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10 Summative Assessment Examples to Try This School Year

Elementary students taking a summative assessment in a classroom.

Written by Jordan Nisbet

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  • Teaching Strategies
  • A formative and summative assessment definition
  • Difference between formative and summative assessment
  • Pros and cons of summative assessment
  • 9 effective and engaging summative assessment examples
  • Helpful summative assessment strategies

When gauging student learning, two approaches likely come to mind: a formative or summative assessment.

Fortunately, feeling pressure to choose one or the other isn’t necessary. These two types of learning assessment actually serve different and necessary purposes. 

Definitions: What’s the difference between formative and summative assessment?

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Formative assessment occurs regularly throughout a unit, chapter, or term to help track not only how student learning is improving, but how your teaching can, too.

According to a WestEd article , teachers love using various formative assessments because they help meet students’ individual learning needs and foster an environment for ongoing feedback.

Take one-minute papers, for example. Giving your students a solo writing task about today’s lesson can help you see how well students understand new content.

Catching these struggles or learning gaps immediately is better than finding out during a summative assessment.

Such an assessment could include:

  • In-lesson polls
  • Partner quizzes
  • Self-evaluations
  • Ed-tech games
  • One-minute papers
  • Visuals (e.g., diagrams, charts or maps) to demonstrate learning
  • Exit tickets

So, what is a summative assessment?

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Credit: Alberto G.

It occurs at the end of a unit, chapter, or term and is most commonly associated with final projects, standardized tests, or district benchmarks.

Typically heavily weighted and graded, it evaluates what a student has learned and how much they understand.

There are various types of summative assessment. Here are some common examples of summative assessment in practice:

  • End-of-unit test
  • End-of-chapter test
  • Achievement tests
  • Standardized tests
  • Final projects or portfolios

Teachers and administrators use the final result to assess student progress, and to evaluate schools and districts. For teachers, this could mean changing how you teach a certain unit or chapter. For administrators, this data could help clarify which programs (if any) require tweaking or removal.

The differences between formative and summative assessment

While we just defined the two, there are five key differences between formative and summative assessments requiring a more in-depth explanation.

Formative assessment:

  • Occurs through a chapter or unit
  • Improves how students learn
  • Covers small content areas
  • Monitors how students are learning
  • Focuses on the process of student learning

Summative assessment:

  • Occurs at the end of a chapter or unit
  • Evaluates what students learn
  • Covers complete content areas
  • Assigns a grade to students' understanding
  • Emphasizes the product of student learning

During vs after

Teachers use formative assessment at many points during a unit or chapter to help guide student learning.

Summative assessment comes in after completing a content area to gauge student understanding.

Improving vs evaluating

If anyone knows how much the learning process is a constant work in progress, it’s you! This is why formative assessment is so helpful — it won’t always guarantee students understand concepts, but it will improve how they learn.

Summative assessment, on the other hand, simply evaluates what they’ve learned. In her book, Balanced Assessment: From Formative to Summative, renowned educator Kay Burke writes, “The only feedback comes in the form of a letter grade, percentage grade, pass/fail grade, or label such as ‘exceeds standards’ or ‘needs improvement.’”

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Little vs large

Let’s say chapter one in the math textbook has three subchapters (i.e., 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3). A teacher conducting formative assessments will assign mini tasks or assignments throughout each individual content area.

Whereas, if you’d like an idea of how your class understood the complete chapter, you’d give them a test covering a large content area including all three parts.

Monitoring vs grading

Formative assessment is extremely effective as a means to monitor individual students’ learning styles. It helps catch problems early, giving you more time to address and adapt to different problem areas.

Summative assessments are used to evaluate and grade students’ overall understanding of what you’ve taught. Think report card comments: did students achieve the learning goal(s) you set for them or not?

😮 😄 😂 #reportcard #funny #memes #comics #samecooke #schooldays #music #classic #letsgo #gooutmore #showlove pic.twitter.com/qQ2jen1Z8k — Goldstar Events (@goldstar) January 20, 2019

Process vs product

“It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey”? This age-old saying sums up formative and summative assessments fairly accurately.

The former focuses on the process of student learning. You’ll use it to identify areas of strength and weakness among your students — and to make necessary changes to accommodate their learning needs.

The latter emphasizes the product of student learning. To discover the product’s “value”, you can ask yourself questions, such as: At the end of an instructional unit, did the student’s grade exceed the class standard, or pass according to a district’s benchmark?

In other words, formative methods are an assessment for learning whereas summative ones are an assessment of learning .

Now that you’ve got a more thorough understanding of these evaluations, let’s dive into the love-hate relationship teachers like yourself may have with summative assessments.

Perceived disadvantages of summative assessment

The pros are plenty. However, before getting to that list, let’s outline some of its perceived cons. Summative assessment may:

1) Offer minimal room for creativity

Rigid and strict assignments or tests can lead to a regurgitation of information. Some students may be able to rewrite facts from one page to another, but others need to understand the “why” before giving an answer.

2) Not accurately reflect learning

“Teaching to the test” refers to educators who dedicate more time teaching lessons that will be emphasized on district-specific tests.

A survey conducted by Harvard’s Carnegie-Knight Task Force on the Future of Journalism asked teachers whether or not “preparing students to pass mandated standardized tests” affects their teaching.

A significant 60% said it either “dictates most of” or “substantially affects” their teaching. While this can result in higher scores, curriculum distortion can prevent students from learning other foundational subject areas.

3) Ignore (and miss) timely learning needs

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Because summative assessment occurs at the end of units or terms, teachers can fail to identify and remedy students’ knowledge gaps or misconceptions as they arise.

Unfortunately, by this point, there’s often little or no time to rectify a student’s mark, which can affect them in subsequent units or grades.

4) Result in a lack of motivation

The University of London’s Evidence for Policy and Practice conducted a 19-study systematic review of the impact summative assessment and tests have on students’ motivation for learning.

Contrary to popular belief, researchers found a correlation between students who scored poorly on national curriculum tests and experienced lower self-esteem, and an unwillingness to put more effort into future test prep. Beforehand, interestingly, “there was no correlation between self-esteem and achievement.”

For some students, summative assessment can sometimes be seen as 'high stakes' testing due to the pressure on them to perform well. That said, 'low-stakes' assessments can also be used in the form of quizzes or practice tests.

Repeated practice tests reinforce the low self-image of the lower-achieving students… When test scores are a source or pride and the community, pressure is brought to bear on the school for high scores.

Similarly, parents bring pressure on their children when the result has consequences for attendance at high social status schools. For many students, this increases their anxiety, even though they recognize their parents as being supportive.

5) Be inauthentic

Summative assessment has received criticism for its perceived inaccuracy in providing a full and balanced measure of student learning.

Consider this, for example: Your student, who’s a hands-on, auditory learner, has a math test today. It comes in a traditional paper format as well as a computer program format, which reads the questions aloud for students.

Chances are the student will opt for the latter test format. What’s more, this student’s test results will likely be higher and more accurate.

The reality is that curricula — let alone standardized tests — typically don’t allow for this kind of accommodation. This is the exact reason educators and advocates such as Chuck Hitchcock, Anne Meyer, David Rose, and Richard Jackson believe:

Curriculum matters and ‘fixing’ the one-size-fits-all, inflexible curriculum will occupy both special and general educators well into the future… Students with diverse learning needs are not ‘the problem’; barriers in the curriculum itself are the root of the difficulty.

6) Be biased

Depending on a school district’s demographic, summative assessment — including standardized tests — can present biases if a group of students is unfairly graded based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or social class.

In his presentation at Kansas State University, emeritus professor in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, Dr. W. James Popham, explained summative assessment bias:

This doesn’t necessarily mean that if minority students are outperformed on a summative test by majority students that the test is biased against that minority. It may instead indicate that the minority students have not been provided with the appropriate instruction…

An example of content bias against girls would be one in which students are asked to compare the weights of several objects, including a football. Since girls are less likely to have handled a football, they might find the item more difficult than boys, even though they have mastered the concept measured by the item.

Importance and benefits of summative assessment

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Overall, these are valid points raised against summative assessment. However, it does offer fantastic benefits for teachers and students alike!

Summative assessment can:

1) Motivate students to study and pay closer attention

Although we mentioned lack of motivation above, this isn’t true for every student. In fact, you’ve probably encountered numerous students for whom summative assessments are an incredible source of motivation to put more effort into their studies.

For example, final exams are a common type of summative assessment that students may encounter at the end of a semester or school year. This pivotal moment gives students a milestone to achieve and a chance to demonstrate their knowledge.

In May 2017, the College Board released a statement about whether coaching truly boosts test scores:

Data shows studying for the SAT for 20 hours on free Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average score gain of 115 points, nearly double the average score gain compared to students who don’t use Khan Academy. Out of nearly 250,000 test-takers studied, more than 16,000 gained 200 points or more between the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT…

In addition to the 115-point average score increase associated with 20 hours of practice, shorter practice periods also correlate with meaningful score gains. For example, 6 to 8 hours of practice on Official SAT Practice is associated with an average 90-point increase.

2) Allow students to apply what they’ve learned

summative assessment tasks for term 1

It’s one thing to memorize multiplication tables (which is a good skill), but another to apply those skills in math word problems or real-world examples.

Summative assessments — excluding, for example, multiple choice tests — help you see which students can retain and apply what they’ve learned.

3) Help identify gaps in student learning

Before moving on to a new unit, it’s vital to make sure students are keeping up. Naturally, some will be ahead while others will lag behind. In either case, giving them a summative assessment will provide you with a general overview of where your class stands as a whole.

Let’s say your class just wrote a test on multiplication and division. If all students scored high on multiplication but one quarter of students scored low on division, you’ll know to focus more on teaching division to those students moving forward.

4) Help identify possible teaching gaps

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Credit: woodleywonderworks

In addition to identifying student learning gaps , summative assessment can help target where your teaching style or lesson plans may have missed the mark.

Have you ever been grading tests before, to your horror, realizing almost none of your students hit the benchmark you hoped for? When this happens, the low grades are not necessarily related to study time.

For example, you may need to adjust your teaching methods by:

  • Including/excluding word problems
  • Incorporating more visual components
  • Innovative summative assessments (we list some below!)

5) Give teachers valuable insights

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Credit: Kevin Jarrett

Summative assessments can highlight what worked and what didn’t throughout the school year. Once you pinpoint how, where and what lessons need tweaking, making informed adjustments for next year becomes easier.

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes… and, for teachers, new students year after year. So although old students may miss out on changes you’ve made to your lessons, new ones get to reap the benefits.

This not only improves your skills as an educator, but will ensure a more enriching educational experience for generations of students to come.

6) Contribute positively to learning outcomes

Certain summative assessments also provide valuable data at district, national, and global levels. Depending on average test scores, this can determine whether or not certain schools receive funding, programs stay or go, curriculum changes occur, and more. Burke writes:

Summative assessments also provide the public and policymakers with a sense of the results of their investment in education and give educators a forum for proving whether instruction works – or does not work.

The seven aims of summative assessment

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Dr. Nancy P. Gallavan, a professor of teacher education at the University of Central Arkansas, believes teachers can use performance-based summative assessments at any grade level.

However, in an article for Corwin , she suggests crafting yours with seven aims in mind:

  • Accompanied  with appropriate time and task management
  • Achievable  as in-class activities and out-of-class assignments
  • Active  involvement in planning, preparation, and performance
  • Applicable  to academic standards and expectations
  • Appropriate  to your students’ learning styles, needs, and interests
  • Attractive  to your students on an individual and group level
  • Authentic  to curricular content and context

Ideally, the assessment method should also measure a student’s performance accurately against the learning objectives set at the beginning of the course.

Keeping these goals in mind, here’s a list of innovative ways to conduct summative assessments in your classroom!

Summative assessment examples: 9 ways to make test time fun

summative assessment tasks for term 1

If you want to switch things up this summative assessment season, keep reading. While you can’t change what’s on standardized tests, you can create activities to ensure your students are exhibiting and applying their understanding and skills to end-of-chapter or -unit assessments. In a refreshing way.

Why not give them the opportunity to express their understanding in ways that apply to different learning styles?

Note : As a general guideline, students should incorporate recognition and recall, logic and reasoning, as well as skills and application that cover major concepts and practices (including content areas you emphasized in your lessons).

1) One, two, three… action!

Write a script and create a short play, movie, or song about a concept or strategy of your choosing.

This video from Science Rap Academy is a great — and advanced — example of students who created a song about how blue-eyed children can come from two brown-eyed parents:

Using a tool such as iPhone Fake Text Generator , have students craft a mock text message conversation conveying a complex concept from the unit, or each chapter of that unit.

Students could create a back-and-forth conversation between two historical figures about a world event, or two friends helping each other with complex math concepts.

Have your students create a five to 10-minute podcast episode about core concepts from each unit. This is an exciting option because it can become an ongoing project.

Individually or in groups, specific students can be in charge of each end-of-chapter or -unit podcast. If your students have a cumulative test towards the end of the year or term, the podcast can even function as a study tool they created together.

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Credit : Brad Flickinger

You can use online tools such as Record MP3 Online or Vocaroo to get your class started!

4) Infographic

Creating a detailed infographic for a final project is an effective way for students to reinforce what they’ve learned. They can cover definitions, key facts, statistics, research, how-to info, graphics, etc.

You can even put up the most impressive infographics in your classroom. Over time, you’ll have an arsenal of in-depth, visually-appealing infographics students can use when studying for chapter or unit tests.

5) Compare and contrast

summative assessment tasks for term 1

Venn diagrams are an old — yet effective — tool perfect for visualizing just about anything! Whether you teach history or social studies, English or math, or something in between, Venn diagrams can help certain learners visualize the relationship between different things.

For example, they can compare book characters, locations around the world, scientific concepts, and more just like the examples below:

6) Living museum

This creative summative assessment is similar to one, two, three… action! Individuals will plan and prepare an exhibit (concept) in the Living Museum (classroom). Let’s say the unit your class just completed covered five core concepts.

Five students will set up around the classroom while the teacher walks from exhibit to exhibit. Upon reaching the first student, the teacher will push an imaginary button, bringing the exhibit “to life.” The student will do a two to three-minute presentation; afterwards, the teacher will move on to the next one.

7) Ed-Tech games

Now more than ever, students are growing up saturated with smartphones, tablets, and video games. That’s why educators should show students how to use technology in the classroom effectively and productively.

More and more educators are bringing digital tools into the learning process. Pew Research Center surveyed 2,462 teachers and reported that digital technologies have helped in teaching their middle and high school students.

Some of the findings were quite eye-opening:

  • 80% report using the internet at least weekly to help them create lesson plans
  • 84% report using the internet at least weekly to find content that will engage students
  • 69% say the internet has a “major impact on their ability to share ideas with other teachers
  • 80% report getting email alerts or updates at least weekly that allow them to follow developments in their field
  • 92% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials for their teaching
  • 67% say the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents and 57% say it has had such an impact on enabling their interaction with students

To make the most of EdTech, find a tool that actually engages your students in learning and gives you the insightful data and reports you need to adjust your instruction

Tip: Teaching math from 1st to 8th grade? Use Prodigy!

With Prodigy Math, you can:

  • Deliver engaging assessments: Prodigy's game-based approach makes assessments fun for students.
  • Spot and solve learning gaps: See which students need more support at the touch of a button.
  • Reduce test anxiety: Prodigy has been shown to build math confidence.

Plus, it's all available to educators at no cost. See how it works below! 👇

8) Shark Tank/Dragon’s Den

Yes, just like the reality TV show! You can show an episode or two to your class or get them to watch the show at home. Next, have students pitch a product or invention that can help change the world outside of school for the better.

This innovative summative assessment is one that’ll definitely require some more thought and creativity. But it’s important that, as educators, we help students realize they can have a huge positive impact on the world in which they live.

