When students know it’s a formative assessment

Motivating an entire class of students to try their best on a test, quiz, assignment or even homework is hard enough, but students now know the difference between summative and formative assessments.

Being the great student I was back in the day, I took every chance for feedback and self-assessment seriously. Students now know the difference between:

  1. Assessment of Learning (ex. unit test)
  2. Assessment for Learning (ex. teacher grading/feedback)
  3. Assessment as Learning (ex. peer grading/feedback)

I get questions like “Is this formative?”, “Does this count for marks?”, “Is this Assessment of Learning?” because students now know most assessments do not count towards their grades.

I couldn’t believe it when I heard this at practicum. Those are new terms for me to digest yet students can name name them off the top of their head! Speaking from the teacher perspective, it’s quite a challenge encouraging unmotivated students to see the value of trying their best no matter how much an assignment is worth. Speaking of effort, when I mark assessments regardless if it counts for marks or not, I am giving just as much feedback and comments for “the next assignment”. It can be frustrating to

Since practicum is only a month long, I can’t comment on the long term effects of formative and summative assessments. I do hope that before the school year is over, students see the importance of having different types of assessments rather than just “for marks” and “not for marks”.

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