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Formative Versus Summative

Formative Versus Summative

Generally, both summative and formative assessments are utilized in a classroom environment. Formative assessments are used to monitor students learning by gathering real-time feedback about the learners as they continue learning. It then allows immediate feedback to the educators (Part 1). In contrast, summative assessments measure learners’ progress and understanding and are commonly conducted at the end of a school year. For instance, the STAAR examination is done at the end of the year (part 3). The STAAR exam is a summative assessment because it is taken at the end of the school year to determine the learner’s progress and if the tutors’ teaching methods are effective.

The two assessments are similar in that they both give feedback about the student’s knowledge and progress. They both help with course evaluation methods, allowing educators to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching methods. The two differences are the frequency of assessments. Summative assessments are done at the end of the school year, while formative assessments are done quarterly or monthly. The other difference is the weight of the grade. Summative assessment grades have a greater impact on the learners as it determine their progress to the next levels, while formative assessment grades have a low impact.

As a prospective special education educator, I will use formative assessments more than summative ones. This is because formative assessments will help me determine if the learners have mastered and understood the taught concepts and ensure they will effectively meet their milestones as expected. McAfee (2016) says that one measure or window will probably provide an estimate of a learner’s ability that is less valid than what a tutor can gather using a combination of measures or windows. Therefore, this affirms that educators should use both assessments to be able to see all aspects of the assessments. Using one assessment will never show the exact performance of a learner. Thus, relying on both or all assessments and using the data from both to observe a learner’s progress across the year is vital as it minimizes mistakes when making decisions about the learner regarding their learning.


McAfee, O., Leong, D. J., & Bodrova, E. (2016). Assessing and guiding young children’s development and learning (6th Ed.). Pearson.

Formative Assessment (Strategic Assessment System, Part 1)

Summative Assessment (Strategic Assessment System, Part 3)


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This is a graded discussion: 4 points possible

due Jan 5, 2023
Week 2 – Discussion 2
No unread replies.No replies.
Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday), and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Formative Versus Summative

Formative Versus Summative

Formative Versus Summative [WLO: 3] [CLOs: 1, 2]
The assessment cycle graphic highlights the first three boxes: Why Assess? or Purpose. What to assess? And When to assess? Other grayed-out boxes you will see in later weeks are Documenting: recording information. Documenting: collecting information. Compiling and summarizing information, Interpreting information, and Using information.

As you learned from completing the first discussion forum this week, two of the reasons you assess student learning are to monitor children’s development and learning and to guide classroom planning and decision-making. These purposes for assessment translate into formative and summative assessments in the classroom.

To prepare for this discussion:

Refer to the Week 2 Instructor Guidance for further tips and examples that will support your success in this discussion.
Read textbook Chapter 4: Documenting: Collecting Information.
Watch the video Formative Assessment (Strategic Assessment System, Part 1). It links to an external site.
Watch the video Summative Assessment (Strategic Assessment System, Part 3)Links to an external site.
In your initial post:

Compare and contrast formative and summative assessments. Include two similarities and two differences.
Discuss, based on the age of the children you are planning to work with, whether you think you will use formative or summative assessments more and why.
Explain why educators need to collect data using both formative and summative assessments.

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