9) Free choice

If a student chooses to come up with their own summative assessment, you’ll need to vet it first. It’ll likely take some collaboration to arrive at something sufficient.

However, giving students the freedom to explore content areas that interest them most could surprise you. Sometimes, it’s during those projects they form a newfound passion and are wildly successful in completing the task.

summative assessment tasks for term 1

We’re sure there are countless other innovative summative assessment ideas out there, but we hope this list gets your creative juices flowing.

With the exclusion of standardized state and national tests, one of the greatest misconceptions about summative assessments is that they’re all about paper and pencil. Our hope in creating this list was to help you see how fun and engaging summative assessments can truly be.

10) Group projects

Group projects aren't just a fun way to break the monotony, but a dynamic and interactive form of summative assessment. Here's why:

  • Collaborative learning: Group projects encourage students to work as a team, fostering their communication and collaboration skills. They learn to listen, negotiate, and empathize, which are crucial skills in and beyond the classroom.
  • Promotes critical thinking: When students interact with each other, they get to explore different perspectives. They challenge each other's understanding, leading to stimulating debates and problem-solving sessions that boost critical thinking.
  • In-depth assessment: Group projects offer teachers a unique lens to evaluate both individual performances and group dynamics. It's like getting a sneak peek into their world - you get to see how they perform under different circumstances and how they interact with each other.
  • Catering to different learning styles: Given the interactive nature of group projects, they can cater to different learning styles - auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Every student gets a chance to shine!

However, it's important to set clear instructions and criteria to ensure fairness. Remember, it's not just about the final product - it's about the process too.

Some interesting examples of group projects include:

  • Create a Mini Documentary: Students could work together to research a historical event and create a mini documentary presenting their findings.
  • Plan a Community Service Project: This could involve identifying a problem in the local community and creating a detailed plan to address it.
  • Design a Mobile App: For a more tech-focused project, students could identify a problem and design an app that solves it.

Summative assessment strategies for keeping tests clear and fair

summative assessment tasks for term 1

In addition to using the summative assessment examples above to accommodate your students’ learning styles, these tips and strategies should also help:

  • Use a rubric  — Rubrics help set a standard for how your class should perform on a test or assignment. They outline test length, how in-depth it will be, and what you require of them to achieve the highest possible grades.
  • Design clear, effective questions  — When designing tests, do your best to use language, phrases, and examples similar to those used during lessons. This’ll help keep your tests aligned with the material you’ve covered.
  • Try blind grading  — Most teachers prefer knowing whose tests they’re grading. But if you want to provide wholly unbiased grades and feedback, try blind grading. You can request your students write their names on the bottom of the last test page or the back.
  • Assess comprehensiveness  — Make sure the broad, overarching connections you’re hoping students can make are reasonable and fluid. For example, if the test covers measurement, geometry and spatial sense, you should avoid including questions about patterning and algebra.
  • Create a final test after, not before, teaching the lessons  — Don’t put the horse before the carriage. Plans can change and student learning can demand different emphases from year to year. If you have a test outline, perfect! But expect to embrace and make some changes from time to time.
  • Make it real-world relevant  — How many times have you heard students ask, “When am I going to use this in real life?” Far too often students assume math, for example, is irrelevant to their lives and write it off as a subject they don’t need. When crafting test questions, use  culturally-relevant word problems  to illustrate a subject’s true relevance.

Enter the Balanced Assessment Model

Throughout your teaching career, you’ll spend a lot of time with formative and summative assessments. While some teachers emphasize one over the other, it’s vital to recognize the extent to which they’re interconnected.

In the book Classroom Assessment for Student Learning , Richard Stiggins, one of the first educators to advocate for the concept of assessment for learning, proposes something called “a balanced assessment system that takes advantage of assessment of learning and assessment for learning.”

If you use both effectively, they inform one another and “assessment becomes more than just an index of school success. It also serves as the cause of that success.”

In fact, Stiggins argues teachers should view these two types of assessment as “in sync.”

They can even be the  exact same thing — only the purpose and the timing of the assessment determine its label. Formative assessments provide the training wheels that allow students to practice and gain confidence while riding their bikes around the enclosed school parking lot.

Once the training wheels come off, the students face their summative assessment as they ride off into the sunset on only two wheels, prepared to navigate the twists and turns of the road to arrive safely at their final destination.

Conclusion: Going beyond the test

Implementing these innovative summative assessment examples should engage your students in new and exciting ways.

What’s more, they’ll have the opportunity to express and apply what they’ve learned in creative ways that solidify student learning.

So, what do you think — are you ready to try out these summative assessment ideas? Prodigy is a game-based learning platform teachers use to keep their students engaged.

Sign up for a free teacher account  and set an  Assessment  today!

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Formative and summative assessments.

Assessment allows both instructor and student to monitor progress towards achieving learning objectives, and can be approached in a variety of ways. Formative assessment refers to tools that identify misconceptions, struggles, and learning gaps along the way and assess how to close those gaps. It includes effective tools for helping to shape learning, and can even bolster students’ abilities to take ownership of their learning when they understand that the goal is to improve learning, not apply final marks (Trumbull and Lash, 2013). It can include students assessing themselves, peers, or even the instructor, through writing, quizzes, conversation, and more. In short, formative assessment occurs throughout a class or course, and seeks to improve student achievement of learning objectives through approaches that can support specific student needs (Theal and Franklin, 2010, p. 151). 

In contrast, summative assessments evaluate student learning, knowledge, proficiency, or success at the conclusion of an instructional period, like a unit, course, or program. Summative assessments are almost always formally graded and often heavily weighted (though they do not need to be). Summative assessment can be used to great effect in conjunction and alignment with formative assessment, and instructors can consider a variety of ways to combine these approaches. 

Examples of Formative and Summative Assessments

Both forms of assessment can vary across several dimensions (Trumbull and Lash, 2013): 

  • Informal / formal
  • Immediate / delayed feedback
  • Embedded in lesson plan / stand-alone
  • Spontaneous / planned
  • Individual / group
  • Verbal / nonverbal
  • Oral / written
  • Graded / ungraded
  • Open-ended response / closed/constrained response
  • Teacher initiated/controlled / student initiated/controlled
  • Teacher and student(s) / peers
  • Process-oriented / product-oriented
  • Brief / extended
  • Scaffolded (teacher supported) / independently performed 

Recommendations

Formative Assessment   Ideally, formative assessment strategies improve teaching and learning simultaneously. Instructors can help students grow as learners by actively encouraging them to self-assess their own skills and knowledge retention, and by giving clear instructions and feedback. Seven principles (adapted from Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick, 2007 with additions) can guide instructor strategies:

  • Keep clear criteria for what defines good performance - Instructors can explain criteria for A-F graded papers, and encourage student discussion and reflection about these criteria (this can be accomplished though office hours, rubrics, post-grade peer review, or exam / assignment wrappers ). Instructors may also hold class-wide conversations on performance criteria at strategic moments throughout a term.
  • Encourage students’ self-reflection - Instructors can ask students to utilize course criteria to evaluate their own or a peer’s work, and to share what kinds of feedback they find most valuable. In addition, instructors can ask students to describe the qualities of their best work, either through writing or group discussion.
  • Give students detailed, actionable feedback - Instructors can consistently provide specific feedback tied to predefined criteria, with opportunities to revise or apply feedback before final submission. Feedback may be corrective and forward-looking, rather than just evaluative. Examples include comments on multiple paper drafts, criterion discussions during 1-on-1 conferences, and regular online quizzes.
  • Encourage teacher and peer dialogue around learning - Instructors can invite students to discuss the formative learning process together. This practice primarily revolves around mid-semester feedback and small group feedback sessions , where students reflect on the course and instructors respond to student concerns. Students can also identify examples of feedback comments they found useful and explain how they helped. A particularly useful strategy, instructors can invite students to discuss learning goals and assignment criteria, and weave student hopes into the syllabus.
  • Promote positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem - Students will be more motivated and engaged when they are assured that an instructor cares for their development. Instructors can allow for rewrites/resubmissions to signal that an assignment is designed to promote development of learning. These rewrites might utilize low-stakes assessments, or even automated online testing that is anonymous, and (if appropriate) allows for unlimited resubmissions.
  • Provide opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance - Related to the above, instructors can improve student motivation and engagement by making visible any opportunities to close gaps between current and desired performance. Examples include opportunities for resubmission, specific action points for writing or task-based assignments, and sharing study or process strategies that an instructor would use in order to succeed.  
  • Collect information which can be used to help shape teaching - Instructors can feel free to collect useful information from students in order to provide targeted feedback and instruction. Students can identify where they are having difficulties, either on an assignment or test, or in written submissions. This approach also promotes metacognition , as students are asked to think about their own learning. Poorvu Center staff can also perform a classroom observation or conduct a small group feedback session that can provide instructors with potential student struggles. 

Instructors can find a variety of other formative assessment techniques through Angelo and Cross (1993), Classroom Assessment Techniques (list of techniques available here ).

Summative Assessment   Because summative assessments are usually higher-stakes than formative assessments, it is especially important to ensure that the assessment aligns with the goals and expected outcomes of the instruction.  

  • Use a Rubric or Table of Specifications - Instructors can use a rubric to lay out expected performance criteria for a range of grades. Rubrics will describe what an ideal assignment looks like, and “summarize” expected performance at the beginning of term, providing students with a trajectory and sense of completion. 
  • Design Clear, Effective Questions - If designing essay questions, instructors can ensure that questions meet criteria while allowing students freedom to express their knowledge creatively and in ways that honor how they digested, constructed, or mastered meaning. Instructors can read about ways to design effective multiple choice questions .
  • Assess Comprehensiveness - Effective summative assessments provide an opportunity for students to consider the totality of a course’s content, making broad connections, demonstrating synthesized skills, and exploring deeper concepts that drive or found a course’s ideas and content. 
  • Make Parameters Clear - When approaching a final assessment, instructors can ensure that parameters are well defined (length of assessment, depth of response, time and date, grading standards); knowledge assessed relates clearly to content covered in course; and students with disabilities are provided required space and support.
  • Consider Blind Grading - Instructors may wish to know whose work they grade, in order to provide feedback that speaks to a student’s term-long trajectory. If instructors wish to provide truly unbiased summative assessment, they can also consider a variety of blind grading techniques .

Considerations for Online Assessments

Effectively implementing assessments in an online teaching environment can be particularly challenging. The Poorvu Center shares these  recommendations .

Nicol, D.J. and Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006) Formative assessment and self‐regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education 31(2): 2-19.

Theall, M. and Franklin J.L. (2010). Assessing Teaching Practices and Effectiveness for Formative Purposes. In: A Guide to Faculty Development. KJ Gillespie and DL Robertson (Eds). Jossey Bass: San Francisco, CA.

Trumbull, E., & Lash, A. (2013). Understanding formative assessment: Insights from learning theory and measurement theory. San Francisco: WestEd.

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Summative Assessment and Feedback

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Summative assessments are given to students at the end of a course and should measure the skills and knowledge a student has gained over the entire instructional period. Summative feedback is aimed at helping students understand how well they have done in meeting the overall learning goals of the course.

Effective summative assessments

Effective summative assessments provide students a structured way to demonstrate that they have met a range of key learning objectives and to receive useful feedback on their overall learning. They should align with the course learning goals and build upon prior formative assessments. These assessments will address how well the student is able to synthesize and connect the elements of learning from the entirety of the course into a holistic understanding and provide an opportunity to provide rich summative feedback.

The value of summative feedback

Summative feedback is essential for students to understand how far they have come in meeting the learning goals of the course, what they need further work on, and what they should study next. This can affect later choices that students make, particularly in contemplating and pursuing their major fields of study. Summative feedback can also influence how students regard themselves and their academic disciplines after graduation.

Use rubrics to provide consistency and transparency

A rubric is a grading guide for evaluating how well students have met a learning outcome. A rubric consists of performance criteria, a rating scale, and indicators for the different rating levels. They are typically in a chart or table format. 

Instructors often use rubrics for both formative and summative feedback to ensure consistency of assessment across different students. Rubrics also can make grading faster and help to create consistency between multiple graders and across assignments.

Students might be given access to the rubric before working on an assignment. No criteria or metric within a summative assessment should come as a surprise to the students. Transparency with students on exactly what is being assessed can help them more effectively demonstrate how much they have learned.  

Types of  summative assessments

Different summative assessments are better suited to measuring different kinds of learning. 

Examinations

Examinations are useful for evaluating student learning in terms of remembering information, and understanding and applying concepts and ideas. However, exams may be less suited to evaluating how well students are able to analyze, evaluate, or create things related to what they've learned.

Presentation

A presentation tasks the student with teaching others what they have learned typically by speaking, presenting visual materials, and interacting with their audience. This can be useful for assessing a student's ability to critically analyze and evaluate a topic or content.

With projects, students will create something, such as a plan, document, artifact, or object, usually over a sustained period of time, that demonstrates skills or understanding of the topic of learning. They are useful for evaluating learning objectives that require high levels of critical thinking, creativity, and coordination. Projects are good opportunities to provide summative feedback because they often build on prior formative assessments and feedback. 

With a portfolio, students create and curate a collection of documents, objects, and artifacts that collectively demonstrate their learning over a wide range of learning goals. Portfolios usually include the student's reflections and metacognitive analysis of their own learning. Portfolios are typically completed over a sustained period of time and are usually done by individual students as opposed to groups. 

Portfolios are particularly useful for evaluating how students' learning, attitudes, beliefs, and creativity grow over the span of the course. The reflective component of portfolios can be a rich form of self-feedback for students. Generally, portfolios tend to be more holistic and are often now done using ePortfolios .

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21 Summative Assessment Examples

Formative vs summative assessment

Summative assessment is a type of achievmeent assessment that occurs at the end of a unit of work. Its goal is to evaluate what students have learned or the skills they have developed. It is compared to a formative assessment that takes place in the middle of the unit of work for feedback to students and learners.

Performance is evaluated according to specific criteria, and usually result in a final grade or percentage achieved.

The scores of individual students are then compared to established benchmarks which can result in significant consequences for the student.

A traditional example of summative evaluation is a standardized test such as the SATs. The SATs help colleges determine which students should be admitted.

However, summative assessment doesn’t have to be in a paper-and-pencil format. Project-based learning, performance-based assessments, and authentic assessments can all be forms of summative assessment.

Real Life Summative Assessment Examples

  • Final Exams for a College Course: At the end of the semester at university, there is usually a final exam that will determine if you pass. There are also often formative tests mid-way through the course (known in England as ICAs and the USA as midterms).
  • SATs: The SATs are the primary United States college admissions tests. They are a summative assessment because they provide a final grade that can determine whether a student gets into college or not.
  • AP Exams: The AP Exams take place at the end of Advanced Placement courses to also determine college readiness.
  • Piano Exams: The ABRSM administers piano exams to test if a student can move up a grade (from grades 1 to 8), which demonstrates their achievements in piano proficiency.
  • Sporting Competitions: A sporting competition such as a swimming race is summative because it leads to a result or ranking that cannot be reneged. However, as there will always be future competitions, they could also be treated as summative – especially if it’s not the ultimate competition in any given sport.
  • Drivers License Test: A drivers license test is pass-fail, and represents the culmination of practice in driving skills.
  • IELTS: Language tests like IELTS are summative assessments of a person’s ability to speak a language (in the case of IELTS, it’s English).
  • Citizenship Test: Citizenship tests are pass-fail, and often high-stakes. There is no room for formative assessment here.
  • Dissertation Submission: A final dissertation submission for a postgraduate degree is often sent to an external reviewer who will give it a pass-fail grade.
  • CPR Course: Trainees in a 2-day first-aid and CPR course have to perform on a dummy while being observed by a licensed trainer.
  • PISA Tests: The PISA test is a standardized test commissioned by the OECD to provide a final score of students’ mathematic, science, and reading literacy across the world, which leads to a league table of nations.
  • The MCATs: The MCATs are tests that students conduct to see whether they can get into medical school. They require significant study and preparation before test day.
  • The Bar: The Bar exam is an exam prospective lawyers must sit in order to be accepted as lawyers in their jurisdiction.

