Second type of classroom: Formative and Summative Assessment

a)      What benefits are derived from formal, summative, and traditional assessments?  To what extent are the weaknesses of these types of assessment disadvantageous to learning-teaching processes?

b)      Explain the growing support for informal, formative and alternative assessments.  What purposes of assessment are served well by informal, formative and alternative assessments?
Compared with formal, summative, traditional assessments, what levels of learning in Bloom’s hierarchy of cognitive skills are addressed by informal, formative and alternative assessments?

c)      How can you ensure that the formal, summative, and traditional assessments you craft will be good assessments, and as equally effective as a parallel alternative assessment?

d)      Consider the various resource materials for the module in the context of your personal experiences.  How would the type of assessment affect the way students approach learning?  In other words, Will the type of assessment influence:

  • students’ attitudes toward studying for a test?
  • their attitudes about how they learn, what they choose to learn?
  • the way students value a lesson; the way students value going to school?

e)      Much is said in favor of alternative assessments—to the discredit of traditional assessments.  Nevertheless, many acknowledge that there remains a lot of merit in favor of traditional assessments.

  • What are some advantages of traditional assessments over alternative assessments and vice versa?
  • Can traditional tests assess high-order thinking?
  • All factors considered, where does your preference lie—traditional or alternative assessment?  (What type/s of assessment do you recommend for schools to use or put greater emphasis on?)  Why?


a)      Discuss norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments in relation to the Bell curve (or vice versa).

b)      How do the concepts in Module 3C (Sub-section 2) relate to one another?  How can you use distribution data to interpret assessment results and make decisions about teaching and future assessments?  Consider the Assessment Cycle when you discuss this question.  Cite specific scenarios or concrete (or actual) examples to elaborate your points.

c)      How may information based on distribution be used to serve the interest of students?  In contrast, how can its application be harmful?

d)      How do we apply these ideas to make sense of assessment data in the broader academic settings (e.g. regional or national tests), i.e., beyond the classroom?  You may cite actual national/international data in your discussion.  Remember to identify your sources.

I’ve tackled in my blog about the first type of classroom assessment which are formal and informal assessment. Now, I’m going to differentiate formative and summative assessment.

Formative assessment as defined in, it is when teachers, educators make use of different tools and methods to gather information about a student’s understanding of a lesson, topic.

Because of interaction between a student and teacher, feedback is usually common in this practice. The feedback enables the teacher to know what the student has learned in the subject. Upon learning the strength and weakness of the student in the subject, the teacher, trainer can adjust her task according to the student’s needs.

Examples of FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT given by

Intended Purpose Assessment for Learning Examples
To increase students’ learning

To adjust instruction
To diagnosis student needs
To improve the instructional program
Non-graded quizzes, pretests, minute papers, exit tickets, written assignments, concept maps, interviews, progress monitoring, performance assessment scoring guides, weekly reports, focused questions, journals, learning logs, learning probes, checklists, surveys, and item analyses of summative assessments

According to, “assessment for learning” or formative assessment makes the student more motivated in his/her studies enabling excellence in school.

Asessment of Learning” or Summative assessment on the other hand are planned activities/excercises used by teachers, faculty in determining the over-all grade, performance of students. It answers the question “what the students have learned?”, “what is this test for?”.

Through standardized test, summative assessment enables the teacher to rank its students in order.

Summative Assessments needs to be reliable, valid, and useful according to Definition below:

  • Useful. The assessment must provide you with useful
    information about student achievement in the course.
    The assessment must be tied to the learning goals you
    have and those learning goals must be important. If you
    assess unimportant or trivial concepts or just use chapter
    tests without really looking at the items critically in terms of
    whether they reflect your teaching, what have you learned
    about what your students know? 4
    ● Valid for your purposes. The assessment must measure what
    it is supposed to measure. For example, if you ask students
    to draw a map reflecting the change in U.S. borders from
    1789-1820, you will need to ensure that the assessment is
    scored based on students’ understanding of the concepts
    not based on their ability to draw. Sometimes, the way the
    test is presented (e.g., small print with lots of complicated or
    confusing directions or too many items) can make it a less
    valid measure of the content being tested. It may be more
    a measure of student persistence than a measure of their
    knowledge of the content. As a teacher, taking a test yourself
    before giving it to your students will help ensure that the items
    reflect content you actually taught. It will also help you to
    decide if there are some aspects of the questions or layout
    that are content irrelevant, representing extraneous hurdles
    for students that could be simplified.
    ● Reliable. Reliability has to do with the extent to which the
    score you give a student on a particular assessment is
    influenced by unsystematic factors. These factors are things
    that can fluctuate from one testing or grading situation to
    the next or from one student to the next in ways that are
    unrelated to students’ actual achievement level (e.g., luck
    in guessing the right answer, lack of time to complete the
    assessment on a particular day, teacher bias or inconsistency
    in scoring of essays across students or from one test to the
    next). Thinking about how to reduce these factors such that
    the scores given are likely to be the most accurate reflection
    of students’ true achievement levels on the task or test should
    be an ongoing process for teachers.
    ● Fair. The assessment must give the same chance of success
    to all students. For example, a large project that is done at
    home can be biased against low-income students, favoring
    students whose parents have extra time to help them over
    those whose parents need to work.


