Formative and Summative Assessments
Usually when we hear the words formative and summative, we are talking about assessments. Formative assessments are diagnostic, giving the teacher information about how the class as a whole or students as individuals understand a particular concept or set of facts so far. For the teacher, formative assessment determines how things are working so far and what should be done next. Summative assessments are end-of-the-road tests that are used for formal purposes, such as ranking students against each other. While summative assessments affect a teacher’s gradebook and a student’s report card, formative assessments affect a teacher’s planbook and a student’s notebook.