Informal assessment for a student uses assessment by means other than standardized testing. The comparison of projects, demonstrations, experiments as well as asking questions during class. Informal assessment can also be obtained by different observations within lesson assignments or discussion to see where a child falls into place within the curriculum and learning abilities.
Formal assessment means the use of standardized testing to assess the students learning ability. The tests used for assessments can also be end of chapter tests from a reading lesson to check for understanding and comprehension. These tests are more critical because there are right and wrong answers that affect the outcome of the assessment. Some school districts may require a certain assessment tests.
The comparison between the two forms of assessment really comes down to the student being assessed. Some students tense up if they are taking a pencil and paper test that has right and wrong answers. The other problem can be that a formal test with multiple choice answers can corner a student into a only choosing from a list of possible answers and not coming up with their own answer. A guess can bring a correct answer but to state your own answer can bring a better assessment of that student. Informal assessment provides quick results but the accuracy of their knowledge using this method might not be 100%. This allows a teacher to assess the student’s comprehension on their personal assessment versus the factual assessment of a formal test.
The best approach is to use a blend of both formal and informal assessments so that you can really get a feel for the student’s learning abilities or disabilities. Once the assessment is completed then you can take the correct approach to move forward with teaching.
Examples of summative assessments
Examples of formative assessments
Commercially prepared tests
Teacher made criteria- based tests
Formative assessments are appropriate when monitoring students’ progress during instruction. For example, after a new lesson has been taught and the students are working on the in- class assignment, the teacher can walk around the room and observe which students are having a difficult time understanding and which students are able to comprehend the lesson well.
Summative assessments are appropriate at the end of the unit, grading period or course. These evaluations are used in 3 ways: to assess how much the student has learned and achieved, to provide information to base students’ grades, and to provide information in which reports to parents and transcripts will reflect.
Authentic statements or assessments are assessments that are used to determine a child’s skills and abilities in real world situations like problem solving and possible situation they will encounter in their life. During this, kind of assessment students demonstrate ideas and combine that with the knowledge to have real world applications.
Summative assessments are used to determine the point at which the student is in the learning process. The teacher is able to see firsthand what materials the students have or have not learned when using this type of assessment. Summative Assessments are given to measure the outcome of the student’s achievement. A summative assessment is primarily used for the student’s final grade, so the teacher is able to assess the means and accountability.
Formative assessments are used to determine the students learning retention during the lesson. In this assessment the teacher is able to gain feedback throughout the lesson so that if there are any changes that need to be made he or she can do so in a timely manner. Formative assessment demonstrates the students’ individual strengths and weaknesses before the final grades are given. This type of assessment is not as demanding on the students and the students are able to perform without stress.