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One distinction is to think of formative assessment as "practice." We do not hold students accountable in "grade book fashion" for skills and concepts they have just been introduced to or are learning. Formative assessment helps teachers determine next steps during the learning process as the instruction approaches the summative assessment of student learning.
There are numerous strategies teachers can implement to engage students.
In fact, research shows that the involvement in and ownership of their work increases students' motivation to learn.
Assessment is a huge topic that encompasses everything from statewide accountability tests to district benchmark or interim tests to everyday classroom tests.
In order to grapple with what seems to be an over use of testing, educators should frame their view of testing as assessment and that assessment is information.
Depend too much on one or the other and the reality of student achievement in your classroom becomes unclear.
Summative Assessments are given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know.If students are not involved in the assessment process, formative assessment is not practiced or implemented to its full effectiveness.Students need to be involved both as assessors of their own learning and as resources to other students.This does not mean the absence of teacher involvement.To the contrary, teachers are critical in identifying learning goals, setting clear criteria for success, and designing assessment tasks that provide evidence of student learning.One of the key components of engaging students in the assessment of their own learning is providing them with descriptive feedback as they learn.In fact, research shows descriptive feedback to be the most significant instructional strategy to move students forward in their learning.Because they are spread out and occur instruction every few weeks, months, or once a year, summative assessments are tools to help evaluate the effectiveness of programs, school improvement goals, alignment of curriculum, or student placement in specific programs.Summative assessments happen too far down the learning path to provide information at the classroom level and to make instructional adjustments and interventions the learning process. Formative Assessment is part of the instructional process.What if, before getting your driver's license, you received a grade every time you sat behind the wheel to practice driving?What if your final grade for the driving test was the average of all of the grades you received while practicing?