Summative Test Ideas for Classroom Teachers

Whereas the above exams represent some of the most high-profile and high-stakes summative tests , summative assessment also takes place in everyday classrooms.

Below are some common ways teachers might create a summative test for their students:

  • A performance: At the end of reading a history chapter on the Spanish-American War, students write a script and perform a play that highlight the key milestones and issues involved. The teacher provides a grade that will go on their final report card.
  • An infographic: Students in a nutrition course are tasked with creating an infographic that details the issue of obesity in the United States.  
  • A diagram: After learning about ocean animals in a biology class, students construct Venn diagrams comparing and contrasting whales and fish.
  • A poster display: After one week of lessons about pollution, third graders work in pairs and make a poster display about Arctic animals and the effects of pollution.
  • A slide deck demonstration: Students in an architecture course have to choose 3 architectural styles and then make a slide deck that shows examples of each and explain the differences.  
  • Observational testing: Kindergarten kids have to demonstrate life skills by brushing their teeth, selecting the appropriate winter clothes, and tying their shoes independently. 
  • Identifying errors in a program: Computer science majors are given 5 pages of programming code for 5 different apps, and must find the one error in each.
  • Multiple choice exam: Students in a European history course are given a cumulative multiple-choice exam at the end of the term over all 7 chapters covered.   

Summative vs Formative Assessment

Summative assessments are one of two main types of assessment. The other is formative assessment.

Whereas summative assessment occurs at the end of a unit of work, a formative assessment takes place in the middle of the unit so teachers and students can get feedback on progress and make accommodations to stay on track.

Summative assessments tend to be much higher-stakes because they reflect a final judgment about a student’s learning, skills, and knowledge:

“Passing bestows important benefits, such as receiving a high school diploma, a scholarship, or entry into college, and failure can affect a child’s future employment prospects and earning potential as an adult” (States et al, 2018, p. 3).

Five Summative Test Scenarios

1. performance-based summative assessment.

A traditional form of summative assessment usually involves a lot of multiple-choice and short essay questions. But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Performance-based tests that involve authentic assessment can also be summative.

For example, at the end of each unit in an advanced radiology course, the instructor might provide students with 10 X-rays that show various diseases. The students have to work in pairs to identify the disease and indicate its stage of progression.

Of course, to make things interesting, the instructor also includes X-rays that don’t contain any diseases and others that are most commonly misdiagnosed by highly experienced professionals.

2. Presentation-Based Final Evaluation

In a university course in developmental psychology, the chapter on attachment styles usually sparks a lot of interest among the students. Assessing student learning through traditional paper-and-pencil tests doesn’t seem to capture the dynamic nature of the subject.

So, the professor locates some old footage from Mary Ainsworth’s original studies on the strange situations test . The videos are a bit grainy, but there is a lot of footage that show great examples of each attachment style.

To assess their understanding of each style, the students are sent home with a set of videos. They can watch them as often as they want but must return the next week and make a presentation to the class.

The presentation must involve showing the video, identifying the attachment style, and pinpointing the exact infant behavior that typifies that attachment category.

3. Portfolio Presentations

A university course for future kindergarten teachers is called Props and Stuff. The course involves teachers learning about prop theory and how to make their own materials for classroom instruction.

At the end of each unit, students have to make a specific type of prop, such as a sock puppet, pop-up book, or animal habitat diorama.

By the end of the term, students have produced a lot of very interesting props. As part of the summative assessment the class holds an exhibition where each student displays a selection of their props as part of their portfolio.

Each portfolio is evaluated by the other students (peer assessment) in the class based on a set of pre-determined criteria. The average of those scores will be the basis for their grade in the course.

4. Real-Life Simulation as Final Exam

Students in a course on leadership styles have spent the last 3 months reading chapters, writing papers, and debating case studies. They have memorized the names and dates of key historical scholars and can name plenty of modern leaders that fit certain styles.

However, the final assessment of their learning will be performance-based. The professor has prepared a set of job simulations that portray various scenarios in a corporate setting.

First, each student selects a card from the stack of simulation scenarios. Then they draw a slip of folded paper from a hat which identifies one leadership style.

While they engage the simulation, they must act according to the leadership style selected. The professor takes notes on their performance and keeps track of statements that reflect that style.

The final score is based on the number of times the student demonstrated the appropriate leadership style, either through statements or non-verbal behavior.

5. Interviews as Final Assessment

At the end of a history unit on the U.S. constitution, the teacher has decided to create a unique summative assessment that involves a simulated talk show interview.

Students will need to study the details of any 3 key historical figures involved in the writing of the constitution. They can choose from the list provided by the teacher.

The summative assessment will occur in the form of a talk show interview. One student will interview the historical figure by asking them questions about their life and their role in writing the constitution. There are 6 questions that are central to the unit’s content.

Grades will be based on if the student knows key facts that were covered in the unit about that figure. The more complete and accurate their answers, the higher their score.

Summative assessment allows teachers to determine if their students have reached the defined behavioral objectives . It can occur at the end of a unit, an academic term, or academic year.

The assessment usually results in a grade or a percentage that is recorded in the student’s file. These scores are then used in a variety of ways and are meant to provide a snapshot of the student’s progress.

Although the SAT or ACT are common examples of summative assessment, it can actually take many forms. Teachers might ask their students to give an oral presentation, perform a short role-play, or complete a project-based assignment. 

Brookhart, S. M. (2004). Assessment theory for college classrooms. New Directions for Teaching and Learning , 100 , 5-14. https://doi.org/10.1002/tl.165

Dixon, D. D., & Worrell, F. C. (2016). Formative and summative assessment in the classroom. Theory into Practice , 55 , 153-159. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2016.1148989

Geiser, S., & Santelices, M. V. (2007). Validity of high-school grades in predicting student success beyond the freshman year: High-school record vs. standardized tests as indicators of four-year college outcomes. Research and Occasional Paper Series. Berkeley, CA: Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California.

Kibble J. D. (2017). Best practices in summative assessment. Advances in Physiology Education , 41 (1), 110–119. https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00116.2016

Lungu, S., Matafwali, B., & Banja, M. K. (2021). Formative and summative assessment practices by teachers in early childhood education centres in Lusaka, Zambia. European Journal of Education Studies, 8 (2), 44-65.

States, J., Detrich, R., & Keyworth, R. (2018). Summative Assessment (Wing Institute Original Paper). https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.16788.19844

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Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence

Summative assessments.

Nicole Messier, CATE Instructional Designer February 7th, 2022

WHAT? Heading link Copy link

Summative assessments are used to measure learning when instruction is over and thus may occur at the end of a learning unit, module, or the entire course.

Summative assessments are usually graded, are weighted more heavily than other course assignments or comprise a substantial percentage of a students’ overall grade (and are often considered “high stakes” assessments relative to other, “lower stakes” assessments in a course), and are required assessments for the completion of a course.

Summative assessments can be viewed through two broad assessment strategies: assessments of learning and assessments as learning.

  • Assessment of learning (AoL) provides data to confirm course outcomes and students the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency in the learning objectives.
  • Assessment as learning (AaL) provides student ownership of learning by utilizing evidence-based learning strategies, promoting self-regulation, and providing reflective learning.

A summative assessment can be designed to provide both assessment of learning (AoL) and assessment as learning (AaL). The goal of designing for AaL and AoL is to create a summative assessment as a learning experience while ensuring that the data collected is valid and reliable.

Summative Assessment includes test taking

Want to learn more about these assessment strategies? Please visit the  Resources Section – CATE website to review resources, teaching guides, and more.

Summative Assessments Heading link Copy link

Summative assessments (aol).

  • Written assignments – such as papers or authentic assessments like projects or portfolios of creative work
  • Mid-term exam
  • Performances

Although exams are typically used to measure student knowledge and skills at the end of a learning unit, module, or an entire course, they can also be incorporated into learning opportunities for students.

Example 1 - Exam Heading link Copy link

Example 1 - exam.

An instructor decides to analyze their current multiple-choice and short-answer final exam for alignment to the learning objectives. The instructor discovers that the questions cover the content in the learning objectives; however, some questions are not at the same cognitive levels as the learning objectives . The instructor determines that they need to create some scenario questions where students are asked to analyze a situation and apply knowledge to be aligned with a particular learning objective.

The instructor also realizes that this new type of question format will be challenging for students if the exam is the only opportunity provided to students. The instructor decides to create a study guide for students on scenarios (not used in the exam) for students to practice and self-assess their learning. The instructor plans to make future changes to the quizzes and non-graded formative questions to include higher-level cognitive questions to ensure that learning objectives are being assessed as well as to support student success in the summative assessment.

This example demonstrates assessment of learning with an emphasis on improving the validity of the results, as well as assessment as learning by providing students with opportunities to self-assess and reflect on their learning.

Written assignments in any form (authentic, project, or problem-based) can also be designed to collect data and measure student learning, as well as provide opportunities for self-regulation and reflective learning. Instructors should consider using a type of grading rubric (analytic, holistic, or single point) for written assignments to ensure that the data collected is valid and reliable.

Summative Assessments (AaL) Heading link Copy link

Summative assessments (aal).

  • Authentic assessments – an assessment that involves a real-world task or application of knowledge instead of a traditional paper; could involve a situation or scenario specific to a future career.
  • Project-based learning – an assessment that involves student choice in designing and addressing a problem, need, or question.
  • Problem-based learning – similar to project-based learning but focused on solutions to problems.
  • Self-critique or peer assessment

Example 2 - Authentic Assessment Heading link Copy link

Example 2 - authentic assessment.

An instructor has traditionally used a research paper as the final summative assessment in their course. After attending a conference session on authentic assessments, the instructor decides to change this summative assessment to an authentic assessment that allows for student choice and increased interaction, feedback, and ownership.

First, the instructor introduced the summative project during the first week of class. The summative project instructions asked students to select a problem that could be addressed by one of the themes from the course. Students were provided with a list of authentic products that they could choose from, or they could request permission to submit a different product. Students were also provided with a rubric aligned to the learning objectives.

Next, the instructor created small groups (three to four students) with discussion forums for students to begin brainstorming problems, themes, and ideas for their summative project. These groups were also required to use the rubric to provide feedback to their peers at two separate time points in the course. Students were required to submit their final product, references, self-assessment using the rubric, and a reflection on the peer interaction and review.

This example demonstrates an authentic assessment as well as an assessment of learning (AoL) and assessment as learning (AaL). The validity and reliability of this summative assessment are ensured using a rubric that is focused on the learning objectives of the course and consistently utilized for the grading and feedback of the summative project. Data collected from the use of grading criteria in a rubric can be used to improve the summative project as well as the instruction and materials in the course. This summative project allows for reflective learning and provides opportunities for students to develop self-regulation skills as well as apply knowledge gained in an authentic and meaningful product.

Another way to create a summative assessment as a learning opportunity is to break it down into smaller manageable parts. These smaller parts will guide students’ understanding of expectations, provide them with opportunities to receive and apply feedback, as well as support their executive functioning and self-regulation skills.

WHY? Heading link Copy link

We know that summative assessments are vital to the curriculum planning cycle to measure student outcomes and implement continuous improvements. But how do we ensure our summative assessments are effective and equitable? Well, the answer is in the research.

Validity, Reliability, and Manageability

Critical components for the effectiveness of summative assessments are the validity, reliability, and manageability of the assessment (Khaled, 2020).

  • Validity of the assessment refers to the alignment to course learning objectives. In other words, are the assessments in your course measuring the learning objectives?
  • Reliability of the assessment refers to the consistency or accuracy of the assessment used. Are the assessment practices consistent from student to student and semester to semester?
  • Manageability of the assessment refers to the workload for both faculty and students. For faculty, is the type of summative assessment causing a delay in timely grading and feedback to the learner? For students, is the summative assessment attainable and are the expectations realistic?

As you begin to design a summative assessment, determine how you will ensure the assessment is valid, reliable, and manageable.

Feedback & Summative Assessments

Attributes of academic feedback that improve the impact of the summative assessment on student learning (Daka, 2021; Harrison 2017) include:

  • Provide feedback without or before grades.
  • Once the grade is given, then explain the grading criteria and score (e.g., using a rubric to explain grading criteria and scoring).
  •  Identify specific qualities in students’ work.
  • Describe actionable steps on what and how to improve.
  • Motivate and encourage students by providing opportunities to submit revisions or earn partial credit for submitting revised responses to incorrect answers on exams.
  • Allow students to monitor, evaluate, and regulate their learning.

Additional recommendations for feedback include that feedback should be timely, frequent, constructive (what and how), and should help infuse a sense of professional identity for students (why). The alignment of learning objectives, learning activities, and summative assessments is critical to student success and will ensure that assessments are valid. And lastly, the tasks in assessments should match the cognitive levels of the course learning objectives to challenge the highest performing students while elevating lower-achieving students (Daka, 2021).

HOW? Heading link Copy link

How do you start designing summative assessments?

Summative assessments can help measure student achievement of course learning objectives as well as provide the instructor with data to make pedagogical decisions on future teaching and instruction. Summative assessments can also provide learning opportunities as students reflect and take ownership of their learning.

So how do you determine what type of summative assessment to design? And how do you ensure that summative assessment will be valid, reliable, and manageable? Let’s dive into some of the elements that might impact your design decisions, including class size, discipline, modality, and EdTech tools .

Class Size and Modality

The manageability of summative assessments can be impacted by the class size and modality of the course. Depending on the class size of the course, instructors might be able to implement more opportunities for authentic summative assessments that provide student ownership and allow for more reflective learning (students think about their learning and make connections to their experiences). Larger class sizes might require instructors to consider implementing an EdTech tool to improve the manageability of summative assessments.

The course modality can also influence the design decisions of summative assessments. Courses with synchronous class sessions can require students to take summative assessments simultaneously through an in-person paper exam or an online exam using an EdTech tool, like Gradescope or Blackboard Tests, Pools, and Surveys . Courses can also create opportunities for students to share their authentic assessments asynchronously using an EdTech tool like VoiceThread .

Major Coursework

When designing a summative assessment as a learning opportunity for major coursework, instructors should reflect on the learning objectives to be assessed and the possible real-world application of the learning objectives. In replacement of multiple-choice or short answer questions that focus on content memorization, instructors might consider creating scenarios or situational questions that provide students with opportunities to analyze and apply knowledge gained. In major coursework, instructors should consider authentic assessments that allow for student choice, transfer of knowledge, and the development of professional skills in place of a traditional paper or essay.

Undergraduate General Education Coursework

In undergraduate general education coursework, instructors should consider the use of authentic assessments to make connections to students’ experiences, goals, and future careers. Simple adjustments to assignment instructions to allow for student choice can help increase student engagement and motivation. Designing authentic summative assessments can help connect students to the real-world application of the content and create buy-in on the importance of the summative assessment.

Summative Assessment Tools

EdTech tools can help to reduce faculty workload by providing a delivery system for students to submit work as well as tools to support academic integrity.

Below are EdTech tools that are available to UIC faculty to create and/or grade summative assessments as and of learning.

Assessment Creation and Grading Tools Heading link Copy link

Assessment creation and grading tools.

  • Blackboard assignments drop box and rubrics
  • Blackboard quizzes and exams

Assessment creation and grading tools can help support instructors in designing valid and reliable summative assessments. Gradescope can be utilized as a grading tool for in-person paper and pencil midterm and final exams, as well as a tool to create digital summative assessments. Instructors can use AI to improve the manageability of summative assessments as well as the reliability through the use of rubrics for grading with Gradescope.

