What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?
Education institutions normally analyse the performance of their students through assessment. This help in the planning of study materials and know the progress of the students.
The main difference between formative and summative assessment is that Formative Assessment refers to a variety of assessment procedures that provides the required information, to adjust teaching, during the learning process whereas Summative Assessment is defined as a standard for evaluating learning of students.
Assessment can be formative or summative. The article provides the difference between formative and summative assessment in a tabular form.
What Is Formative Assessment?
Formative assessment is normally carried out during the learning process. The method is usually carried out by the teacher.
The main aim of formative assessment is to ensure the student has a complete understanding and competency. It is a continuous process to observe the performance of the student.
What Is Summative Assessment?
Summative assessment is undertaken at the end of the course or unit. It tends to major mostly on the result of the student.
The main aim of summative assessment is to ensure the student has a comprehensive knowledge of the study material.
Summative assessment is based on the scores, grades and percentage scores. This help to highlight the quality of the curriculum being used.
Comparison Chart: Formative Vs Summative Assessment
|Basic Terms||Formative Assessment||Summative Assessment|
|Time||Student learning process||At the end of the course or unit|
|Strategy||Monitoring the learning process||Assign grades or scores|
|Purpose||Improve student’s learning||Evaluate student’s achievement|
|Size of Evaluation Package||Little content areas||Comprehensive content areas|
|Weight of grades||Low||High|
|Aims at||Enhancing learning||Measuring a student’s competency.|
|Frequency||Monthly or quarterly||Term-end|
|What is it?||It is an assessment of learning.||It is an assessment of learning.|
|Definition||It refers to a variety of assessment procedures that provides the required information, to adjust teaching, during the learning process.||It is defined as a standard for evaluating the learning of students.|
Main Difference between Formative and Summative Assessment
- The weight grades of formative assessment are low while those of summative are high
- The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning process whereas summative is to evaluate student learning
- The core aim of formative assessment is to enhance learning while summative assessment to measure student competency
- The nature of formative assessment is diagnostic while that of summative assessment is evaluative
- The frequency of formative assessment is either monthly or quarterly whereas summative is at the end of the term
- Formative assessment is for learning while summative is of learning
- The scope of work in formative assessment is little while summative assessment is quite wide and large.
Education is a slow learning process and it giving students grade is another thing. Many teachers use summative assessment as midterms or end of the year. The lesson provides the difference between formative and summative assessment to make the work of the teachers’ easier. Good luck.
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