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Assessments used for formative and summative purposes
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Assessments used for formative and summative purposes

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  • 1. Reading 1:  Assessments for different purposes  Assessments used for Formative and Summative Purposes  The same assessment could be used with one group of students for formative purposes and  with another group of students for summative purposes. This means that the test in and of  itself is not inherently formative or summative.   The terms formative and summative pertain to how the test scores are used. When the test  scores are used to provide well‐intentioned feedback to the students to empower them to  remove errors in their reasoning and to think in more logical and factually correct ways, the test  results are being used in a formative manner. Also, when a teacher looks at test scores and  determines what the students have mastered and what needs to be retaught with a different  teaching/learning approach, the test results are being used in a formative manner.   However, when the results of a test are used to assign grades at the end of a course, and/or  report to external agencies for accountability purposes, the results are being used in a  summative manner.  The term “assessment for learning” pertains to those assessments that are used in a formative  manner; whereas, the term “assessment of learning” pertains to those assessments that are  used in a summative manner. When curriculum, instruction and assessment are integrated, and  assessment results provide feedback to students and instructors to directly increase learning  and improve the curriculum, assessment takes its rightful place as a valuable part of the  curriculum, instruction and assessment triad. Modern assessment focuses on closing the  feedback loop in real time, and facilitating connections with the curriculum and instruction. The  ALTS Assessment Management System™ software helps teachers, instructors, trainers and  professors make these connections in systematic and meaningful ways.    ©ALTS 2009    1 | P a g e