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Summative and formative assessment

[journal article]

Taras, Maddalena

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Abstract Assessment is critically important to education both for accreditation and to support learning. Yet the literature dealing with formative and summative assessment definitions and terminology is not aligned. This article reports an empirical small-scale study of lecturers in Education at an English university. The research posits that these lecturers, owing to the inconsistencies and infelicities in the literature, will have an incomplete and unharmonious understanding of summative and formative assessment and the relationship between the two. The results show that lecturers' understanding of assessment terminology and relationships reflects the fragmented theoretical and practical frameworks available. This study would seem to signal the need for us all to examine our assessment processes in order to (i) be clear and explicit on what we do, (ii) understand how assessment processes relate to each other, and (iii) evaluate how they impact on our practice and our students.
Free Keywords assessment; formative; practice; summative; theory;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 172-192
Journal Active Learning in Higher Education, 9 (2008) 2
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)