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4 The Relationship between Formative and Summative Assessment -- In the Classroom and Beyond
Pages 59-78

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From page 59...
... As judge and jury, the teacher makes summative judgments about a student's achievement at a specific point in time for purposes of placement, grading, accountability, and informing parents and future teachers about student performance. Often In our current system, all of the purposes and elements of assessment are not mutually supportive, and can even This chapter discusses the relationships between formative and summative assessments- both in the classroom and externally.
From page 60...
... Scientificproblemsolv~ng skids and procedural knowIedge require working with ideas, data, and equipment in an environment conducive to investigation and expenmentation. Inquiry, a central component of the Standards, involves asking questions, planning, designing and conducting experiments, analyzing and interpreting data, and drawing conclusions.
From page 61...
... to document progress and achievement and to contribute to a supportive learning environment They found Mat many aspects of the portfolio and the portfolio process provided assessment opportunities that contributed to improved work through feedback, conversations about content and quality, and other assessment-relevant discussions. The collection also can serve to demonstrate progress and inform and support sumrnative evaluations.
From page 62...
... Some of the activities in these summative assessments provide questions and procedures that Knight, In a different context, be useful for formative purposes. For example, rescheduling summative assessments can contribute to their usefulness to teachers and students for formative purposes.
From page 63...
... TABLE 4- ] Framework of Assessment Approaches and Methods HOW MIGHT WE ASSESS STUDENT LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM?
From page 64...
... A single-letter grade or the score on an end-of-unit test does not make student progress explicit, nor does either provide students and teachers with information that might further their understandings or inform their learning. A "C" on a project or on a report card indicates that a student did not do exemplary work, but beyond that, there is plenty of room for interpretation and ambiguity.
From page 65...
... Grading practices can be modified, however, so that they adhere to acceptable standards for summative assessments and at He same time convey important information that can be used to improve work in a way that is relatively easy to read end understand. Mark Wilson and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley have devised one such plan for the assessment system designed for the SEPUP (Science Education for Public Understanding Program)
From page 66...
... 130) Dr~niong-Water Quality Exploring Sensory Thresholds Concentration Mapping Death John Snow Contaminated Water Chlorination Chicken Little, Chicken Big Lethal Toxicity Risk Comparison _Injection Problem Peru Story C-2 Appendix C _ _ 0~ ClASSROOM ASSESSMENT AND THE NATIONAl SCIENCE EDUCATION SJANDARDS
From page 67...
... ~B[[ 4-2 Continued fleck, ~ and ~ .
From page 68...
... The scoring guide also can provide summative assessments at any given point. Scoring Gulde: Evidence and Tradeoffs (ET)
From page 69...
... Teachers can use the standards or goals to help guide Weir own classroom assessments and observations and also to help Hem support work or learning In a particular area where sufficient achievement has not been met. Devising a criter~on-based scale to record progress and make summative judgments poses difficulties of its own.
From page 70...
... What these terms mean operation ally vanes slightly for the kinds of assessments Mat occur each day In the classroom among teacher and in the form of externally designed exams. For example, the ongoing classroom assessment that relies on immediate feedback provides different types of opportunities for follow-up when compared to a typical testing situation assessment.
From page 71...
... Likewise, they should be looking for furler assessment data Mat could help them to support their students' learning. LARGE-SCALE, EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT— THE CURRENT SYSTEM AND NEED FOR REFORM ~rge-scale assessments at the district, state and national levels are conducted for different purposes: to formulate policy, monitor the effects of policies and enforce them, make comparisons, monitor progress towards goals, evaluate programs, and for accountability purposes (NRC, ~ What am ~ interested in measuring?
From page 72...
... The lack of coherence among the different levels of assessment within the system, often leaves teachers, schools and districts torn between mandated external testing policies and practices, and the responsibilities of teachers to use assessment in the service of learning. These large-scale tests, which often command greater esteem than classroom assessments, create a tension for formative and summative assessment and a challenge for exemplary classroom practice (Black, 1998; Frederiksen, 1984; Smith & Rottenberg, 19911.
From page 73...
... Assessing inquiry skills may require extended investigations and can be documented through portfolios of work as it unfolds. Educators need to be cautious, deliberate, and aware of the strong influence of high-stakes, external tests on classroom practice specific to Me ins~uchon emphasis and its assessment (Frederiksen, 1984; Gifford & O'Connor, 1992; Goodiad, 1984; Popham, 1992; Restack & Resn~ck, 1991; Rothman, 1995; Shepard, 1995; Smith et al., 1991; Wolf, Bixby et al., 1991)
From page 74...
... A long-term inquiry that constitutes a genuine scientific investigation, for example, cannot be captured in a single test or even In a performance assessment allotted for a single class period. LEARNING FROM CURRENT REFORM Beyond A Single Test Several states and districts are making strides in expanding external testing beyond traditional notions of testing to include more teacher involvement and to better align classroom and external summative assessments, so to better support teaching and learning.
From page 75...
... To help ensure consistency among different teachers in moderation sessions, teachers exchange samples of student work and discuss their respective assessments of Me work. These deliberations, In which the standards for judging quality work are discussed, have proved effective in developing consistency in scoring by the teachers.
From page 76...
... Some productive steps for reducing tensions include relying on a variety of assessment forms and measures and considering the purposes for the assessment and the subsequent form the assessment and its reporting takes. · Test results should be used appropriately, not to make over judgments that are not justified by student scores on such tests.
From page 77...
... These teacher assessments need to be developed and tapped to best utilize Me information Tat only teachers possess to augment even the best designed paper-and-pencil or performance-based test. · System-level changes are needed to reduce tensions between formative and summative assessments.


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