What is assessment for learning?
“Assessment for learning”, also often called “formative assessment”, refers to assessment (methods) used by teachers and students to gather evidence of students learning. The information is used to adjust the teaching process and to provide feedback to the students about their learning process and achievement of the learning goals. Assessment FOR learning differs from assessment OF learning, also often called “summative learning. To get a quick overview, see <here>.
What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?
Formative: Is an assessment approach where assessment is seen as part of the teaching or instructional process. The purpose of formative assessment is to help students in their learning. So assessment is used in a diagnostically way. Formative assessment make it possible to adjust your teaching or to adjust student's learning based on the provided information. Feedback and student involvement are very important in this assessment approach. Here you can find an overall schedule of formative assessment tools.
Summative: Is an assessment method based on norms or criteria to evaluate at a certain point what students know and don't know after a specific period. Mainly summative assessment is used to measure student's learning in comparison with others, to grade their level of learning for the purpose of getting their final degree, or to see if your teaching resulted in the level of learning you expected. Summative assessment doesn't give you a lot of insights into the learning process of students, and also makes it very difficult to adjust teaching or learning very fast (during the course). Validity, reliability and transparency are very import in this assessment approach.