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Formative and Summative Assessment Us for Effective Progress Support in the Classroom

Assessment is an essential part of the education process. The two principal types of assessment that are employed in a school set-up include the summative and the formative assessment. Summative assessment can be described as the evaluation that is used to measure what the students have learned at the end of a topic or unit. It ensures that the students have met the required standard for certification of school completion or enter their particular occupation. It is also employed as a selection criterion for entry into further education. Examples of the summative assessment include; state assessments, end of unit tests, end of term exams and district benchmark assessments. The goal is to gauge the students’ learning about the set standards (Burke, 2010).

Formative assessment is made as part of the instructional process in the classroom, and it is incorporated into the classroom practice; its primary role is to provide the information that is required to adjust the teaching and learning as they happen. It informs both the teacher and the student on the understanding of the student at the time when the adjustment is made and the need for the assessment (Burke, Depka, 2011). The changes are made to ensure that the students achieve the targeted standards that are based on the learning goals that are set within a particular period. Formative differs from summative assessment in that, in this case, the student, and the teacher are both involved, and the process is more of practice rather than a test at the end of a session. The cumulative result that the formative assessment gives at the end determines the product that the student will get the summative evaluation (Garison, et al., 2009).

The formative assessment involves active engagement of the students, the teacher has the role of identifying the learning goals and then sets a clear criterion for the success and using a designed assess task for the particular position and evaluates the learning process of the student.


The student takes the initiative to evaluate their knowledge and the resources to their fellow students, and this is illustrated in team assignments. The teacher also gives a descriptive feedback to the student that gives them the areas to correct or improve on. The teacher has a significant role in how they use the feedback got from the process. Some of the strategies that are employed for formative assessment include;

Criteria and goal setting; the students are engaged in the learning using clear set expectations. For the learning process to be fruitful, the students need to understand the target of the process and the criteria for reaching it. The teacher establishes and defines the quality work and involves the students in the process to develop the right classroom culture (Black, Wilson, 1998). The teacher uses the students work, class tests to help the student understand what is needed, and the learning criteria are unique for every learning area (Fisher, Frey, 2014).

Observations: here the teacher goes around the classroom and sees if the student needs help or clarification on what should be done. The teacher uses the process of observation to gather evidence of learning of the student and the data collected from this process can be shared with the student during conferences.

Questioning strategies: are included in the unit planning, the question allows for deeper thinking and gives the teacher an insight into the degree of understanding of the student. It also brings forth dialogue that helps in uncovering and expanding learning in general. The questions also help the student ask better matters within the developmental process (Deno, 2000).

Self and peer assessment; this helps in developing a learning community within the classroom, students use their peers as resources for checking for quality work against what they are supposed to learn. Student record keeping; the students have an understanding of their learning process. It is a way of engaging the students and gives them a chance to see where they started and enhanced their eventual goal (Popham, 2011).


The topic selected to evaluate the application of both formative and summative assessment include three numeracy lessons. The learning objectives for this class of 16 are for the student to be able to recognize the order of the numbers 1-20. Use a number to label a set of objects and being able to read the half past hours. The three objectives are spread through the three lessons, and the equivalent formative and summative assessment will be used to ensure that the goals have been achieved. The outcome of this process was to include; the learners being able to recognize the order of numbers, the learners should be able to match digital cards with the number of objects counted and to be able to understand the minute hand positioning with passing time (Black, Wilson, 1998).

Enabling environment

The learning process should be fun for the children for them to engage in the learning process, for instance, getting the kids in a line and praising those who do the right thing and this will encourage the others to want to get the elevation. The children should have to access the tools that are used in the learning process; these include the counting sticks, the whiteboard, the color posts, and the tube boxes. The importance of this is to familiarize the learner with the tools that are employed in the process. The reading area should also be comfortable and be inviting for the young students as they easily get frustrated and therefore the area should be made friendly and accommodating (Krampen, 1987).

Formative and summative assessment applied in the process

Enabling environment

Observation; the teacher observes the level of engagement of the student through the sessions of the class. For the recognition of order of numbers, the teacher focuses on the ability of the each student to recognize the figures even when they are not in a particular order, and this will evaluate the learning process as it goes on. .

uestion and Answers: Based on the planning of each lesson, the teacher use the issues to engage the students in the learning process. The questions will illustrate the level of which the child has gotten to while in the lesson. An example could be asking the students on the clock lesion, what the time was, using an illustrated clock.

Peer to peer assessment: As the students, engage with one another, the teacher lets the students learn from each other. The goal is to ensure that the students are fully involved and use the best learning criteria to achieve the goals set. The teacher gives the children time to work amongst themselves and assess their numeracy challenges in the process of learning. The opportunities for children to share and talk about what they have learned improves the quality of the education (Krampen, 1987).

