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 Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series -- books and other series that provide right-now solutions for teachers and learners. Mark is the author or publisher of dozens of books, including Bestseller Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Join more than 150,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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