In the Blackboard learning management system, instructors can create pools of questions for both formative and summative assessments as well as create authentic assessment drop boxes and rubrics aligned to learning objectives for valid and reliable data collection.

Academic Integrity Tools

  • SafeAssign (undergraduate)
  •   iThenticate (graduate)
  • Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitoring

Academic integrity tools can help ensure that students are meeting academic expectations concerning research through the use of SafeAssign and iThenticate as well as academic integrity during online tests and exams using Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitoring.

Want to learn more about these summative assessment tools? Visit the EdTech section on the CATE website to learn more.

Exam Guidance

Additional guidance on online exams is available in Section III: Best Practices for Online (Remote Proctored, Synchronous) Exams in the Guidelines for Assessment in Online Environments Report , which outlines steps for equitable exam design, accessible exam technology, and effective communication for student success. The framing questions in the report are designed to guide instructors with suggestions, examples, and best practices (Academic Planning Task Force, 2020), which include:

  • “What steps should be taken to ensure that all students have the necessary hardware, software, and internet capabilities to complete a remote, proctored exam?
  • What practices should be implemented to make remote proctored exams accessible to all students, and in particular, for students with disabilities?
  • How can creating an ethos of academic integrity be leveraged to curb cheating in remote proctored exams?
  • What are exam design strategies to minimize cheating in an online environment?
  • What tools can help to disincentive cheating during a remote proctored exam?
  • How might feedback and grading strategies be adjusted to deter academic misconduct on exams?”

GETTING STARTED Heading link Copy link

Getting started.

The following steps will support you as you examine current summative assessment practices through the lens of assessment of learning (AoL) and assessment as learning (AaL) and develop new or adapt existing summative assessments.

  • The first step is to utilize backward design principles by aligning the summative assessments to the learning objectives.
  • To collect valid and reliable data to confirm student outcomes (AoL).
  • To promote self-regulation and reflective learning by students (AaL).
  • Format: exam, written assignment, portfolio, performance, project, etc.
  • Delivery: paper and pencil, Blackboard, EdTech tool, etc.
  • Feedback: general (how to improve performance), personalized (student-specific), etc.
  • Scoring: automatically graded by Blackboard and/or EdTech tool or manual through the use of a rubric in Blackboard.
  • The fourth step is to review data collected from summative assessment(s) and reflect on the implementation of the summative assessment(s) through the lens of validity, reliability, and manageability to inform continuous improvements for equitable student outcomes.

CITING THIS GUIDE Heading link Copy link

Citing this guide.

Messier, N. (2022). “Summative assessments.” Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence at the University of Illinois Chicago. Retrieved [today’s date] from https://teaching.uic.edu/resources/teaching-guides/assessment-grading-practices/summative-assessments/

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Heading link Copy link

Academic Planning Task Force. (2020). Guidelines for Assessment in Online Learning Environments .

McLaughlin, L., Ricevuto, J. (2021). Assessments in a Virtual Environment: You Won’t Need that Lockdown Browser! Faculty Focus.

Moore, E. (2020). Assessments by Design: Rethinking Assessment for Learner Variability. Faculty Focus.

Websites and Journals

Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education website 

Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. Taylor & Francis Online Journals

Journal of Assessment in Higher Education

REFERENCES Heading link Copy link

Daka, H., & Mulenga-Hagane, M., Mukalula-Kalumbi, M., Lisulo, S. (2021). Making summative assessment effective. 5. 224 – 237.

Earl, L.M., Katz, S. (2006). Rethinking classroom assessment with purpose in mind — Assessment for learning, assessment as learning, assessment of learning. Winnipeg, Manitoba: Crown in Right of Manitoba.

Galletly, R., Carciofo, R. (2020). Using an online discussion forum in a summative coursework assignment. Journal of Educators Online . Volume 17, Issue 2.

Harrison, C., Könings, K., Schuwirth, L. & Wass, V., Van der Vleuten, C. (2017). Changing the culture of assessment: the dominance of the summative assessment paradigm. BMC Medical Education. 17. 10.1186/s12909-017-0912-5.

Khaled, S., El Khatib, S. (2020). Summative assessment in higher education: Feedback for better learning outcomes

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What Is Summative Assessment: A Practical Guide To When And How To Use It

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Are you looking to design a summative assessment that accurately measures your students’ learning progress? It may seem like creating a test is a straightforward task – just jot down some questions and select the answers. But if you aspire to create assessments that genuinely reflect your learners’ abilities and enhance their academic achievements, you need to adopt a considered approach embedding summative assessments into your teaching plans from the start 

In this article, we’ll delve into the benefits and limitations of summative assessments on student achievement and provide recommendations for teachers to improve the effectiveness of summative assessments for their learners.

What is summative assessment?

Examples of summative assessment, formative vs summative assessments, tracking student progress, accountability, motivating students , preparation for external exams, standardisation , how can summative assessment impact student achievement, provides a limited snapshot of student achievement, closed-book exams may not accurately reflect students’ ability or potential, comparing students based on summative grades might be unfair, summative assessments can emphasise memorization, 1. design a summative assessment based on its purpose, 2. offer clear instructions throughout the assessment, 3. ensure consistency in summative assessments from year to year, 4. prepare students in advance.

Summative assessment is an evaluation of students’ current understanding and achievement. It allows teachers to track learners’ progress over a period of time. 

The findings of these assessments can be utilised to make informed decisions about how to support each student in succeeding and determine whether they have achieved the required learning objectives. 

Summative assessments can take many forms, including in class tests, exams, projects, or essays, and are often scored to provide a quantifiable measure of students’ performance.

It’s worth saying that in fact there’s nothing intrinsic to an assessment activity that makes it either summative or formative – it’s what you do with the information that you gain from the assessment that determines this.

That said, there are some assessement types that are more commonly used summatively. These include:

  • Benchmark tests given at the start of the year or a unit of work with the intention of comparing the results with future assessment data.
  • Online assessments designed to measure transferable skills and academic aptitude to make predictions and targets for future attainment.
  • Portfolios of work , for subjects such as Art or Photography.
  • A final project following a period of group work.
  • Midterm exams or classroom assessments at the end of a unit of study.
  • Performance assessments that showcase students’ development of new skills.
  • Key stage assessments that form part of a national curriculum.
  • Standardised tests that are sat by students of the same age throughout a country, such as GCSEs and SATs

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The difference between formative and summative assessment is their purpose, design, frequency, and outcomes. While summative assessment is an assessment of learning, formative assessment is an assessment for learning .

Read more: Formative assessment examples

Formative and summative assessments are the two types of assessment that are most prevalent in education literature. The table below shows their main characteristics:

Formative and Summative Assessment

Benefits of summative assessment practices 

The benefits of summative assessment may not be as apparent as those of formative assessment, as they are often less immediate and direct than the advantages gained from ongoing assessment strategies that promote learning.

But summative assessments bring many benefits that enhance teaching and learning.

Summative assessments offer assessment data that is typically used to track student progress over time. This data indicates whether students are making the expected level of progress based on their age and abilities.

The results of summative assessments provide an objective measure of accountability for teachers and students. 

Teachers can use students’ end-of-year or external assessment results in their appraisal meetings to evaluate their teaching approaches. Additionally, students can be held accountable if their results indicate a decrease in effort or underperformance in one or more subjects.

Summative assessments provide high-stakes conditions for students to showcase their capabilities to themselves and others. These assessments motivate students to prepare and revise more thoroughly than they might for other types of evaluations. 

However, lower ability students and those with exam anxiety may be less motivated by summative assessments, which can lead to a decrease in their effort and motivation as the assessment date approaches.

GCSEs and A-Levels are external exams that act as summative assessments at the end of a course. High stakes classroom assessments, such as midterm exams, offer valuable exam practice for time management, meeting assessment objectives, and managing exam anxiety. 

Summative assessments will require students retrieving information from their long term memory which can help to further embed it and support improved performance during external exams.

Summative assessments can provide schools and education systems with objective data to create standardised scores for each learner. This enables individuals and small cohorts to be compared to other students and larger cohorts. 

Standardisation is often used to determine the grade boundaries in external exams.

The manner in which summative assessment is carried out can have a considerable impact on the academic progress of students.

Summative assessment helps:

  • track student progress and identify underachievement, allowing for interventions to be put in place.
  • reveal issues with exam technique.
  • hold students and teachers accountable and increase motivation to improve results.
  • prepare students for external exams, improving long-term memory retrieval and adjusting revision and exam strategies accordingly.

Read more: Adaptive teaching

In all cases above, increased achievement is defined as achieving a higher result in a future summative assessment. 

This may not be a reliable or valid measure of achievement, but until education institutions move away from standardised testing and entry requirements that depend on the results of summative assessments, it is an important measure to consider.

Limitations of summative assessment

Summative assessments are widely used in education to measure student achievement, but they also have limitations every teacher should be aware of:

Summative assessment is limited in that it provides a snapshot of student achievement at one point in time and uses a limited range of assessment strategies.

The validity and appropriateness of summative assessments, particularly external exams, has been scrutinised in the UK after ‘teacher assessed grades’ were used to replace external exams during periods of lockdown.

There is uncertainty about whether closed-book exams that are taken at the end of GCSE and A-Level courses provide an accurate reflection of students’ ability or academic potential.

Students can be coached to perform well on summative assessments, which takes time away from deepening students’ understanding or studying a broader curriculum.

Critics of summative assessment argue that ‘open-book’ assessments would be more appropriate so that students can be tested on their ability to apply and fact-check the material they have access to.

Using summative grades to compare students to each other or to gain entry into a school, college, or university, seems unfair when final grades are so dependent on factors outside of students’ control.

Summative assessments often require students to memorise material, which is becoming an increasingly redundant skill given how readily information is available online.

Time spent memorising material ahead of a summative assessment could be better spent deepening students’ understanding or improving their ability to critically interact with new material.

Summative assessment tips for teachers

As a teacher, designing and administering effective summative assessments can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you create successful summative assessments for your students.

The content of a summative assessment needs to be carefully selected – and this content may vary depending on the intended use of the assessment data.

Let’s consider short formal tests administered at the end of a unit of work or half-term which is based only on the work completed during that time period. Benefits of tests like these include:

  • Increased motivation for students to revise and consolidate learned content
  • An increase in student achievement due to the testing effect
  • Support for process of identifying students who may benefit from intervention (note that summative test results should not be the only method for identifying these students, as discussed above)
  • Provision of feedback on the effectiveness of curriculum design and implementation (the extent to which learning intentions match with learning accomplished)

However, while this type of short formal test has lots of benefits, it is not as useful for providing a longer-term picture of student progress and to measure attainment of more generalised learning goals.

For example, it is unlikely to be appropriate to convert the data collected from an isolated end of unit assessment to a GCSE grade to report to parents as part of a school’s wider monitoring processes. This is because it’s highly likely that different content domains are assessed with each separate unit test, and fluctuations in results may reflect the comparative difficulty of the material covered rather than any meaningful change in a student’s progress.

Ensure the instructions throughout the assessment clearly convey what is required from the student (e.g. show each step of your calculation).

Create a mark scheme or rubric before the assessment is set so that you are clear about what is required from each question and check that the exam instructions accurately explain this to the students. 

On the one hand it’s a good idea to use the same summative assessments each year so that each cohort of students can be compared to cohorts from previous years.

This allows departments to evaluate their own performance and to make adjustments if a cohort’s performance differs significantly from previous years. By including a mixture of recent and past topics on each summative assessment you will utilise the benefits of retrieval practice and spacing.

On the other hand, regular reviews of how you are assessing content throughout the year will help to make sure you meet the needs of each particular cohort of students.

Read more: Retrieval practice activities

Prepare students for summative assessments and reduce exam anxiety by producing practice papers that match the summative assessment in terms of style and content. 

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Summative assessment is designed to produce a measure of achievement. It is important because it helps teachers to track their students’ progress and gives students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge to external organisations such as employers or universities.

An assessment that has a clear purpose and allows comparisons to be made with the results or past or future assessments.

External exams like Year 6 SATs, GCSEs or A-Levels End of year or end of topic exams Benchmark or aptitude tests that measure transferable skills and academic potential

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Summative Assessments

What are summative assessments?

Summative assessments are implemented at the end of a unit, set of units, or entire course to assess and evaluate the extent to which students have achieved the learning objectives (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) for that period of instruction. Summative assessments are typically higher stakes (higher point value) than formative assessments and tend to constitute a relatively larger proportion of a student’s grade. Whereas formative assessments provide feedback on student learning while learning is in progress, summative assessments primarily evaluate how much learning has occurred by the end of an instructional period. 

What makes a summative assessment equity-minded?

Equity-minded summative assessments are: 

  • Relevant : Well-aligned with the learning objectives for that period of instruction. Some definitions also consider relevant assessments as those that reflect the goals, interests, or experiences of students (Artze-Vega et al., 2023).
  • Authentic : Provide students with meaningful ways to demonstrate the knowledge or skills they have acquired. For example, this could involve applying course concepts to real-world problems, topics, or careers (Wiggins, 1990). Although all authentic assessments are also relevant, authentic assessments additionally aim to simulate tasks that students will encounter in their academic, professional, or personal lives. 
  • Rigorous : Set high expectations and encourage students to engage in cognitively demanding tasks. Designing rigorous assessments communicates the belief that all students, regardless of their background, have the potential to succeed on challenging tasks if given sufficient support. This actively counteracts the harmful practice of giving less instruction and fewer challenging tasks to minoritized students under the assumption that these students have limited capabilities (Artze-Vega et al., 2023). 
  • Transparent : Explicitly communicate both the purpose of the assessment and the criteria for success (e.g. using rubrics). Additionally, sample assignments or questions should be made available to students where possible. Furthermore, it is important to be transparent about policies related to grading, use of technology (Generative AI, Search Tools), and collaboration. Transparency helps students achieve the high expectations set by equity-minded assessments. It has also been shown to promote student motivation, sense of belonging, and increased retention rates, particularly among first generation, BIPOC, and international students (Winkelmes, 2023).
  • Inclusive : Designed to mitigate cultural and other biases through the use of language and examples that are relevant to the diverse lived experiences of students in the classroom (Montenegro & Jankowski, 2020). Inclusive assessments also avoid the use of jargon and ambiguous language that could make the test difficult for students to understand (thereby also undermining transparency ). Additionally, inclusive assessments can involve giving students options and flexibility to choose from varied formats and types of assessments to demonstrate their learning.  

Best practices when designing summative assessments

Although high-stakes summative assessments can be useful for encouraging students to synthesize knowledge over relatively broad periods of instruction, they are also more anxiety-inducing for students in comparison with lower-stakes assessments (Hembree, 1988; Wood et al., 2016; Silaj et al., 2021). Further, high-stakes summative assessments in most courses tend to take place later during the semester which can place multiple demands on students. In such situations, students may tend to procrastinate or manage time poorly resulting in bad performance on such high stakes exams. With this in mind, there are ways to design and implement summative assessments to reduce anxiety and prepare students to succeed, while still ensuring these assessments are rigorous and promote just and equitable learning outcomes. Some examples include:

  • Breaking down summative assessments, such as major projects and papers, into smaller, more manageable steps. Being explicit in how students can seek feedback, can particularly benefit international and first-generation students who are getting acquainted with a new academic culture. 
  • Providing opportunities for revisions based on self, peer, or instructor feedback.
  • Having students complete multiple low-stakes formative assessments (e.g., short quizzes) prior to a high-stakes summative assessment (e.g., exam).
  •   Scaffolding assignments to provide more guidance early on but progressively increase the level of independence later on in the assignment.
  • Implementing course policies to allow students to drop their lowest grade or retake an exam.
  • Invest time in class to teach students how to use AI tools like Chat-GPT or Co-pilot , reference managers , or search engines that can aid their performance through practice. This can reduce student anxiety around tackling summative assessments and also reduce the tendency to plagiarize or inappropriately use content produced by generative AI. 

