Module 1: Assessments

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  • Given different types of assessments, learners will be able to identify what aspects of the assessment categorizes them as a Formative or Summative assessment.

What is Assessment?

The Oxford Dictionary defines assessments as an evaluation of the nature, quality, or ability of something or someone. More specifically, assessment in education can be defined as the evaluation or measure of academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, or educational needs. Assessment is a way for educators to gauge student understanding. The question is what do, if anything, with the information provided from the assessment.

Formative vs. Summative

Two of the most common forms of assessment are Formative and Summative Assessment. This course focuses more closely on Formative Assessment in the mathematics classroom, but it is important to understand the distinctions between them. Watch this quick video about the differences between Formative and Summative Assessment.

Here is a look at some of the basic differences between Formative and Summative Assessment.

Form and Summ Table.png

One of the biggest takeaways comes from the first row in that Formative Assessment occurs during instruction, while Summative Assessment typical takes place after instruction.

Examples of Formative and Summative Assessments

Formative and Summative Assessment Examples.png


On your own, reflect about the following questions using the Discussion link at the top of the page:

  • What assessments do you use in your classroom?
  • What would you type of assessments would you classify each as, Formative or Summative?
  • Do you feel that one type of assessment is more important than the other? Why?
  • What are some of the biggest differences between Formative and Summative Assessment?

Next Lesson

Module 2: Formative Assessment: Dive further into formative assessments in the next lesson!

Extra Resources

For additional information on the differences between Formative and Summative Assessment, read this article! Formative vs. Summative Assessment

Here is another great website with awesome graphics to help explain the differences between Formative and Summative Assessment! Formative and Summative Assessment