Assessments can be classified as either summative or formative. Summative assessments are generally final evaluations used to measure student competencies at the end of an instructional unit, while formative assessments are ongoing processes used to monitor student learning and provide continuous feedback. In this lesson we’ll look at three distinct assessment approaches and explore why each might be used in summative or formative settings. This will assist you in answering Q6 in your assessment
Performance-based assessment is a practical, hands-on approach where students demonstrate their ability to perform specific tasks or skills, often in real-life or simulated environments. This method is closely aligned with occupational standards, making it highly relevant in vocational education.
- Summative Use: Ideal for summative assessment, this approach directly evaluates a learner’s ability to apply skills in practical scenarios. It provides a clear measure of how well students can perform tasks that reflect real-world job competencies.
- Formative Use: When used formatively, performance-based assessment allows learners to practice and refine their skills in a supportive environment. It offers opportunities for receiving constructive feedback, aiding in skill enhancement before final evaluations.
2. Portfolio Assessment
In portfolio assessment, learners compile a collection of work that showcases their skills, knowledge, and competencies. This collection, which may include projects, assignments, and other evidence of learning, offers a comprehensive view of the learner’s abilities.
- Summative Use: As a summative tool, portfolios provide a broad perspective of a learner’s abilities over time. They highlight the progression and depth of understanding across various competencies, making them valuable for holistic evaluation.
- Formative Use: When used formatively, portfolio assessment encourages ongoing learning and reflection. It allows students to continually add to their portfolio, helping them track their progress and identify areas needing improvement.
3.Written or Oral Examinations
Traditional forms of assessment, such as written or oral examinations, primarily test theoretical knowledge and understanding. They are often crucial in assessing the underpinning knowledge necessary for practical skills.
- Summative Use: These examinations are effective for summative assessment of theoretical knowledge and understanding. They ensure learners have a firm grasp of essential concepts and principles that underpin practical skills.
- Formative Use: In a formative context, written or oral exams can be used to assess understanding of concepts at different stages of the learning process. They guide further instruction and help identify areas where additional learning is required.
The choice of assessment approach depends on the learning objectives and the context in which learning occurs. While summative assessments provide a final measure of student competencies, formative assessments play a crucial role in shaping and enhancing the learning journey.