All these strategies allow summative assessments to set high expectations while simultaneously lowering the stakes and providing students with ample opportunities to practice, improve, and ultimately achieve those high expectations (Schrank 2016).

References:

Artze-Vega, I., Darby, F., Dewsbury, B., & Imad, M. (2023). The Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching , New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. Instructional scaffolding to improve learning . Northern Illinois University.

Hembree, R. (1988). Correlates, causes, effects, and treatment of test anxiety . Review of Educational Research, 58 (1), 47–77.

Montenegro, E., & Jankowski, N. A. (2020, January). A new decade for assessment: Embedding equity into assessment praxis (Occasional Paper No. 42). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Shapiro, S., Farrelly, R., & Tomaš, Z. (2023). Chapter 4: Effective and Equitable Assignments and Assessments. Fostering International Student Success in higher education (pp, 61-87, second edition). TESOL Press.

Schrank, Z. (2016). An assessment of student perceptions and responses to frequent low-stakes testing in Introductory Sociology classes . Teaching Sociology , 44(2), 118–127.

Silaj, K. M., Schwartz, S. T., Siegel, A. L. M., Castel, A.D.(2021). Test anxiety and metacognitive performance in the classroom . Educational Psychology Review, 33 , 1809–1834.

Wiggins, G. (1990). The case for authentic assessment . Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 2 , 1–3.

Winkelmes, M. (2023). Introduction to Transparency in Learning and Teaching . Perspectives In Learning , 20 (1). Columbus, GA: CSUE Press.

Wood, S. G., Hart, S. A., Little, C. W., & Phillips, B. M. (2016). Test anxiety and a high-stakes standardized reading comprehension test: A behavioral genetics perspective . Merrill-Palmer Quarterly , 62 (3), 233–251.

Further readings and resources:

Office of Instructional Consultation. Low + High-stakes assessments . University of California, Santa Barbara.

Fournier, K. A., Couret, J., Ramsay, J. B., & Caulkins, J. L. (2017). Using collaborative two-stage examinations to address test anxiety in a large enrollment gateway course . Anatomical Sciences Education , 10 (5), 409–422. 

Morrison R., University of Tasmania. (2020, February 11). Don’t “just Google it”: 3 ways students can get the most from searching online . The Conversation. 

Writing Across the Curriculum. (2019, July 23). Using citation management tools in writing assignments . University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 Mollick, E., Mollick, L. (2023, August 9). Practical AI for instructors and students: Part 5 . Wharton School of Business: Interactive.

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Teaching excellence & educational innovation, what is the difference between formative and summative assessment, formative assessment.

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

  • help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
  • help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately

Formative assessments are generally low stakes , which means that they have low or no point value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

  • draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic
  • submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
  • turn in a research proposal for early feedback

Summative assessment

The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.

Summative assessments are often high stakes , which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include:

  • a midterm exam
  • a final project
  • a senior recital

Information from summative assessments can be used formatively when students or faculty use it to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses.

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  • Summative Assessment: Definition + [Examples & Types]

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From end-of-term examinations to teacher-designed quizzes , summative assessment is one of the most effective ways to grade a student’s performance. It typically involves assessing students’ knowledge of the course material using specific criteria. 

Summative assessment requires a considerable investment of time, both from students and instructors. In this article, we will discuss the major characteristics of summative assessment and show you how to conduct a summative assessment with Formplus. 

What is a Summative Assessment?  

Summative assessment is a type of course evaluation that happens at the end of a training or program. It is the process of assessing the student’s knowledge, proficiency, and performance by comparing what they know with what they should have learned.

Unlike formative assessment which evaluates the student as he or she engages in the learning process, summative assessment is all about measuring outcomes using predefined standards or benchmarks. Summative evaluation only directly monitors the student’s ability but does not pay attention to how the student uses knowledge to solve practical problems. 

One of the most common examples of summative assessment is the end-of-semester college examinations. For these examinations, the college professors select questions that touch on different topics in the course curriculum. Students are asked to respond to these questions within a specific period of time. 

The structure of summative assessment makes it difficult for the instructor to provide one-on-one feedback on the student’s performance. Summative assessment methods are high stakes which means they have a high point value. The results are usually defining; for instance, it can determine whether a student passes the course, gets a promotion, or secures an admission. 

Characteristics of Summative Assessment  

Summative assessment measures a student’s competence in a specific subject matter in line with the learning goals and objectives of the course or training. For instance, a science course will use experiments and other practical tests to evaluate a student’s knowledge at the end of the course.

  • Reliability

Summative evaluation is a standardized method of knowledge-based assessments. It has well-defined processes that reveal the student’s competence in a field. These processes produce accurate and consistent results when they are used in similar contexts.

  • Practicality

Summative evaluation has a flexible process that is practical and scalable. It is well-aligned and this makes it easy for the instructor to implement it as part of training.

Summative assessment respects clear teaching and learning boundaries. Before the instructor implements any summative assessment methods in the classroom, he/she must obtain informed consent from the students.

  • Easily reported

Since the key element of summative assessment is to evaluate what someone has learned up to that point in time, it always ends in having a concise summary of the outcomes of the assessment. This allows the teacher to compare the student’s current performance with past performances, external standards, and other learners.

Summative evaluation prompts students to exhibit skills and demonstrate knowledge in different ways.

Other things you should have in mind when it comes to summative assessment are: 

  • It takes place at the end of a defined learning period such as a training or program.
  • It is limited to the information that was shared during the course or training. Summative assessment does not test students on what they have not been taught.
  • Summative assessment aligns with the learning goals and objectives of the course.
  • Summative assessment certifies a student’s competence in a specific subject matter.
  • It is used for one clearly identified purpose.

Examples of Summative Assessment  

  • End-of-term Examination

A final examination or assessment is one of the most common methods of classroom evaluation. Examinations have a simple framework—the teacher curates relevant questions and the students respond to these questions within a timeframe.

Instructors conduct examinations as some sort of final knowledge review of the program. Examinations test the student’s knowledge of the subject matter and they produce quantitative results that help you to grade your students and know how well they have performed. 

To eliminate the workload that comes with paper assessment, you conduct the evaluation via an online test platform, examination software, or create a quiz on Formplus. The examination questions can be close-ended, open-ended, or a mixture of both; depending on the type of data you want to gather in the end. 

  • In-class Chapter Tests

These are mini-examinations that happen at the end of a topic or section of a training. They are used to determine how well a student understands key chapter concepts and help them prepare for the final examination at the end of the course. Quizzes, midterm assessments, and practice tests are common examples of chapter tests.

  • Standardized Admission Tests

These tests qualify candidates for a specific program; for instance, IELTS and TOEFL are standardized English proficiency exams that demonstrate a candidate’s competency in the use of the language. These tests are organized on a large scale and they make use of explicit scoring criteria for grading.

Create Computer Based Tests for free with Formplus. Get started now
  • Creative Portfolio

Instead of an end-of-term examination, ask students to build a creative portfolio. A creative portfolio showcases the student’s creativity, knowledge of the coursework, and how they have uniquely applied that knowledge.

Depending on the learning areas, a student’s portfolio can include images, infographics, and small to medium-length texts like essays or one-pagers. As the learners build their portfolios, they also have the opportunity to reflect on how much they have learned. 

Add the file upload field to your Formplus form to receive portfolio submissions from your students. Students can submit files of any type and size including images, multiple document formats, and spreadsheets, in the file upload field. 

Oral summative assessments are used to get real-time and spontaneous responses from learners at the end of a course. The instructor can embrace structured, semi-structured, or unstructured interview methods to grade the students and evaluate their overall performance. Students may also partake in oral classroom presentations.

The type of interview method you choose determines the kinds of questions you will ask during the process. A structured interview follows a defined conversational sequence that dictates its questions and structure. 

Semi-structured and unstructured interviews embrace flexibility. In a semi-structured interview, the instructor can veer off the conversational sequence and ask spontaneous questions. Unstructured interviews do not follow a defined conversational sequence—the instructor can ask questions as they come, within the course’s context. 

  • Hands-on Performance Tasks

These simple and creative tasks allow students to put their knowledge to work. Hands-on performance tasks are practical, and straightforward and help the instructor to assess the students’ abilities directly.

The instructor can ask students to solve a jigsaw puzzle and as they do this, she observes how they put a specific skill to work in the tasks. If you want to assess your students’ counting and pattern skills, you may observe how they play around with colored bricks or cotton balls. 

  • Group Projects

Getting students to execute tasks within small groups is a great way to test their knowledge. After a training on teamwork and conflict resolution, for instance, you should group the students, assign a task and watch how they create frameworks and solve a specific problem.

  • Book Reports

Book reports are creative summaries that demonstrate a student’s literary skills. These reports show how students highlight the main points of a book using the reading and analytical skills discussed in the training or program.

Students do not have to submit their summaries using paper forms. Create a Formplus online submission form and send out a prefilled link to everyone. This way, you can receive and organize submissions without worrying about too much paper. 

  • Formal Essays

Formal essays allow students to demonstrate their level of knowledge about a subject matter. Essay writing is a useful skill that communicates one’s idea and understanding of a concept. Ask your students to write essays on the core topics and themes discussed in class.

Students can explain a concept, argue for or against a subject matter or simply narrate their learning experience as descriptive prose. 

If you want to reduce the clutter that comes with stacking lots of papers, use Formplus to collect the essays. Ask learners to turn in their essays as file uploads in your online submission form or they can write the essays right in the form’s long-text field. 

  • Observation

This is a common method of summative assessment used in early childhood education. The instructor incorporates 1 or more standard activities into the students’ playtime and then observes how the learners engage in the activity.

Observing students’ behaviors during playtime gives you a birds-eye view of how well they have assimilated knowledge from a previous lesson or class session. As you observe them, you need to make notes on any changes you notice. Write your observations down on a piece of paper or list them in a spreadsheet. 

The complete observer method and participant-as-observer method are the common types of observation used for summative evaluation. In the complete observer method, the teacher observes the students from a distance; removing the instructor from the participants’ environment. 

The participant-by-observer method is what you’ll find in many classrooms and learning contexts. The teacher already has a relationship with the students and she interacts with them as they demonstrate their knowledge. 

How to Use Formplus to Conduct Summative Assessment  

To conduct a summative assessment with Formplus, you need to use the Formplus builder to create and customize an online form. This online form should serve your unique needs in terms of what you want to achieve and the type of summative assessment method you plan to execute. 

Follow this step-by-step guide to create your online summative assessment form with Formplus. 

  • Visit www.formpl.us to log in to your Formplus account or to sign up for a free Formplus account. Once you sign up and confirm your email, you get automatic access to your Formplus dashboard.
  • Click on the ‘create new form’ button on your Formplus dashboard. This button is at the top-left side of your dashboard and it takes you to the form builder.
  • The Formplus builder has different sections including the customization and form sharing sections. On the far-left side of the builder, you will find the form fields section.

summative assessment tasks for term 1

  • Drag and drop preferred form fields from the form fields section into your form. There are more than 30 form fields you can add to your form including text fields and advanced fields like date-time validation.
  • Edit each field by clicking on the small pencil icon beside each one. You can add questions, options and also make the fields read-only or required.

summative assessment tasks for term 1

  • Click on the “save” icon to save all the changes you have made to the form.

summative assessment tasks for term 1

  • By now, you will be in the builder’s customization section. This is where you can tweak the look and feel of your form based on your unique needs and preferences.

You can choose a new theme for your form or create a custom theme. You can also change the form’s background, add background images, modify the form font and font size or stylize the form using your custom CSS. 

summative assessment tasks for term 1

  • Use the form-sharing options to share the form with your students. You can copy the form link and share or send out prefilled links via email invitations.

Formplus has different features that make data collection seamless for you including unlimited file uploads, mobile-friendly forms, and prefilled forms. With the mobile-friendly feature, you can conduct summative assessments using your smartphone. You can also collect data the way you like using more than 30 available form fields. 

  • Mobile-friendly Forms

With our mobile-responsive feature, you can create an online form for summative assessments using your smartphone or other internet-enabled devices. Students can also complete surveys, and quizzes and make file submissions using their smartphones, without pinching in or zooming out of their screens.

  • File Uploads

Students can submit their creative portfolio in different file formats in your Formplus form and they do not have to bother about the file size. All file uploads are automatically saved to your preferred cloud storage including Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive.

  • Prefilled Forms

Prefilled forms are easy to fill as your students do not need to repeat recurring information. Sending out prefilled forms allows you to retrieve existing data from your records and pre-populate form fields with these pieces of information.

  • Form Templates

You do not have to build your form from scratch; simply choose any of our ready-to-use templates. Formplus has more than 200 existing form templates that can be tweaked to suit your unique needs and preferences in the form builder.

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Advantages of Summative Assessment  

  • The summative assessment determines the effectiveness of a course and the teaching method. This is measured in terms of how well the student mirrors his knowledge in his or her responses to the questions.
  • It is a standard method of tracking a student’s academic performance over a period of time.
  • Summative assessment is an important part of the formal grading system. The results from summative assessments are often used to determine whether a student moves from one academic level to the next.
  • It helps the instructor to identify and address learning gaps. Summative assessment reveals the student’s weakness and this gives the teacher enough context and information to review their methods.
  • It boosts self-evaluation because the students reflect on their goals as they take part in summative assessments.
  • Summative assessment improves the teaching and learning environment. It helps the students and instructions to align their goals and achieve desired outcomes.

Disadvantages of Summative Assessment  

  • Measuring a student’s performance against a standard benchmark can trigger demotivation and low self-esteem. This happens when the student’s performance isn’t up to par with the benchmark.
  • It does not provide an accurate reflection of the student’s knowledge or learning.
  • Students can develop anxiety as they prepare for the single year that can make or mar their academic progress. Anxiety, fear, and nervousness affect the student’s performance.

In this article, we have looked at the characteristics of effective summative assessments plus common examples you can adopt for student evaluation in the classroom. Summative assessment is best described as a diagnostic evaluation method used at the end of an instructional unit. 

Summative assessment is a great way to ensure that students have a full grasp of the different ideas discussed in a course or program. When combined with other methods of course evaluation like formative assessment, it creates a balanced evaluation of both progress and performance. 

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Design Guide – Summative Assessment

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Effective proficiency-based summative assessments provide students with an opportunity to clearly demonstrate and provide evidence of their learning against clear expectations, as defined by scoring criteria. Strong summative assessments provide opportunities for authentic demonstration that indicate a student’s ability to transfer their skills and knowledge to novel situations, beyond the specific assessment task provided. Note that the full range of summative assessments, including traditional tests, can be designed to align with the traits below, not only project-based assessments.

This design guide provides criteria that can be used as assessments are created ( summative assessment design protocol ) or to critique and improve existing assessments ( summative assessment tuning protocol ). For additional information about how summative assessments relate to the larger proficiency system, and for clarification on the terms and concepts referenced here, see our framework for proficiency-based systems .

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Inclusive assessments focus on the ways in which assessment design can proactively minimise the likelihood of students being excluded, overlooked and/or disadvantaged through the ways in which they are assessed across their studies.

To find out more, read the Guide to designing inclusive assessments .

The following table lists types of summative assessment tasks in a range of formats (written, oral, practical) that can be used to summatively assess students learning.

For each assessment task in the list, also consider the conditions in which it is taking place and the timing of the assessment.

You can also view this table as a downloadable PDF file .

Types of summative assessment tasks  

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Home » Blog » Formative and Summative Assessments: Examples and Differences

Formative and Summative Assessments: Examples and Differences

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One of the primary benefits of using formative and summative assessments is that you aren’t forced to choose between them. They work exceptionally well when used in combination.

