Assessments are how teachers gain knowledge about what students know, both during the year, and at the end of terms. Some form a basis of school and state accountability systems. For these reasons, it is important for assessments to accurately assess students’ knowledge and provide feedback to the teachers.
Summative assessments are used as a final appraisal of what students know at the end of a course, term, or school-year. Formative assessments, on the other hand, are part of the instructional process and give teachers information to adjust their teaching to best help students learn.
- Education Commission of the States: Assessment – The ECS was created to improve education by facilitating the exchange of information and ideas among school leaders and policymakers. This site contains information about different state policies dealing with assessments and research conducted about assessments.
- Today’s Middle Level Educator: Formative Assessment Podcasts – Today’s Middle Level Educator is a podcast series produced by the Association for Middle Level Education. These podcasts form a two-part series in which the speakers debunk five myths about formative assessment and discuss the culture of formative assessment.
- Alabama State Department of Education: Assessment – Go here to learn about Alabama’s assessment policies.
- Linking Classroom Assessment With Student Learning – This report published by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) describes how what we assess, how we asses, and how we communicate results has an effect on students’ perceptions of learning. The authors then make suggestions on how to design and implement effective testing.
- Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom – This report by the Association for Middle Level Education outlines the differences between formative and summative assessments and advocates for assessments that provide an appropriate balance of the two.