Using Summative and Formative Assessment Tools to Maximize Grading Efficiency - Video Assessment For Skill Development & Feedback | GoReact (2024)

Teachers are the busiest people I know. Between lesson preparation and grading, we have a tendency to get buried in the “work to be done” and end up doing more work than is needed.

During my consultations with teachers, we often dive into creating assignments and figuring out how to give more impactful feedback to students. I preach the importance of feedback on a daily basis, but I’ve learned that feedback is not always my primary action. By taking a step back and asking ourselves whether the assignment’s goal is to improve skills or to assess skills, we can greatly reduce our workload.

The assignments we give students can be categorized as either formative or summative. The actions we take with each are very different, so recognizing the difference between can be a huge time-saver.

It’s important to point out that formative and summative assessment are two overlapping, complementary ways of assessing student progress. While the common goal is to establish the development, strengths, and weaknesses of each student, each assessment provides different insights and actions for educators. Knowing what you want out of the assignment will help you to choose the correct action, as well as predict how much time will be involved.

Using Summative and Formative Assessment Tools to Maximize Grading Efficiency - Video Assessment For Skill Development & Feedback | GoReact (1)

What is Formative Assessment?

In a nutshell, formative assessment is the act of monitoring student learning and providing ongoing feedback for students to improve their learning. More specifically, the use of formative assessment tools helps faculty recognize where students are struggling and give them the information to address problems immediately. Think of formative assessments as frequent adjustments in response to what’s recently been taught. The key words and action items are: frequent and feedback.

Formative assessment tools can be extremely beneficial for instructors. I know whether or not the lesson and methods used are good, based on my student’s performance. If many students struggled with a certain concept, I know I need to adjust how I taught it and teach it again. Students benefit from direct feedback on skills, and teachers benefit from seeing where teaching methods need adjusting. The key word and action items here are: adjust, clarify, and reteach.

Examples of formative assessments include:

  • Impromptu quizzes or anonymous voting (Kahoot and the like)
  • Short comparative assessments to see how pupils are performing against their peers
  • One-minute papers/videos on a specific subject matter
  • Lesson exit tickets to check what students have learned
  • Anonymous classroom polls
  • Creating a visualization or doodle map of what they learned
  • Showing use of vocabulary and signed concepts in videos, either individually or in a group (interactive assignment)

What is Summative Assessment?

The goal of summative assessments is to “summarize” learning by evaluating student learning and achievement at the end of a term, year, or semester by comparing it against a standard benchmark. Summative assessments often have a high point value, take place under controlled conditions, and have more visibility. The emphasis is on measuring to what degree the student has achieved a base-level of skill. The key word and action items here are: measure, evaluate, and summarize.

Examples of summative assessments include:

  • End-of-unit or chapter tests
  • End-of-term or midterm exams
  • Cumulative work over an extended period such as a final project or creative portfolio

Achieving a Good Balance

You’ll notice that during the course of a semester, students need plenty of opportunities (assignments or quizzes) to receive feedback on how they’re performing against the overall course goals and objectives. Because of this, the amount of time spent on assignments or quizzes is greater and more beneficial to students.

Summative tests are not the time to provide skill improvement feedback. Instead, focus on measuring if they’re meeting the skill requirements. To save time and accurately measure student abilities, it’s essential to develop a good rubric. You could provide a short summary of how the student is doing, in addition to the test score.

Now that you have identified what your goals and action items are, you should be able to streamline your actions for each assignment. I personally enjoy short stories to help me visualize the overall message or concept. Here are two stories to help solidify the concepts taught in this article.

Think back to your most recent trip to the grocery store.During the trip, you watched for other drivers, stopped at traffic signs, and made adjustments to your route, depending on the traffic or time of day. You make it to your destination, and over time, you became familiar with the best route. The constant continual adjustments along the way are examples of formative assessments. Arriving at your destination intact and alive with an undamaged vehicle is an example of summative assessment.

An even simpler example:

“When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative. When the guests taste the soup, that’s summative.”

Remember to be aware of why you’re doing what you’re doing and you’ll be more efficient with grading time.