In this article, we’ll be breaking down precisely what formative and summative assessments are, the key differences between them, the benefits of their use, and providing a range of examples to help illustrate how they can be implemented in the classroom.

If you’re looking for an effective way to assess student learning and measure progress, read on to find out how formative and summative assessments can help.

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Formative assessments: definition and purpose.

Before we get into examples of their use, it’s essential that we first define precisely what both formative and summative assessments are and how they differ.

Formative assessments are employed regularly throughout a set learning period, be that a chapter, unit, or term, and help track progress and identify areas where students may struggle or need more support.

They also give the teacher and course designer the data they need to improve the learning experience and make any necessary changes that may be required throughout a system.

Rather than strict exams, formative assessments are usually relatively low-stakes, meaning they do not always need to be graded or even marked. This helps to create a non-threatening atmosphere and encourages students to take risks in their learning without fear of failure.

Formative assessment tasks usually rely on feedback from both students and the teacher, with learners receiving feedback on performance as soon as possible.

Uses of Formative Assessments

As mentioned, one of the primary uses of a formative assessment is to gauge student understanding and identify knowledge gaps that may need extra work.

Formative assessments can also be used to help inform curricular decisions, provide valuable data on the effectiveness of a course or lesson, and allow students to monitor their progress over time.

In addition, formative assessments are valuable in helping teachers gain real-time insight into a group’s collective understanding, allowing them to rapidly adapt their training or lessons accordingly.

Benefits of Using Formative Assessments

There are a range of benefits to employing formative assessments as part of your teaching strategy, including the following:

  • Improved student or employee engagement and motivation – By allowing students to track their learning journey, you can help them take ownership of their learning experience. This can be highly motivating for students, as it encourages a sense of progress and accomplishment.
  • Better assessment of real-world understanding – By using formative assessments that involve practical skills or application, you can better understand how well your students understand the real-world implications of the content they are studying.
  • Enables rapid identification of areas of difficulty for learners – Through formative assessments, you can quickly identify areas that students may be struggling with. This helps to ensure that these areas are addressed rapidly and effectively.
  • Allows teachers to tailor their lessons to the needs of the group – Teachers and course designers can use the data from formative assessments to tailor their studies according to the group’s needs and ensure that they meet all learning objectives.

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Examples of Formative Assessments

To clarify how formative assessments can be used, below are a few examples of tasks that could be used both in the classroom and in a digital learning environment.

Classroom-Based Examples

The following examples can be valuable to employ in a classroom setting:

1. Quizzes and polls

Simple and easy to execute, quizzes and polls are a low-effort way of gauging student understanding at regular intervals throughout a lesson.

2. Peer feedback and self-assessment

Peer-based feedback sessions and self-assessment questionnaires can help identify areas where students may need extra support or guidance while giving vital insight into how students perceive their progress.

3. Class discussions and debates

Encouraging students to discuss their different perspectives on a given topic or concept allows teachers to better understand how well they comprehend the material. It also gives students the opportunity to have their ideas heard and helps create a sense of solidarity within the classroom.

Online and Digital Examples

With the rise in the use of digital learning tools and technologies , there is also a range of online-based practices that can be used as formative assessments, including:

1. Interactive quizzes and games

The gamification of quizzes or other learning activities can provide an engaging way to assess student understanding and offer real-time feedback.

2. Virtual simulations and case studies

Where more vocational skills are being taught, virtual simulations and case studies can test students’ problem-solving capabilities in a low-stakes environment.

3. Online discussion forums and feedback platforms

One of the benefits of using an online learning platform is the wide range of features available to assess student understanding. Discussion forums, peer feedback platforms, and automated feedback systems can all be used as formative assessment tools.

definition

Summative Assessments: Definition and Purpose

Compared to formative assessments, summative assessments are conducted at the end of a defined learning period and often represent the final grade for the course.

To provide a comprehensive assessment grade, summative assessments evaluate a student’s overall understanding and performance of the skill or concept studied.

They can also be used to track educational progress over time, such as in standardised testing, as well as help to inform curricular decisions and the effectiveness of teaching methods.

Uses of Summative Assessments

Summative assessments test student mastery of content, assess their overall understanding of a subject or topic area and generally give them a final mark.

For teachers and course designers, a summative assessment allows them to measure the effectiveness of their teaching and make any necessary changes or improvements.

Summative assessments can also be used to compare student performance across different classes, courses, and programs.

Benefits of Summative Assessments

As with formative assessments, there is a range of benefits associated with the use of summative assessments, including:

  • Provides an overall assessment score – Summative assessments can provide a more accurate assessment of student understanding and performance, offering an overall grade or score.
  • Helps track educational progress over time – Educators can track student progress to identify improvement areas through standardised testing or other summative assessments.
  • Helps inform curricular decisions – Summative assessments can assess the effectiveness of a particular course or program and help inform future curricular choices.
  • Offers an efficient way to measure learning outcomes – By providing an overall assessment grade, summative assessments offer a convenient way to measure the success of a teaching strategy in one go.

examples

Examples of Summative Assessments

To clarify how summative assessments can be implemented, here are a few examples of traditional assessment methods, such as essays and exams, and performance-based assessments, such as presentations and projects.

Traditional Assessment Methods

Below are some examples of traditional assessment methods:

1. Examinations and final tests

Examinations are widely used to assess student knowledge and understanding at the end of a course or program. They are easy to implement and provide a quick and efficient way to evaluate student performance.

2. Term papers and essays

Essays and term papers are another traditional assessment method used alongside examinations. Essays test students’ ability to analyse a given topic or concept in detail, providing insight into their understanding of the subject matter.

3. Projects and presentations

Where skill-based or vocational courses are being taught, projects and presentations can test a student’s performance in class. These assessments allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter and show their ability to apply and transfer the knowledge in a practical context.

Performance-Based Assessments

Performance-based assessments are best employed when assessing practical skills or processes. Examples of performance-based summative assessments include:

1. Practical exams and demonstrations

Practical tests and demonstrations are often used to assess students’ physical abilities, such as in sports or vocational courses. These assessments test a student’s understanding of a particular skill or concept by having them demonstrate it in a real-world setting.

2. Portfolios and showcases

Where creative or design-based courses are being taught, portfolios and showcases allow students to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts in a practical way. These assessments require students to use their creative skills to produce a tangible output, such as an artwork or multimedia presentation.

3. Capstone projects and dissertations

Dissertations and capstone projects are often used to assess students’ understanding of complex topics or skills. These assessments require students to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter by producing an in-depth research or project that meets specific criteria.

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Critical Differences Between Formative and Summative Assessments

Now that you have a fuller understanding of what both formative and summative assessments represent and how they can be employed, here’s a summary outlining the key differences between the two:

Timing and Frequency

One of the most essential distinctions between the two types of assessment is when they are conducted. Formative assessments occur throughout the course and act as checkpoints to monitor student progress.

In contrast, summative assessments are shown at the end of a defined learning period and only count towards an overall grade or score.

Purpose and Focus

Formative assessments are designed to provide feedback on understanding and inform instruction in real-time. In contrast, summative assessments evaluate student performance of a skill or concept and can help inform curriculum decisions.

Feedback and Evaluation Process

The feedback and evaluation process for formative and summative assessments differs significantly. Formative assessments are designed to offer real-time feedback on performance.

In contrast, summative assessments provide an overall assessment score or grade that reflects the student’s understanding of the subject matter at the end of a course or program.

not-sure

Which is the Right Assessment Approach to Utilise?

Choosing the correct assessment approach for your students ultimately depends on the goals you are trying to achieve, the type of course or program being taught and the knowledge and skills that need to be assessed.

To help you decide, consider the following:

Considerations for Selecting Formative Assessments

Some of the critical considerations for making use of formative assessments include:

  • Regular feedback – Formative assessments should be implemented regularly to ensure students receive regular feedback on their understanding and performance.
  • Low-stakes testing – As formative tests don’t count towards an overall grade, they should be designed as low-stakes tests to help encourage participation.
  • Inform instruction – Formative assessment results can inform instruction in real-time, allowing educators to tailor their teaching approach to student needs.

Considerations for Selecting Summative Assessments

When making use of summative assessments, it’s essential to consider the following points:

  • Assessment goals – Before designing a summative assessment, clearly define the purposes of the evaluation and how it will be used to evaluate student performance.
  • Assessment criteria – When creating a summative assessment, ensure that you set clear and concise evaluation criteria that allow students to demonstrate their understanding fully.
  • Inter-rater reliability – To ensure fairness and accuracy, consider having multiple assessors score each student’s work when creating a summative assessment.

Using Both Formative and Summative Assessments in Learning and Development

As mentioned, one of the primary benefits of using formative and summative assessments in learning and development is that they can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of student performance.

By implementing both assessment forms, educators can better understand their student’s progress and tailor their instruction for maximum impact.

Formative assessments can measure progress and inform instruction in real-time, while summative assessments provide an overall score or grade that indicates learning success.

Final Thoughts

While formative and summative assessments have apparent differences, such as in their purpose, timing and feedback mechanisms, there are significant benefits to using both assessment types in learning and development.

Educators can better assess student performance and tailor instruction by implementing formative and summative assessments. Additionally, the use of both reviews provides a comprehensive view of understanding that can be used to inform curriculum decisions.

If you are looking for more guidance and resources on creating and implementing formative and summative assessments, check out the other articles on the Skillshub blog .

As an eLearning company , we are committed to creating efficient and impactful learning experiences. Our team are experts in developing eLearning content , so skillshub can help create customised learning materials tailored to your organisation’s needs. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us today.

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Sean McPheat

Sean is the CEO of Skillshub. He’s a published author and has been featured on CNN, BBC and ITV as a leading authority in the learning and development industry. Sean is responsible for the vision and strategy at Skillshub, helping to ensure innovation within the company.

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Summative Assessment

Summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year. Generally speaking, summative assessments are defined by three major criteria:

  • The tests, assignments, or projects are used to determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn. In other words, what makes an assessment “summative” is not the design of the test, assignment, or self-evaluation, per se, but the way it is used—i.e., to determine whether and to what degree students have learned the material they have been taught.
  • Summative assessments are given at the conclusion of a specific instructional period, and therefore they are generally evaluative, rather than diagnostic—i.e., they are more appropriately used to determine learning progress and achievement, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, measure progress toward improvement goals, or make course-placement decisions, among other possible applications.
  • Summative-assessment results are often recorded as scores or grades that are then factored into a student’s permanent academic record, whether they end up as letter grades on a report card or test scores used in the college-admissions process. While summative assessments are typically a major component of the grading process in most districts, schools, and courses, not all assessments considered to be summative are graded.
Summative assessments are commonly contrasted with formative assessments , which collect detailed information that educators can use to improve instruction and student learning while it’s happening. In other words, formative assessments are often said to be for learning, while summative assessments are of learning. Or as assessment expert Paul Black put it, “When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative assessment. When the customer tastes the soup, that’s summative assessment.” It should be noted, however, that the distinction between formative and summative is often fuzzy in practice, and educators may have divergent interpretations and opinions on the subject.

Some of the most well-known and widely discussed examples of summative assessments are the standardized tests administered by states and testing organizations, usually in math, reading, writing, and science. Other examples of summative assessments include:

  • End-of-unit or chapter tests.
  • End-of-term or semester tests.
  • Standardized tests that are used to for the purposes of school accountability, college admissions (e.g., the SAT or ACT), or end-of-course evaluation (e.g., Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams).
  • Culminating demonstrations of learning or other forms of “performance assessment,” such as portfolios of student work that are collected over time and evaluated by teachers or capstone projects that students work on over extended periods of time and that they present and defend at the conclusion of a school year or their high school education.

While most summative assessments are given at the conclusion of an instructional period, some summative assessments can still be used diagnostically. For example, the growing availability of student data, made possible by online grading systems and databases, can give teachers access to assessment results from previous years or other courses. By reviewing this data, teachers may be able to identify students more likely to struggle academically in certain subject areas or with certain concepts. In addition, students may be allowed to take some summative tests multiple times, and teachers might use the results to help prepare students for future administrations of the test.

It should also be noted that districts and schools may use “interim” or “benchmark” tests to monitor the academic progress of students and determine whether they are on track to mastering the material that will be evaluated on end-of-course tests or standardized tests. Some educators consider interim tests to be formative, since they are often used diagnostically to inform instructional modifications, but others may consider them to be summative. There is ongoing debate in the education community about this distinction, and interim assessments may defined differently from place to place. See  formative assessment  for a more detailed discussion.

While educators have arguably been using “summative assessments” in various forms since the invention of schools and teaching, summative assessments have in recent decades become components of larger school-improvement efforts. As they always have, summative assessments can help teachers determine whether students are making adequate academic progress or meeting expected learning standards, and results may be used to inform modifications to instructional techniques, lesson designs, or teaching materials the next time a course, unit, or lesson is taught. Yet perhaps the biggest changes in the use of summative assessments have resulted from state and federal policies aimed at improving public education—specifically, standardized high-stakes tests used to make important decisions about schools, teachers, and students.

While there is little disagreement among educators about the need for or utility of summative assessments, debates and disagreements tend to center on issues of fairness and effectiveness, especially when summative-assessment results are used for high-stakes purposes. In these cases, educators, experts, reformers, policy makers, and others may debate whether assessments are being designed and used appropriately, or whether high-stakes tests are either beneficial or harmful to the educational process. For more detailed discussions of these issues, see high-stakes test , measurement error , test accommodations , test bias , score inflation , standardized test , and value-added measures .

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Offering varied types of assessments allows learners to express expertise and mastery in different ways.

Summative assessments shift the focus of learning from practice, in formative assessments, to mastery of the course goals. These types of assessments usually follow numerous opportunities for students to practice what they have learned in class through low-to mid-stakes assignments (formative assessments) supported by instructor feedback. In summative assessment, students should be ready to show proof of learning of the course goals. Examples of summative assessment include exams, papers, projects, or portfolios.

Although summative assessments are a critical component in a course, it is also important to support student learning through formative assessments and frequent feedback. For example, Weimer (2013) points out that providing feedback through the semester on writing will prepare students better for expectations on final papers or projects. By giving ungraded feedback on parts or drafts of a final summative event, students are more likely to meet the thresholds of the course goal established by the instructor. Formative assessments give students feedback which, in turn, supports their ability to show proof of learning on a summative assessment. Weimer’s (2013) focus on learner-centered experiences reminds instructors that a balance needs to be established between grades and assessments. The focus should be on learning processes and assessments should measure “critical thinking, logical reasoning, and the ability to synthesize and evaluate” (Weimer, 2013, p. 169). In order to demonstrate these skills, consider some of the following types of summative assessments and how to use them effectively in a course.

Davis (2009) provides a few general strategies for using examinations. Some of these are listed here with explanations:

1. Begin constructing an exam by focusing on learning outcomes

Align the type of exam and/or type of question to the learning outcomes and learning objectives (McKeachie, 2011).

2. View testing as an opportunity to understand students’ intellectual progress

For new learners in their first or second year, consider frequent testing events. As student develop skills, tests can become less systematic and more about “integration and analysis” of concepts (McKeachie, 2011, p. 84). Tests should begin about three or four weeks into a semester and should represent the type learning expected for the semester. Tests administered earlier in the semester may be used more for “motivational and diagnostic than evaluative” purposes (McKeachie, 2011, p. 83).

3. Create questions that test skills other than recall

Many exams are constructed with multiple choice questions as the main mechanism to prove learning. While these tests can be useful, it can be difficult to write multiple choice questions that measure the upper levels of cognition. The upper levels in the cognitive domain in Bloom’s Taxonomy include: analyzing, evaluating, creating (Anderson, L. W. & Krathwohl, D. R., et al, 2001. Adding short answer or essay questions may help to satisfy the need to test for more sophisticated knowledge acquisition or critical thinking skills.