Use of success criteria: the children who do well are rewarded, and this will encourage the others to work harder as well. The learners will also be able to have an understanding of the goal of the learning process. When one child does the right thing, and he or she is praised, then the rest will have a clearer meaning of what the learning process requires, and they will strive to achieve it.

The purpose of this process is to ensure that the classroom engagement is progressive; the needs of each student and interests are met. At the end of the lesson, the children are expected to be independent learners, gain self-confidence, and have the capability to the individual learning process. The learners also get encouragement to take the risk, explore, and investigate as they reflect on what they have learned. The teacher has the role of creating a safe environment where the fear of failure is limited, and the children have a greater will to grow in their learning (Cronin et al., 2008).

Results of the learning process

By the end of the learning, process the numerical skills of the learners included;

The ability to say the numbers 1-20, capacity to order the figures up to 10 and beyond and the ability to recognize the numbers from 1-20. The learners should also have the ability to apply for the numbers in practical cases, the use of the appropriate vocabulary when using numbers and use everyday numbers to describe the position. The learners should also be able to recognize patterns in the learning process and any other in the actual real life. The lesson of how to check for time should also be seen as the learners gain the capacity to check for a time within minutes and differentiate between the arms of the clock and how they apply when looking at the time (Deno, 2000).

The learners should have the capacity to monitor and coordinate themselves in the environment that deals with numbers as the process gave them an opportunity to express themselves and use numbers and time in their daily lives. The children are given the tools of learning that elevate them to the next level of learning, and the use of the assessment tools determines the readiness of the child.


On the application of the assessments, there are various advantages to the learners and these included;

Meeting goals for lifelong learning

he formative assessment gives the advantage of ensuring that the lifelong goals of education are employed. It is the best way to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the evidence of learning. The level of student achievement is also improved as the needs of students continue to increase; there is the need for the learning process to become more intensive. The gaps that population diversity creates are bridged using the assessment tools. The learners are also taught to be independent with their learning process; hence, the knowledge becomes continuous (Fuchs, 2001).

High-performance amongst the students

DAll the students get the chance to work with the teacher at an individual level, and this improves the level of achievement of each of the student. The process has shown that the quantitative and qualitative assessment that the process entails will ensure that quality of learning is high. The children stay together and can learn from each other in the peer to peer process that the formative process entails. Besides, the summative process gives the capacity to evaluate the performance of the student throughout the entire process.

Promoting high-quality education for all

There will be equity on the outcomes of the students at the end of the learning process. The underachieving students can be placed into programs that help them catch up in the knowledge. The programs in place for the underachieving students are meant to evaluate their needs at the individual level and enable them with the best learning environment to enable them to catch up with the others.

Giving the student skills for learning to learn

The process of teaching and learning is given emphasis, and the children are actively involved in the process. The skills also include peer evaluation and self-evaluation. At the end of the learning, the students can understand their learning and enable them to develop the best strategies for learning to learn. The students are actively involved in the process of understanding new concepts, instead of just absorbing information (Baker, Linn, 2011).

Addressing the barriers to the wider practice
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There is a link between the formative and the summative assessment, and the barrier is closed when the two are employed in the learning process. The summative test at the end of a period is accountability for the effect of the formative assessment that has been going on through the learning process. The two are therefore relevant for evaluating the performance of the student. There is a need for the teachers to link the summative and the formative assessment tools as they both plays a significant role, the judgment of the performance of the student is an essential part of the learning process. Without it the data from schools to illustrate performance then there would be a disconnection between the test and the curriculum, and this will also affect innovation of the students. The assessment processes are essential for effective learning to take place (Burke, 2010).


The assessment process involves the collection of the procedures that are essential in informing the learning process. The data collected at the end of a learning process using the summative and formative assessment show the trend of the learning achievements of the learner. The two are used in conjunction with each other, and the outcome is to improve the results of learning for all the students across the spectrum. The assessment works as the tool for evaluating the role played by the teachers and the student as well.

Assessment should, therefore, be part of the learning process as it ensures that the teacher delivers knowledge in the best way possible to the students. The teacher benefits from this process by understanding the needs of the children in the classroom; the observation notes, the reflection and the tests that the teacher takes in the process are essential in evaluating the level of learning of the child. There is a need for a balance of the two assessment processes, as it will ensure that there is a clear picture of the position of the student in relation to the learning targets and standards, which have been set for a particular learning process. The more knowledge there is on the performance of the child in the class, there are a means of adjusting the process to suit the students and their individual needs. The assessment is, therefore, the best way to ensure that all students move forward while achieving all the set objectives for the learning processes.


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GARRISON, C., CHANDLER, D., & EHRINGHAUS, M. (2009). Effective classroom assessment: linking assessment with instruction. Westerville, Ohio, National Middle School Association and Measured Progress.

KLUGER, A.N. AND A. DENISI (1996), “The Effects of Feedback Interventions on Performance: A Historical Review, a Meta-Analysis, and a Preliminary Feedback Intervention Theory”, Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 119, pp. 254-284.

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