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Assessment of Student Learning

Summary of formative & summative assessments

Types of Assessment

elements Normative                           Summative

The gathering of information about student learning-during the progression of a course, usually repeatedly, in order to improve the learning of the students currently in the course.

The gathering of information at the conclusion of a module or course to evaluate student skills and knowledge in light of learning objectives. Can be used to gauge the effectiveness of instruction and learning activities for improvement, impacting the next cohort of students taking the course.
Example Assessing lab reports or weekly journal entries to determine students if require more guidance to align their learning activity to the learning outcomes. Evaluating student final exams in a course to see if certain specific areas of the curriculum were understood less well than others.

Used to check the students' understanding and progress. Provides an opportunity for students to engage in metacognition and for instructors to adapt instruction or learning activities.

Used to assess learning and the effectiveness of instruction. Provides teachers and students with information about the attainment of learning objectives. Provides instructors with guidance for future improvements to instruction and learning activities. 


Observations of student body language, etc. 

Journal entries or lab reports

Discussion board posts/class discussions

Final speech or presentation
Culminating project
Midterm exam and final exam
Final research paper