According to Gravells (2008), assessment is a way of finding out if learning has taken place. It enables an assessor to know that learner has got required course or qualification.
Summative assessment is always evaluative and is generally carried at the end of course or a project. In schools, colleges and universities, summative assessments are used to assign learners a course grade.
Formative assessment is carried out throughout a course or a project. Formative assessments are always initial/diagnostic and would not necessarily be used for grading purposes. It is used to aid learning and it might be a teacher, peer or learner, providing feedback on a student’s work.
According to Petty (2009), initial and diagnostic assessments are necessary to assess learners ‘needs’ for a number of reasons e.g. to help them with initial advice and guidance, with enrolment and to help them design the programme they teach. This assessment is also an integral part of tutorial systems, learning support systems and so on.
There are different methods of assessment and can be used to suit individual needs.
Observation: Watching learner’s performance in any activity, presentation or group work tells how well they are learning.
Questions (written or oral work)/Essay questions: Questions can be used to assess knowledge and understanding of the students. For essay and short answer tests, a teacher needs to write out sample answers to compare with their learner’s answers.
Professional discussion: In this method, a teacher has a conversation or discussion with learners on the standards or learning outcomes of the course. These discussions are helpful to fill any gaps in the criteria that are not demonstrated by the learner.
Objective tests: These tests include multiple choice questions, filling gaps or match and join to check the knowledge. These can be used during or at the end of sessions.
Past experience ; achievements: When a learner starts a course elsewhere and then get transferred with some work already completed, this is often referred to as APEL (accreditation of prior experience/learning)
Self assessment or written reports: The learners can write a report or self -assessment to be specific about what they have achieved and what they need to do to complete any gaps.
Learning journals: Writing journals are beneficial to encourage the learner to cross- reference their writing to the standard and learning outcomes.
Portfolios: These contain records of observation and questions. They also contain witness testimonies and product evidence that include letters, forms and memos. As a result, a teacher decides if all the evidence covers the standards and learning outcomes successfully.
Evidence from others: In a group work, all learners can give a feedback about the participation of each other in an activity. Peer feedback is also helpful when any group is delivering a presentation.
Puzzles and quizzes: These kinds of assessments are fun for students and can be taken as a reserve activity during a session or at the end of the session. Teachers can use computer programs or many websites to prepare a puzzle or quiz for their learners.
I would like to use formative and summative assessments for my subject area. Formative assessment can be carried throughout a course or project; results inform the teacher of what has been taught well to the learners and not so well. Therefore, summative assessment can take place at the end of the academic year or course in the form of an examination, designed to differentiate between candidates on the basis of their knowledge and learning.
I would complete different assessment records for my subject like:
1) Class assignment record
2) End of topic assessment record
3) Project submission record
4) Experiment’s data collection or observation record
5) End of year exam record
These records will help me to find out if learning has taken place, have learners gained the required skills and knowledge needed for the course.
Teachers could set up a course file which will contain all the documentation they need to deliver the course. This may include their syllabus, scheme of work, session plans, handouts, activities and assignments.
Teacher could also set up a learner’s file which will contain all records of their learners in alphabetical order. These files may contain interview notes, initial assessments, action plans, tutorial and review notes and assessment records.
I can assume that different assessment methods form an ongoing weekly record of how learners grasp lesson plan objectives. It provides feedback for both learners and teachers. Keeping in view learner’s achievement, skills, abilities and progress through assessment with feedback confirms that learning objectives are being met effectively and properly.