Module 3B: Summative and Formative Assessment

When I was a college student, I always keep myself aware of exam schedules primary because I know that my performance during those tests will determine my grades, and eventually my future. Seems too futuristic, but we cannot deny the fact that companies give importance to the grades garnered by their applicants when they were in school. Thus, students’ grades contribute a lot to their potential in competing in the “real world.” In this aforementioned situation, we can say that people generally take the final assessment result as something that encapsulates the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of the students.

However, aside from my belief that not all students give the best of their abilities in the final test, there is also a possibility that because of the general notion, teachers, educational researchers, academic institutions, and other stakeholders might tend to focus their efforts in summative assessment.

Summative assessment, I learned, is the process by which student learning is measured to judge their achievement. Formative assessment, on the other hand, is done to gauge student learning and eventually improve or adjust instruction – its delivery and strategies. The latter assess the entirety of student accomplishments while the latter focuses more on how teaching can be improved to maximize learning.

Notwithstanding the fact that formative assessments can use subjective or unstructured methods while summative assessments can use objective tests, developments have allowed the use of these methods either formatively or summatively, depending on the assessment goals.

People and institutions judge the credibility of schools and their faculties by looking into student achievement, that is, the results of summative assessments. Hence, teachers and school authorities tend to give more attention to such process. However, formative assessments must be given equal importance because this determines how much or how less students are learning. It aims to improve teachers’ performance as well.

In connection to how I started this post, people need to stop thinking that grades encompass the entirety of the capabilities of a person, because in reality, exams or other methods of final assessment which determine grades, may not reflect the real achievement of students.


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