The Right Kind of Student Assessment

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Educators typically use two kinds of assessment — formative and summative. The latter is a final summation of learning, if there is such a thing. Summative assessment is a final test, usually a large group of multiple choice questions.

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Formative assessment is widely misunderstood by the general public and, sadly, by many educators. (It’s not something that is taught very well to preservice teachers.)

 

Although the best kind of formative assessment involves observation and two-way feedback between the student and the teacher, the old multiple-choice test can be useful, as long as it’s employed as a diagnostic tool, with the only purpose being to evaluate what skills or concepts students have not mastered.

This video provides a nice example of teachers using formative assessment efficiently. School leaders would be wise to share this at there next faculty meeting and adopt this sort of assessment in all classrooms.
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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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