Combining formative and summative assessment

Designed into these learning stories:


In response to evidence that formative assessment can greatly enhance learning alongside the demands of a national summative assessment system, teachers can use feedback from technology to combine formative and summative assessment. Additionally, teachers enhance their own professional development by developing formative assessment techniques and using the supporting role of technology.


I am a science teacher who wants to combine elements of formative and summative assessment to enhance my teaching and my students’ learning. First of all I choose a topic from the curriculum and I prepare a test to assess my students’ understanding and knowledge of this topic using a classroom response system.  With this information I begin to develop a class wiki with headings based on the outcomes of my students’ knowledge and the areas that they are struggling with.

Students are organised into teams (mixed or similar ability or a combination of both) and must complete assigned sections of the wiki based on the data from the classroom response assessment and other observations and evaluations I have made during the teaching of this topic and class.   In the next lesson the class build the wiki using the headings as a framework, carrying out research, and using the web and other traditional resources like textbooks.

I directly moderate the teams working on the ‘misconceptions’ area of the wiki, providing them with personalised support.  I encourage the students to support each other in identifying and addressing common misconceptions. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the topic by composing tests using the classroom response systems.  Regular opportunities to reassess learning are available. For some of the more challenging topics support also comes from a “people bank”. Some of those in this network of teachers, experts and other classrooms have agreed to act as moderators of the “advanced” section of the wiki, as well as evaluators of the quality of the knowledge produced by the students. Depending on the feedback gathered, students progress to more advanced sections of the wiki, and more sections are added to accommodate the progression of the class.

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