Saturday, 5 April 2008

Education: Formative and Summative

This blog is also here so that I can comment and think about practice in Higher Education Teaching. I am currently on the Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at Oxford and I am a passionate believer that teaching should be of equal importance as research to academics. Our research is less likely to stand the test of time than those that we inspire with our teaching.

I was discussing the use of formative and summative assessment and one of my colleagues expressed the belief that it did not matter as the students would not be aware of the terms. While they might not have been when we were students, I am sure that they are now aware of the differences. I am also sure that students on courses in which I am involved should be aware of the significance of the terms. It was a surprise to me that the use of formative assessment was not more wide-spread and that there is still a common belief that all assessment should be summative and that formative is not assessed.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Whether or not the student recognises the terms formative and summative, I would say that the most important thing is that they receive feedback that can help them improve their work within the class or course and the tutor also responds to what they find and adapts their teaching if necessary.

I am similarly surprised that formative assessment (contributory or non-contributory) is not more common or even compulsory.