The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by us to improve our teaching and by students to improve their learning. It is flexible, ongoing and more of an informal diagnostic tool. More specifically, formative assessments:
- help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
- help us recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately
- focuses on individual success
- opens communication and focuses on GROWTH not grades
Summative assessment is more of a formal, generally quantitative mode to measure (evaluate) the level of success or proficiency obtained at a specific time and is compared against some standard or benchmark. They are structured and often used to normalize performance so they can be measured and compared. Summative assessments are generally high stakes that evaluates the end result or a PRODUCT and produces a grade. This type of assessment is designed to evaluate students at the end of your course or unit to showcase their learning.