4. Take precautions to avoid cheating

One way to reduce academic dishonesty is to lessen the anxiety of graded exams.  Offering multiple and varied types of assessments allows students to prove mastery of content in different expressions. This approach reduces student anxiety when they only have a limited number of grading opportunities (McKeachie, 2011). Another way to reduce cheating is to create a safe space for students to ask questions and clarify misconceptions. Developing trust and rapport with students will create a welcoming environment (McKeachie, 2011) and, therefore, students feel like they can get feedback on their learning progress.

5. Encourage reflection

If students are struggling, the instructor can talk with them about how they are studying. Introduce exam wrappers or metacognitive reflection activities to help students diagnose why they may or may not have been successful (Ambrose et al., 2010). By reflecting on their learning processes, exam preparation, and establishing ways of studying that should improve their learning, students will begin to feel in control of their learning.

Alternative summative assessments

Students can benefit from expressing their learning through papers, projects, or portfolios. Offering varied types of assessments allows learners to express expertise and mastery in different ways. McKeachie (2011) suggests a few different activities or assignments:

1 . Graphic representation of concepts

Through concept maps or graphic organizers, student can learn to organize their thoughts and the content of course. Having students create the schema or connections by using a mapping tool helps to move the information from short-term to long-term memory. Building these connections is key to success in developing “flexible and effective knowledge organization” (Ambrose et al., 2010, p.65). These representations can be used as a summative evaluation or to create a project or paper.

2. Annotated bibliographies          

Annotated bibliographies can be used for students to frame a research paper or they can be used by an entire class to improve their writing on particular topics (McKeachie, 2011). Adding an annotated bibliography to a group project or presentation helps students divide up the focus of group projects and also ground their thoughts in research.

3. Portfolios

A portfolio is used to collect and highlight work from a student over a specific period of time. Students compose papers, exams, documents, or favorite content from a course throughout the semester in order to show evidence of learning. Students can use this to show their progress of learning, to solicit feedback during the process, or to simply explain their own development with certain content. In this way, a portfolio approach can be helpful to the students as well as instructors (McKeachie, 2011; Davis, 2009).

Consider offering students a range of summative assessments which provide different ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of the course objectives. Students will benefit from variety in their assessments by being motivated to show evidence of learning beyond the traditional midterm and final exam format. Alternative assessments may allow for student to process and make connections to the content. When using a traditional exam for assessment be sure to consider the strategies for aligning questions and varying the types of questions. There are several ways for students to prove their learning and show evidence of it. These options will enhance the learner-centeredness and student motivation in a course.

Ambrose, S., Bridges, M., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M., Norman, M. (2010). How learning

works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Anderson, L.W. (Ed.), Krathwohl, D.R. (Ed.), Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer,

R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M.C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, an assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Complete edition). New York: Longman.

Davis, B. G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Svinicki, M. & McKeachie, W. (2011). McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research,

and theory for college and university teachers (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Weimer, M. (2013). Learner-centered teaching: Five key changes to practice (2nd ed.).

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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summative assessment tasks for term 1

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What are examples of summative assessments?

What are summative assessments in education.

Summative Assessments are—in simple words—the way educators determine what a student has learned. They are typically tests or cumulative assignments that provide teachers with insights into the overall success of their instructional methods. Summative assessments also reveal if students have or have not mastered the learning targets or standards. Additionally, summative assessments provide school administrators, districts, and other key decision makers with actionable data and insight into how successfully a curriculum or teacher performs.

A definition of what a summative assessment is

Summative assessments must be created following specific guidelines, which are outlined in detail below. In brief, summative assessments must provide valid, reliable data points that can be compared across classrooms, across time, and across graders in order to measure student growth and teacher, district, or curriculum efficacy.

A downloadable PLC toolkit that includes templates, tips, and more

What does a summative assessment measure?

Summative assessments measure student learning along with teacher and curriculum effectiveness. Unlike formative assessments , which are often low-stake check-ins, summative assessments are typically high stakes, serving not only as the cumulation of a unit, semester, or school year, but also frequently serving as the key factor in a student’s grade or an administrator’s decision about a teacher or curriculum.

Teachers who incorporate mastery learning into their instructional process rely heavily on summative assessments to measure whether or not a student has mastered the content taught. When they have finished their units, teachers offer a summative—or cumulative—test, project, or essay to determine if students have reached the key learning targets. If a student does not reach a predetermined score (80%, according to most mastery learning models), teachers adjust what content comes next and often provide strategic interventions to provide students with the time needed to truly master the content. In this way, summative assessments can be thought of as formative, in that teachers inform next steps based on summative results.

Why are summative assessments used in education?

Summative assessments are highly valued in education due to the valuable data they provide. Unlike formative assessments, which are typically more subjective and rarely designed to be used across classrooms or schools for comparative purposes, summative assessments are created for validity and reliability.

Validity in summative assessments—or the ability of an assessment to actually measure what it is supposed to measure—ensures that teachers can be confident that students have or have not mastered the key learning objective. Additionally, valid summative assessments mean that educators and administrators are able to trust the summative assessment’s data about whether or not a teacher or curriculum performed as expected. A summative assessment’s validity ensures that decisions are made according to the true learning targets and not some side topic that may have unintentionally found its way into the assessment.

Reliability in summative assessments—or the ability of an assessment to reproduce consistent outcomes across time and setting regardless of grader—ensures that teachers and administrators are making decisions using accurate data, not outlying data. This is especially important in situations where a teacher’s salary or a controversial curriculum hangs in the balance.

Many educators have found that online tools allow them to more effectively gather and analyze data for validity and reliability, and to measure trends over time. Additionally, online tools allow teachers to quickly spot anomalies so they know which students need enrichment or intervention.

How do you write a summative assessment?

Summative assessments must be written according to a few specific guidelines.

Steps to create a summative assessment

First, in order to ensure a summative assessment is valid, teachers must:

  • Determine the key learning objectives or standards that they will teach.
  • Decide on what format will best showcase whether or not that objective or standard has been met. In some cases, a multiple choice test might work best; in others, teachers may need to choose something more along the lines of an essay or project.
  • Ensure that students understand the learning objectives, the method of the summative assessment, and the grading scale or rubric. Students are far more likely to not only perform better on summative assessments but also to engage and take ownership in their learning when they clearly understand what they are being asked to do and why.
  • Plan and teach curriculum that closely aligns with the learning objectives and parallels the summative assessment.

Second, in order to ensure a summative assessment is reliable, teachers must:

  • Create a comprehensive grading plan—or rubric—to ensure data is consistently and correctly gathered.
  • Ensure classroom instruction and curriculum follows the same plan across classrooms or year over year, depending on how the teacher is planning to use the data from the summative assessments.
  • Decide on how the summative assessment will be given in order to ensure consistent results across classrooms or time. Does it always need to be given at a specific time of day or of year? Does the classroom need to be set up a certain way? Does the teacher provide specific prompts or help during the assessment?
  • Create and execute the summative assessment according to the predetermined guidelines. Many teachers find it helpful to bring their summative assessments to their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) for help in spotting questions that could take away from the test’s validity or reliability.
  • Grade the summative assessment according to the predetermined guidelines. Many teachers find it helpful to bring in “blind graders”—fellow staff or other experts to grade the assessments without any background knowledge of students or classroom instruction.

Third, teachers should take time to analyze the results of their summative assessment. Did students master the learning targets or standards ? Did this unit drive their understanding and comprehension forward? Or will they need intervention and help before moving on to the next unit or goal? Teachers should then make decisions about how to proceed.

Fourth, teachers should report findings to the stakeholders—students, parents, administrators, and the like. Students are far more likely to improve their learning when they receive descriptive feedback—clear, exact descriptions of what a student got right or wrong, and more importantly, why they made certain mistakes and how to correct them.

Finally, many teachers find it valuable to bring the results of their summative assessments back to their PLCs. While there, teachers find support in analyzing data, understanding results, and creating intervention plans .

summative assessment tasks for term 1

How do summative assessments fit in with the 5 types of assessment?

There are five foundational types of assessments:

  • Diagnostic assessments , or pre-assessment, which teachers use to gauge students’ pre-knowledge and zone of proximal development. These typically occur once at the beginning of a unit.
  • Formative assessments , which teachers use to determine where student knowledge is at mid-unit. These typically occur frequently throughout the unit.
  • Summative assessments , which teachers use to determine student growth at the end of a unit. These typically occur once at the end of a unit.
  • Interim assessments , which districts use to measure specific grades across schools. These typically occur once a year.
  • Benchmark assessments , which bigger bodies (e.g. states) use to measure overarching student growth and school effectiveness. These typically occur once a year.

Typically, teachers create their diagnostic assessments to mirror their summative assessments in order to easily compare the results of a summative assessment to its unit’s diagnostic assessment. This allows teachers to quickly and easily see if students grew in the desired knowledge during the unit.

An illustration of the 5 different types of k12 assessments

Additionally, many teachers work to align the majority of their formative assessments with their summative assessments. For example, teachers may use questions similar to the questions found on the summative assessments as exit tickets throughout the unit. They do this to tap into the “testing effect” of formative assessments: by allowing students to “test” themselves in a low-stakes environment, they are enabling students to recall up to 67% more of what they’ve learned on the final summative assessment than students would have via other study methods.

While summative assessments are not always interim and benchmark assessments, these two categories would fall under the same umbrella as summative assessments, as both teachers and administrators use interim and benchmark assessments to not only determine what students have learned, but to make decisions about staffing, curriculum, or school success.

While there is no one right summative assessment, it is important that teachers use or create summative assessments that will provide valid, reliable data across classrooms or year over year. For example, many teachers use:

3 Examples of Summative Assessments

  • Curriculum Tests : Although a teacher may tweak the test created by the curriculum here or there to align with their state or district’s learning targets, using the curriculum test provides a large degree of validity and reliability, and teachers can easily use the same test (with the same tweaks) in every class for as long as they use that curriculum.
  • Rubrics : It is essential that teachers create strong, detailed rubrics when they choose to use writing assignments or final projects. Although it may take the teacher a few rounds with their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and iterations in classrooms, eventually teachers should land on a rubric that they can use year over year for reliable data.
  • Multiple Choice Tests : These are perhaps the easiest summative assessments to use in terms of gathering and comparing data. However, it can be easy to create multiple-choice questions that don’t align well with the learning objectives, which compromises the validity of the test. Teachers do well to bring their multiple-choice tests to PLCs to get peer feedback on their summative assessments before bringing them to their class.

Again, it’s important to note that regardless of what type of assessments teachers choose to use, these assessments should be used to gauge student learning and make critical decisions about how to enhance the learning process so students receive the best learning opportunities possible.

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Effective assessment

Assessments of all types provide evidence for the practitioner to make decisions, often in collaboration with the learner, about the next steps forward in the learning program.

Assessment tasks

Assessments may be formal or informal and they may be formative or summative. Assessment tasks vary from informal questions during a learning activity to a formal written tests at the end of a learning program. Assessments of all types provide evidence for the practitioner to make decisions, often in collaboration with the learner, about the next steps forward in the learning program. 

​​​​​Formative assessment

Practitioners engage in both formal and informal assessment as learners progress along the learning continuum. Much informal assessment occurs during a class or group session when practitioners ask questions of individual learners attempting a learning activity and when they engage the group in discussion or ask them to perform an action, for example retrieve a file or throw a ball.  

Practitioners undertake informal assessments to understand how well the learner is progressing towards achieving the learning intentions and success criteria, and the assessment is often tailored to the individual learner. These formative assessments provide the practitioner with evidence of the learner’s progress and concepts, knowledge and skills not yet understood. The practitioner uses this evidence to adjust the learning program to meet the learner’s needs. 

Formative assessments may be conducted in a more formal manner. Formal assessments are often written tasks that require the learner to respond in a particular way, for example to write an essay, perform a dance, or create a movie. The response will be assessed according to a rubric or marking scheme developed against the success criteria.  

A common type of formal assessment is the written test. Writing effective written tests is a whole topic in itself and advice about these will be provided in the coming months. Tests are usually timed assessments and may comprise multiple choice, short answer, and extended answer questions sometimes in response to case studies or scenarios. The practitioner selects particular types of tests and questions depending on the purpose of the assessment, the depth of response required and how quickly they wish to give feedback. Multiple choice tests can be marked quickly and feedback given almost immediately but tests requiring extended responses take longer to mark and the feedback will be slower in reaching the learners.  

Summative assessment

Summative assessments are often developed as formal assessment tasks that provide evidence of the learner’s mastery of knowledge, skills and understandings at a point in time. They measure what the learner has achieved against the achievement standards. The practitioner may use summative assessments for reporting to the learner and their parents about the learner’s achievement.  

Whilst a summative assessment provides evidence of a learner’s achievement at a point in time, it can also be regarded as formative assessment since the evidence indicates what a learner has mastered and what knowledge, skills and understandings they still need to learn. As summative assessment usually occurs at the end of a learning program, unit or semester, the evidence can be provided to the next practitioner to work with the learner so that they will understand where the learner is on the learning continuum. They can then plan a more appropriate learning program. 

Qualities of effective formal assessment tasks

Practitioners may develop their own formal assessment tasks that are specific to their learning domain and the context in which they are teaching, for example assignments, role plays, and simulations. It should be noted that when practitioners engage learners in co-construction of an assessment task learners are more likely to take ownership of their learning. 

Effective assessment tasks are transparent and co-constructed so the learner knows the purpose of the task, what is expected and how the task will be assessed. 

The type of assessment task set depends on the purpose of the task. Sometimes there is an emphasis on tasks that are authentic, open-ended and require deep understanding of an area of content. In other circumstances administering a simple multiple choice assessment will provide the practitioner with useful information. An effective assessment is always appropriate to its purpose and able to be readily administered by the practitioner.  In selecting an appropriate assessment, consideration is given to these characteristics: reliability, validity, inclusivity, objectivity and practicality.  

Effective formal assessment tasks

Practitioners need access to a wide repertoire of assessment tasks to gather evidence of the different forms of learning across the curriculum. Increasingly as learning encourages more open-ended aspirations, tasks need to be developed that are fit for the purpose of gathering information about a wider variety of skills and understandings, for example critical and creative thinking and collaboration. 

Practitioners provide learners with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding if the assessment tasks: 

  • directly relate to the learning intentions or particular learning outcome
  • are explicit about what learners are required to do
  • are time efficient and manageable
  • include clear and explicit assessment criteria
  • provide challenge for the full range of learners being assessed
  • are fair to all students including those with additional needs
  • are scored or marked based on transparent rubrics
  • are appropriate to where learners are in their learning

Assessment criteria

Learners can effectively demonstrate what they know, understand and can do if they are provided with, or collaboratively develop with the practitioner, the assessment criteria for an assessment task. Effective assessment criteria: 

  • are known to the learners​​
  • are clear and explicit
  • focus on the important criteria and substance of the task (not every tiny detail)
  • allow learners to achieve at a high level
  • provide for a range of quality in the work

Assessment materials

Informing learners about the materials or activities they are expected to submit for an assessment task ensures they have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in the form expected by the practitioner and that all elements of a task are completed. Learners should be provided with: 

  • stimulus material, case study, problem
  • questions/activities to be completed
  • assessment criteria or rubric​
  • list of what must be submitted​​

Designing effective assessment tasks

An assessment task is a tool, device or constructed situation that creates the opportunity for learners to demonstrate or display the nature and depth of their learning. 

Effective teachers design assessment tasks that require students to demonstrate knowledge and skills at man levels.  Tasks will include lower order processes like comprehension, and higher order processes like synthesis and evaluation. 

  • When teachers explain the connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment tasks, then the students can use learning goals to monitor and progress their learning. 
  • Assessments should be:
  • Authentic, fit for purpose and reflect the learning program and objectives.
  • Aligned to curriculum achievement standards.
  • Integrated into a learning sequence.

