessments after they have received feedback.
- This type of assessment can be particularly useful in addressing the knowledge gaps in student understanding and can help you formulate better lesson plans during the course.
- The feedback to students is quick but not necessarily immediate.
- These types of assessment may count toward a small percentage of the student grade.
Summative Assessments: Summative assessments (typically midterm or final exams) evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
- These assessments are formal and have a direct impact on student grades.
- The feedback to the student may be extremely limited.
- Generally students do not have the opportunity to re-take the assessment.
- The results of these assessments can help students understand where they stand in the class by comparing grades and, if applicable, by looking at the descriptive statistics such as average, median and standard deviation.
For an explanation of specific techniques you can use for formative and interim assessment, please see [Hyperlink to PDF of Classroom Assessment Techniques (Angelo and Cross) .pdf]
Summary of Indirect Assessment Techniques
(Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Allen 2004)
|Technique||Potential Strength||Potential Limitations|
Summary of Direct Assessment Techniques
Choosing The Right Assessment Tool