Comparing Formative and Summative Assessment

Formative and summative assessments are essential to evaluating a student’s progress and learning outcomes in an educational setting. These assessments serve different purposes and can significantly impact the teaching and learning process.

Formative assessment occurs on an ongoing basis, such as monthly or quarterly, during a course, allowing teachers and students to monitor progress and adjust teaching methods as necessary. This type of assessment aims to inform both parties about the areas needing improvement, thus enabling learning adjustments and enhancing student performance.

In contrast, summative assessment evaluates student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing performance against a predetermined standard or benchmark. This assessment approach provides an overall snapshot of a student’s knowledge and helps determine if the instructional goals have been met.

Formative and summative assessment serves different purposes

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Digital Assessment

Digital assessment refers to delivering assessments, tests, surveys, and other evaluative measures through digital devices such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones. This approach to evaluation often leverages the internet or mobile applications, providing a potentially more efficient and accessible assessment method than traditional paper-based evaluations

By utilising digital tools and platforms, digital assessment enables a more interactive and engaging experience for learners and educators. It can offer instant feedback and the opportunity to track progress over time. In some cases, digital assessment platforms can also gamify the learning process, making it even more enjoyable for students. These advantages have led to a growing adoption of digital assessment methods in educational and professional settings.

Examples of digital assessment tools include Q-interactive, which score and report paper administration, and Kahoot!, a gamification platform that helps teachers create quizzes and interactive learning experiences.

Data from digital assessment can be used to personalise learning

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How to Use Bloom’s Taxonomy in Assessment

Incorporating Bloom’s Taxonomy in assessment design is a strategic approach to ensure that assessments are well-rounded and cover the full spectrum of cognitive skills. Educators can comprehensively evaluate students’ understanding and abilities by creating questions and tasks corresponding to each taxonomy level. Not only does this method promote more accurate assessment results, but it also helps to differentiate instruction and identify the most effective teaching strategies for diverse learning styles.

For a complete overview of Bloom’s Taxonomy, read the article Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a useful tool to structure assessment

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