Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I was with a group of educators today and we were talking about curriculum alignment, how to use data to drive instruction and quality assessments. Someone said they'd just read a good anaology for formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are like the periodic physical exam at the doctor's office. Summative assessments are the autopsy report. Formative assessments are given to students fairly often to determine what they've learned. This could be a portfolio assignment or a quick write to assess the day's learning. It doesn't have to be a formal quiz or test. The summative assessment is used at the end. At this point it's too late to adapt teaching methodology or content. The learning is done and it's either there or it isn't.