Using Summative and Formative Assessment Tools to Maximize Grading Efficiency - Video Assessment For Skill Development & Feedback | GoReact (2024)


How can formative assessment be used for summative assessment? ›

Create a link between summative and formative assessment – design formative assessments in such a way that they contribute to the summative task. This lowers the workload on the students and provides them with necessary feedback to improve their final performance.

What are examples of formative and summative assessments? ›

Examples of Formative and Summative Assessments
In-class discussionsInstructor-created exams
Clicker questionsStandardized tests
Low-stakes group workFinal projects
Weekly quizzesFinal essays
3 more rows

How are formative and summative assessments used to measure progress? ›

What Is the Difference Between Formative and Summative Assessment? If formative assessment measures how a student is learning during a course of study, summative assessment is designed to measure “how much” a student has learned after a unit or course has reached its completion.

What is formative vs summative assessment tools? ›

In a nutshell, formative assessments are quizzes and tests that evaluate how someone is learning material throughout a course. Summative assessments are quizzes and tests that evaluate how much someone has learned throughout a course.

Which is the best example of a summative use of assessment? ›

Examples of summative assessments include: a midterm exam. a final project. a paper.

What is the best example of a summative evaluation? ›

Examples are exams, graded projects, and papers. Standardized tests, such as the SAT, are also considered summative assessments.

What is an example of a summative assessment plan? ›

Summative assessment examples:

End-of-term or midterm exams. Cumulative work over an extended period such as a final project or creative portfolio. End-of-unit or chapter tests. Standardized tests that demonstrate school accountability are used for student admissions.

What are the three types of summative assessment? ›

Types of Summative Assessment
  • Examinations (major, high-stakes exams)
  • Final examination (a truly summative assessment)
  • Term papers (drafts submitted throughout the semester would be a formative assessment)
  • Projects (project phases submitted at various completion points could be formatively assessed)

Why do teachers use formative and summative assessments? ›

Formative assessments differ from summative assessments in that formatives are used to better understand how the learning experience is progressing while summatives are used to track the learner's progress at the end of a lesson.

What is an example of an assessment tool? ›

Assessment tools aid in assessing and evaluating student learning and can provide different options to assess students beyond the traditional exam. Several tools are available including grading rubrics , Canvas Assignments , plagiarism detection, self-assessment, and peer assessment, surveys, and classroom polling.

How can teachers balance effective use of formative and summative assessment? ›

Striking a balance

Summative assessment includes graded activities that evaluate student learning (tests, quizzes, reports) and formative assessment monitors their learning through non-graded activities like class discussions, peer learning and feedback, based on which teachers adjust their teaching methodologies.

What is an example of a formative and summative assessment? ›

Formative and summative assessments should be adaptable

For example, 'test style questions' can be used both as formative assessment (perhaps as exit tickets – questions given to students at the end of the lesson to check student understanding) or summative (perhaps as an end of an instructional unit test or check).

What are tools of formative assessment? ›

Some formative assessment examples include interactive quizzes, multiple choice questions (MCQs), assignments, or group projects, which help students put their understanding to the test.

How should formative assessments align with summative assessments? ›

Formative assessment helps teachers determine next steps during the learning process as the instruction approaches the summative assessment of student learning. A good analogy for this is the road test that is required to receive a driver's license.

What are the uses of formative and summative assessment when and where do we use them in planning and implementing the lesson? ›

Formative assessments differ from summative assessments in that formatives are used to better understand how the learning experience is progressing while summatives are used to track the learner's progress at the end of a lesson.

How initial formative and summative assessments are used? ›

The purpose of the initial assessment process is to identify need, the formative assessment is to support learning and monitor progress, and the summative assessment is to achieve accreditation through an awarding body.

What is formative assessment diagnostic assessment summative assessment? ›

Diagnostic assessments are executed before starting the lesson or unit. However, formative assessments refer to the ongoing activity, and therefore, are executed during the learning process. On the other hand, summative assessments often occur either as the mid-term exams or final exams after completing the unit.

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