Summative Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know


Personal Preferences

\Back in elementary and highschool, I would prepare for test by memorizing our lessons and the keyword. It was a technique that worked for me because we are given Matching type, multiple choice, fill in he blanks test.

It may be quite taxing to memorize a lot of terms but I guess we have been familiar with these kinds of traditional test method that was given to us.

What stresses me out were the recitations especially in Math because I did not know how to solve word problems. While writing this, I realized that I’m more inclined with English especially essays and I love answering questions because I can express myself freely.

Aside from Math, I’m nit given in the art department, I can’t draw a decent picture. However, if there were any art project that needs egg shells on, carbon paper, leaves, I can do well on those art works but drawing, not really.

Now that I tutor my nephew on weekends, it’ mostly informal assessment that I applied. I usually read his notes from all of his subjects. The  will ask him one by one about the topic and ask questions. This will allow me to check if he remembers the lessons. I give him feedback by adding information about the topi so it would not be all memorizations. Formal assessments are applied through small exercises so that he can be familiar on how to use them when he has tests.

If I’ll be given a chance to pass the LET exam later on, I believe that I’ll formal and informal assessments. It’s reliable and at the same time. Practical examinations though I’ve dreaded n the past is one of the useful methods in testing one’s skill.

Studying assessments have made me aware of its benefits. I may not have really paid attention to it it before but it helps to be attentive with what you are going to test your students or to my nephew.

Types of Classroom Assessment (Formal and Informal)

It was a good thing that Module 3 was revisiting the concept of Assessment. In this way, we are able to delve into the real uses of different types of classroom assessment and as a tutor and hopefully a teacher in the future I can figure what will work for me and my students.

It can be mind-racking at first but reading and re-reading different information enables me to differentiate:

  • formal and informal assessment
  • summative and formative assessment
  • traditional and alternative.

I followed the format written in the module so that it’s concise and easily read.

Formal Assessment uses standardized tests to determine students’ learning and progress throughout the whole program. Main advantage of using formal assessment in teaching is that it provides feedback to the students enabling them to improve their understanding and skills on the particular subject. With students taking formal assessment tools like diagnostic test, achievement exams, entrance exams thus providing teachers a clue of student’s strengths and weaknesses.

Informal Assessment on the other hand though is much more relaxed in assessing the students. There is more interaction between teacher and the student. It doesn’t rely on test to gauge the student’s understanding. Examples of informal assessment may be oral presentation, demonstrations, projects, even conversation can be considered as an informal assessment because you tend to observe.

  • How do you decide when to use formal or informal assessment? How is assessment done in informal ways?

Teachers make use of formal assessment when it is aligned with goals and objectives that is introduced on the onset of classes. There is a system/specific measures that teacher/educator uses to facilitate learning. Like what is mentioned here, teachers will use test to reveal if the students have learned the whole semester. With that in mind,scores will benefit greatly to the student because it gives him a proof whether to study hard or harder. Informal assessment, it is more spontaneous. A simple recitation can be use to check if the student have grasped the lesson. Though, not systematic, teacher can use a checklist as a means to determine a grade to the student when informal assessment is used.

  • What are the characteristics of formal and informal assessments? 

According to

Informal assessments are administered in classroom. These are spontaneous interaction between the student and teacher related to the topic being discussed or it is the question and answer type. Performance based. Formal Assessment are systematic,they is a grading system that needs to be met.

  • Can informal assessments be a good replacement for formal assessment?

In my opinion, informal assessment is not a good replacement for formal assessment. We have to consider the the reasons why we will be using these two in the classroom. We have to take into consideration that in a classroom, we are still data driven and our aim at the end of the program is to achieve the student’s full awareness and comprehension of the subject. Informal assessment can be useful in such a way that since we immediately see the performance of the student in the subject, we can readily change our instruction and cater according to the student’s needs. while this may be less structured, students still excel in informal assessments because they can think of creative ways in expressing their ideas about the topic while in formal assessment it’s more focused on collecting data from the students.

  • How would reflective teaching skills enhance the effectiveness of informal teaching in facilitating teaching-learning?

Reflective teaching will enhance the effectiveness of informal teaching because there will be a reflection and close monitoring of your actions as a teacher towards your students. made a chart on how to be a reflective teacher. In this way, since informal teaching draws feedback both from teacher and student, you can easily assess yourself on how to make things challenging and easy for students. since there is no accurate data to measures student’s competencies in the subject, a teacher can make use of journal and checklist to ponder on student’s performances.