How well did a student do in this class? Did they learn this unit’s material? When people talk about classic tests or finals, a summative assessment is normally the type of assessment they are referring to.
What are they?
In this category of assessments, you’ll find the “Big Kahuna” of tests, such as the finals that we pull all-nighters for as well as the tests that get you into college or let you drive on the roads. Summative assessments document how much information was retained at the end of a designated period of learning (e.g. unit, semester, or school year).
Components of Summative Assessments:
- Evaluate learning/understanding at the end of a checkpoint
- Normally help to determine students’ grade
- Used for accountability of schools, students, and teachers
- Usually higher stakes than other assessment forms
- Preparation and review is helpful for best performance
Summative Assessment Examples
At the end of a semester or a school year, summative tests are used to see how much the student actually learned. It can be the midterm, final grade, or standardized tests. The best summative assessments require a higher level of thinking that synthesizes several important concepts together.
Check out these posts from Twitter where Mrs. Yonts shows her class working on a summative biology assessment and classes at J.T. Nichols Middle School are preparing for the MCAS, a state-wide summative assessment.
Ms. Curtin and Ms. Gomes utilizing Edulastic with their 6th Grade Science students on a benchmark assessment, which is set-up similarly to the online MCAS test. #GettingReady #NMSTigerPride pic.twitter.com/KwgRLxo4FF
— J.T. Nichols MS (@JTNicholsMS) March 6, 2018
Keep In Mind
In the traditional sense of the term, summative assessments are what we think of as the big end-of-the-year bubble-sheet or pen-and-paper finals. In the modern-day tech-enhanced classroom summative assessments are increasingly delivered online. Summative assessments can even take the shape of multi-media presentations, group projects, creative writing, plays or other hands-on projects that demonstrate a mastery of the material.
In summative assessments, the scores tend to have a significant effect on the student’s final grade or whatever is designated as the measurement of success.
Summative Assessment Tools
Teachers use Edulastic’s multimedia function to create summative assessments that use video as a prompt. The multimedia can engage students with audio and visual items and then requires the students to summarize their learning in a classic essay. The result is a traditional, “classic” exam with sophisticated multi-media components.
With Edulastic’s standards-tied questions, teachers who give summative assessments can immediately identify if students mastered the concepts they needed to know.
Here’s some examples of free summative assessments you can access in the Edulastic library. If they apply to your class, feel free to use them. If not, search for others in the Assessment Library or use them as a starting point to create your own.