Types of Assessment
A formative assessment is accomplished during the learning process (as knowledge is “formed”), and can include observing students during classroom and laboratory activities, posing questions during a lesson, taking polls, collecting exit slips, or conducting informal conversations with students. This gives teachers the opportunity to adjust lessons to ensure proper student understanding, and dispel apparent misconceptions. Various technologies can be used for this form of assessment, including those suggested by Common Sense Education.
A summative assessment is performed at periodic intervals to assess a collection of knowledge at a particular point in time. Summative assessments include more traditional assessments, including quizzes, exams, lab reports, and term papers.
A Student self-assessment could be in the form of a journal that is used to encourage students to reflect and assess their progress. This allows for students to “think about their thinking” and understanding of the content.
Another form of self-assessment is allowing students to score their own work using a rubric or scoring key.
Performance-based assessments have proven to be effective in assessing three-dimensional learning. This requires students to demonstrate content knowledge (DCIs), the ability to make connections (CCCs), and critical thinking (SEPs).
Model-based assessment allows students to demonstrate content knowledge. The creative diagramming aspect of the model means that students, especially English Language Learners, can demonstrate content understanding without being bogged down by vocabulary; they can show their comprehension is deeper than just vocabulary.
Third-Party Assessment Tools
Third-party assessment tools have the advantage of being unbiased and statistically valid. Local, district, and state assessments may be examples of third-party assessments, including end of course exams. Some tools, such as those from the ACS Exams Institute, can provide objective national or regional performance rankings.