Summative Assessment: Design and Results

Topics: Educational psychology, Assessment, Education Pages: 4 (1110 words) Published: January 27, 2015

A summative assessment is used to assess learning and understanding of a broad concept or curriculum. This type of assessment summarizes a student's understanding of a group of concepts at a particular time and almost always comes at the conclusion of a unit, period of time, or an entire school course. Summative assessment is designed to measure student understanding of required learning objectives that have been taught. The results of these assessments determine a student’s overall understanding or mastery of the assessed subject. According to the Eberly Center of Teaching Excellence, “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.” Harlen and Crick (2003) stated that “High stakes, high-standards tests do not have a markedly positive effect on teaching and learning in the classroom.” For this reason, it is important to have alternative forms of summative assessment to allow the students a variety of means to display the knowledge that they have learned over the course of the unit. There are many examples of summative assessments other than a midterm or final exam; they can include a paper, a project, and performance tasks. A test on a unit, either within or at the conclusion, may have its place and benefits within a curriculum. However, this paper and pencil test is one of the most common forms of summative assessment. It involves having a student write answers or respond to questions to demonstrate his knowledge of subject matter. It is important to remember that paper and pencil tests only appeal to verbal-linguistic learners. This means that students who possess high levels of verbal-linguistic intelligence may score higher than a student who is a highly kinesthetic learner. For Kinesthetic learners, this type of assessment can create anxiety. The student...

References: Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. (n.d.). Whys and hows of assessment: What is the difference between formative and summative assessments? Retrieved from: http://www.cmu.edu/teaching /assessment/basics/formative-summative.html
Greece Central School District. (n.d.) Steps for Backward Design. Retrieved from http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/academics.cfm?subpage=1276
Harlen, W. & Crick, R. (2003). Testing and Motivation for Learning. Assessment in Education, Vol. 10, No. 2. PDF retrieved from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CG4QFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fsohs.pbs.uam.es%2Fwebjesus%2Fmotiv_ev_autorr%2Flects%2520extranjeras%2Fefecto%2520ev.pdf&ei=wXHtUquIG8rYoATzx4CwCQ&usg=AFQjCNGWcSoSSy6DjlkjtB4vpfr_oh3PEg&sig2=3H42jPqfNBAc_TMzNyAySw&bvm=bv.60444564,d.cGU&cad=rja
The National Academies (2014). Classroom Assessment and the National Science Education Standards. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=9847
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