Assessment tasks should include a  range of formative and summative assessment strategies, and teachers will be able to clearly explain the connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment tasks so that students can use learning goals to monitor and progress their learning. 

Further reading

Department of Education and Training, 2018. High impact teaching strategies  Principle one 

Department of Education and Training, 2018. Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning – Rigorous assessment practices - Principle six 

A rubric is a set of criteria for evaluating learner performance on an assessment task.

Rubrics are most effective when learners and practitioners co-construct them as they assist learners to take responsibility for their own learning.

​​​​​Assessing with rubrics

A rubric is a tool that describes the expected qualities to be evident in learner responses to an assessment task. It states the assessment criteria and the characteristics of different levels of performance in responses to the elements of the task. The assessment criteria should be drawn from the success criteria that accompany the learning intentions for the topic, unit of work or learning program.

A rubric provides a clear indication to learners of the expectations about the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills required to be demonstrated.  Learners can use the descriptions of performance characteristics to unpick the assessment criteria and develop understanding about what they mean.  Since the rubric is open and known to everyone the assessment is seen as fair.

When learners are involved in co-constructing the rubric with the practitioner at the beginning of the learning program they develop ownership of the assessment and the learning associated with it. They can use the rubric to plan, guide and review their work as they proceed thus becoming self-directed learners. Understanding the requirements and taking control of their learning engages and motivates learners to improve their performance.

A rubric enables learners to self-assess and review their work as they progress with the task. They may also seek feedback from peer review to indicate what others perceive they need to improve.

Rubrics may be designed in many formats and the example shows a common format.

Sample rubric template

This format suggests a simple marking scheme ranging from 4 for Very high to 1 for Low might be appropriate but this is not helpful to learners.

Each cell in the Rubric should contain a description of the characteristics of the work expected at that level.

This will provide feedback to the learner about what they know, understand and can do well and what they need to work on to progress their learning.

A rubric is most often used for the summative assessment but it is also a formative assessment tool in that the comments about the levels the learner has achieved provide feedback about what the learners needs to work on to progress their learning.

A rubric might also be completed sometime during the task as formative assessment to the learner and this can be compared with the final summative assessment to show how the learner has progressed during the course of the assessment period.

Tips for creating effective rubrics​

  • rubrics are more powerful when used in conjunction with samples of learners' work or exemplars
  • consider ready-made rubrics only as starting points –constantly modify them with learner input
  • consider having learners assess a model piece of work using a rubric
  • use rubrics as guides during the process of completing an assessment
  • practise creating rubrics with learners about a familiar topic, ensuring that you take into account developmental stages and background experience
  • collaborate with learners to put rubrics into learner-friendly language.
  • encourage learners to highlight or checkmark rubrics, using them as a visual guide while completing assessments

Further Reading

  • Saddler B. & Andrade H. (2004). 'The writing rubric​' in Educational Leadership. ASCD website The authors explain the value of rubrics in helping students to become self-regulated writers, providing feedback, their use in self-assessment and peer feedback and they provide an example rubric.
  • Marking and grading with rubrics

Assessment techniques

Effective questioning.

Much assessment occurs during classroom interactions between practitioner and learners. The quality of questions asked by the teacher and learners, the depth of answers supplied by learners, the quality of class discussions and the detailed observations practitioners make of learners at work all provide evidence of learning including shallow or deep understanding and misconceptions.

Questioning is quick, effective method for gathering evidence of learners' understanding of ideas, knowledge and concepts and skills to be applied. Effective questions encourage learners to think more deeply and provide the practitioner with greater insight into the level of understanding of whole groups and individuals.  The practitioner can quickly adjust their practice to meet the learner's needs as identified through using effective questioning techn​iques.​

Effective questioning techniques

​Learners' responses to questions give the practitioner feedback about their level of understanding if the questions are open-ended and formed to elicit informative responses.​

A more comprehensive discussion about the types of questions that encourage learners to think and reveal their level of understanding is found in the McComas and Abraham paper,  Asking more effective questions .

Digital portfolios , or learning journals in whi​ch learners record their learning goals and learning experiences provide the practitioner with useful evidence about what learners understand and what skills and knowledge they believe they need to develop.

  • Why rubrics?
  • 54 different examples of formative assessment

summative assessment tasks for term 1

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Part 2: Backwards Design and Designing Assessments

Summative assessment.

Summative  assessments  are used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year. Generally speaking, summative assessments are defined by three major criteria:

  • The tests, assignments, or projects are used to determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn. In other words, what makes an assessment “summative” is not the design of the test, assignment, or self-evaluation, per se, but the way it is used—i.e., to determine whether and to what degree students have learned the material they have been taught.
  • Summative assessments are given at the conclusion of a specific instructional period, and therefore they are generally evaluative, rather than diagnostic—i.e., they are more appropriately used to determine learning progress and achievement, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, measure progress toward improvement goals, or make course-placement decisions, among other possible applications.
  • Summative-assessment results are often recorded as scores or grades that are then factored into a student’s permanent academic record, whether they end up as letter grades on a report card or test scores used in the college-admissions process. While summative assessments are typically a major component of the grading process in most districts, schools, and courses, not all assessments considered to be summative are graded.
Summative assessments are commonly contrasted with  formative assessments , which collect detailed information that educators can use to improve instruction and student learning while it’s happening. In other words, formative assessments are often said to be  for  learning, while summative assessments are  of  learning. Or as assessment expert Paul Black put it, “When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative assessment. When the customer tastes the soup, that’s summative assessment.” It should be noted, however, that the distinction between  formative  and  summative  is often fuzzy in practice, and educators may have divergent interpretations and opinions on the subject.

Some of the most well-known and widely discussed examples of summative assessments are the  standardized tests  administered by states and testing organizations, usually in math, reading, writing, and science. Other examples of summative assessments include:

  • End-of-unit or chapter tests.
  • End-of-term or semester tests.
  • Standardized tests that are used to for the purposes of school accountability, college admissions (e.g., the SAT or ACT), or end-of-course evaluation (e.g., Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams).
  • Culminating  demonstrations of learning  or other forms of “performance assessment,” such as  portfolios  of  student work  that are collected over time and evaluated by teachers or  capstone projects  that students work on over extended periods of time and that they present and defend at the conclusion of a school year or their high school education.

While most summative assessments are given at the conclusion of an instructional period, some summative assessments can still be used diagnostically. For example, the growing availability of student data, made possible by online grading systems and databases, can give teachers access to assessment results from previous years or other courses. By reviewing this data, teachers may be able to identify students more likely to struggle academically in certain subject areas or with certain concepts. In addition, students may be allowed to take some summative tests multiple times, and teachers might use the results to help prepare students for future administrations of the test.

It should also be noted that districts and schools may use “interim” or “benchmark” tests to monitor the academic progress of students and determine whether they are on track to mastering the material that will be evaluated on end-of-course tests or standardized tests. Some educators consider interim tests to be formative, since they are often used diagnostically to inform instructional modifications, but others may consider them to be summative. There is ongoing debate in the education community about this distinction, and interim assessments may defined differently from place to place. See  formative assessment  for a more detailed discussion.

While educators have arguably been using “summative assessments” in various forms since the invention of schools and teaching, summative assessments have in recent decades become components of larger school-improvement efforts. As they always have, summative assessments can help teachers determine whether students are making adequate academic progress or meeting expected learning standards, and results may be used to inform modifications to instructional techniques, lesson designs, or teaching materials the next time a course, unit, or lesson is taught. Yet perhaps the biggest changes in the use of summative assessments have resulted from state and federal policies aimed at improving public education—specifically, standardized  high-stakes tests  used to make important decisions about schools, teachers, and students.

While there is little disagreement among educators about the need for or utility of summative assessments, debates and disagreements tend to center on issues of fairness and effectiveness, especially when summative-assessment results are used for high-stakes purposes. In these cases, educators, experts, reformers, policy makers, and others may debate whether assessments are being designed and used appropriately, or whether high-stakes tests are either beneficial or harmful to the educational process. For more detailed discussions of these issues, see  high-stakes test ,  measurement error ,  test accommodations ,  test bias ,  score inflation ,  standardized test , and  value-added measures .

  • Summative Assessment. Authored by : S. Abbott (Ed.). Provided by : Great Schools Partnership. Located at : http://edglossary.org/summative-assessment/ . Project : The Glossary of Education Reform. License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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summative assessment tasks for term 1

Formal assessments for grade 3, term 1 (2023)

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The grade 3 formal assessments are now available and it contains all the subjects – English home language, Afrikaans eerste addisionele taal, life skills and mathematics. Each formal assessment includes the memorandum, attached to the end of each assessment.

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  1. 21 Summative Assessment Examples (2024)

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  3. Summative Assessment Tasks for Term 1: Listening and Speaking

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  4. FATS ( Formal Assessment tasks) Grade 1 Term 1

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  5. 120 Summative ASSESSMENT ideas

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  6. 75 Formative Assessment Examples (2024)

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  1. Q2 SUMMATIVE TEST NO.2 GRADE 1-6 ALL SUBJECTS

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  4. 7th THIRD TERM-SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (SA)_2022-23 QUESTION PAPER ENGLISH

  5. 6th social science third term important questions..class 6 social science third summative assessment

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF Term One Formal Assessment Task (Fat) 1

    Subject: Mathematics FORMAL ASSESSMENT TASK 1 Gr. 2 NUMBERS, OPERATIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS Activity 1. There are 10 apples in the basket. Count all the apples. Write the answer in the box. ... Term 1 1 Work space: He gave _____ sweets to Sam. Gr.2 Mathematics Term1 FAT1 Page 3 ...

  2. 10 Summative Assessment Examples to Try This School Year

    Perceived disadvantages of summative assessment. The pros are plenty. However, before getting to that list, let's outline some of its perceived cons. Summative assessment may: 1) Offer minimal room for creativity. Rigid and strict assignments or tests can lead to a regurgitation of information.

  3. Formative and Summative Assessments

    In short, formative assessment occurs throughout a class or course, and seeks to improve student achievement of learning objectives through approaches that can support specific student needs (Theal and Franklin, 2010, p. 151). In contrast, summative assessments evaluate student learning, knowledge, proficiency, or success at the conclusion of ...

  4. Summative Assessment and Feedback

    Summative Assessment and Feedback. Summative assessments are given to students at the end of a course and should measure the skills and knowledge a student has gained over the entire instructional period. Summative feedback is aimed at helping students understand how well they have done in meeting the overall learning goals of the course.

  5. 21 Summative Assessment Examples (2024)

    21 Summative Assessment Examples. Summative assessment is a type of achievmeent assessment that occurs at the end of a unit of work. Its goal is to evaluate what students have learned or the skills they have developed. It is compared to a formative assessment that takes place in the middle of the unit of work for feedback to students and learners.

  6. Summative Assessments

    Summative assessments are usually graded, are weighted more heavily than other course assignments or comprise a substantial percentage of a students' overall grade (and are often considered "high stakes" assessments relative to other, "lower stakes" assessments in a course), and are required assessments for the completion of a course.

  7. What Is Summative Assessment: A Practical Guide For Teachers

    It may seem like creating a test is a straightforward task - just jot down some questions and select the answers. ... 1. Design a summative assessment based on its purpose. ... Prepare students for summative assessments and reduce exam anxiety by producing practice papers that match the summative assessment in terms of style and content.

  8. Summative Assessments

    Summative assessments are implemented at the end of a unit, set of units, or entire course to assess and evaluate the extent to which students have achieved the learning objectives (knowledge, skills, and behaviors) for that period of instruction. Summative assessments are typically higher stakes (higher point value) than formative assessments ...

  9. Formative vs Summative Assessment

    The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark. Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value. Examples of summative assessments include: a midterm exam. a final project. a paper. a senior recital.

  10. Summative Assessment: Definition + [Examples & Types]

    Examples of Summative Assessment End-of-term Examination; A final examination or assessment is one of the most common methods of classroom evaluation. Examinations have a simple framework—the teacher curates relevant questions and the students respond to these questions within a timeframe. ... Hands-on performance tasks are practical, and ...

  11. Design Guide

    This design guide provides criteria that can be used as assessments are created ( summative assessment design protocol) or to critique and improve existing assessments ( summative assessment tuning protocol ). For additional information about how summative assessments relate to the larger proficiency system, and for clarification on the terms ...

  12. IncludED: Types of summative assessment tasks

    The assessment task may be undertaken by students in a range of formats, for example, practical, written and/or orally. Practical/written/oral. Multiple choice questions (MCQs) /Extended matching questions (EMQs) Students are required to select the correct answer from a list of possible answers to a question. EMQs assess students' knowledge ...

  13. Formative and Summative Assessments: Examples and Differences

    Classroom-Based Examples. The following examples can be valuable to employ in a classroom setting: 1. Quizzes and polls. Simple and easy to execute, quizzes and polls are a low-effort way of gauging student understanding at regular intervals throughout a lesson. 2. Peer feedback and self-assessment.

  14. Summative Assessment Definition

    Generally speaking, summative assessments are defined by three major criteria: The tests, assignments, or projects are used to determine whether students have learned what they were expected to learn. In other words, what makes an assessment "summative" is not the design of the test, assignment, or self-evaluation, per se, but the way it is ...

  15. Summative Assessments

    In summative assessment, students should be ready to show proof of learning of the course goals. Examples of summative assessment include exams, papers, projects, or portfolios. Although summative assessments are a critical component in a course, it is also important to support student learning through formative assessments and frequent feedback.

  16. What is Summative Assessment?

    The definition of summative assessment is any method of evaluation performed at the end of a unit that allows a teacher to measure a student's understanding, typically against standardized ...

  17. The Ultimate Guide to Summative Assessments (2024)

    Summative assessments must be written according to a few specific guidelines. First, in order to ensure a summative assessment is valid, teachers must: Determine the key learning objectives or standards that they will teach. Decide on what format will best showcase whether or not that objective or standard has been met.

  18. Grade 1 Math Samples

    Access Task. Free samples of math performance tasks for 1st grade. Alignment to Common Core math standards, non-common core math, and TEKS math. Includes teacher planning sheets, math rubrics, student anchor papers, and scoring rationales. Try in your classroom or use our tools for remote teaching.

  19. What is Summative Assessment?

    One of these are summative assessments. Summative assessment is sometimes called assessment of learning and is a formal method to evaluate learning by comparing learning to a standard or benchmark This is typically at the end of a unit, module or time period. Summative assessment often takes the form of a unit or module test. See also Assessment.

  20. Common Core Math

    Common Core Math - Grade 1 [1.OA.A.1] - Summative Assessment Task - Betty's Balloons. Back to top. Get Your FREE Sample Task Today. Ready to explore Exemplars rich performance tasks? Sign up for your free sample now. ... Terms Of Service; Order now Free Trial. 271 Poker Hill Road, Underhill, Vermont 05489 phone: 800-450-4050 | fax: 802-899-4825

  21. Effective assessment

    Assessments may be formal or informal and they may be formative or summative. Assessment tasks vary from informal questions during a learning activity to a formal written tests at the end of a learning program. Assessments of all types provide evidence for the practitioner to make decisions, often in collaboration with the learner, about the ...

  22. Summative Assessment

    Summative Assessment. Summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year. Generally speaking, summative assessments are defined by three major criteria:

  23. D093 Task 1 WGU

    D093 Task 1 A. When given a summative assessment students will be able to count objects while also being able to show the represented number of objects being asked for with at least 75% accuracy.

  24. Formal assessments for grade 3, term 1 (2023) • Teacha!

    Kish & Keur - alles om klein mensies te leer! The grade 3 formal assessments are now available and it contains all the subjects - English home language, Afrikaans eerste addisionele taal, life skills and mathematics. Each formal assessment includes the memorandum, attached to the end of each assessment.