Types of Assessments- Everything you need to know

13 min read
Types of Assessments- Everything you need to know
There are numerous types of assessments that a school can adopt to promote student learning. Unfortunately, schools had to stop in-person classes due to COVID-19, hybrid learning has become a norm. Now, schools are trying hard to sustain the quality of

One of the ways to evaluate a student’s progress is through assessments and exams. And assessing them in a meaningful way can motivate and empower them to become better individuals for the future.

Types of Assessments- Everything you need to know

To start off, authentic assessment examples show boost in children’s performance and ability throughout the academic year. Each assessment type has a different purpose and aims for the student. However, these assessments can be a nightmare for students, especially if they suffer from anxiety. And even for teachers, it can be a daunting task. They have to thoroughly check and grade papers to determine a student’s progress.

Purpose of Different Types of Assessments

Occasionally, the assessments are very hard to formulate according to children’s needs. Studies show that making a standardized test is of utmost importance to assess children’s progress. Note that teachers know that a student’s progress is not only on the report card.

Assessments are important since they provide timely feedback to guardians as to how the children are performing academically. Besides, it also reflects on how children incorporate the things taught in class.

Hence, providing different assessment options to children can help them perform better according to their strengths. In educational institutes, there are different purposes for each exam. These are often divided into three different purposes, which include:

Assessment of Learning

Assessment of learning refers to the use of examinations to help teachers determine whether children are on their grade-level standard or not. Teachers usually determine it with the help of grades. There are different ways a teacher can do this, which include:

  • Portfolios
  • Tests
  • Class Projects
  • Bi-annual Examinations

Assessing the performance on the above-mentioned criteria, a teacher establishes a concrete grade for the student. The overall grade helps related stakeholders, such as parents and school administration, determine a student’s progress.

Assessment of Learning

Assessments of Learning

The purpose of the assessment is that it helps the teacher formulate a clear image of the student learning as they teach. Assessment of learning allows the teacher to adapt and form different strategies to help student growth. Moreover, it also enables teachers to make changes to their lesson plans and management strategies going forward.

The assessment of learning is always actionable and ongoing. Whenever a teacher asks questions, they keep some essential aspects in mind. It enables the teacher to determine if there are any shortcomings in the lesson plan and children’s overall progress.

There are numerous ways a teacher can use this benefit of assessment. Moreover, they can also prove to be helpful for students too.

Assessments of Learning

Assessment as Learning

Another core purpose of an assessment is practicing assessment as learning. With the help of assessments, teachers are able to involve students in class discussions and formulate a collaborative approach.

Assessments help children develop critical thinking skills and evoke a sense of curiosity. Moreover, it also helps them formulate achievable goals and objectives for the future. It can be highly rewarding for mathematics and other challenging subjects that require children to pay attention. With the help of assessment as learning, the teacher points out the target knowledge, which helps in engaging the classroom.

Assessment as Learning

The Six Authentic Assessment Examples

Assessments are a core aspect of determining a child’s progress. However, teachers may find themselves with a plethora of options when they begin determining which type of assessment will be the best to go forward with.

Although there are numerous ways to assess a student’s progress, we have identified the top six to help establish a seamless process for the teachers to choose. Here are a few creative ways teachers can conduct assessments and understand a child’s progress.

1.    Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic assessments are developed to help the teacher get appropriate information about how each individual goes about the examination. It will help the teacher determine the best methods that they can incorporate in their teaching styles and establish a uniform approach for each student. A few examples of how teachers can perform diagnostic assessments are given down below:

  • Short quizzes and verbal tests
  • Journal entries
  • Interviews and general questions
  • Different discussions inside classrooms
  • Student reflection and interviews

The diagnostic assessment also helps set a benchmark for a student’s progress. For example, a teacher can give the same assessment that was taught when the class ends, helping them know how well the students are using the lessons taught in the classroom.

Many teachers have also used the help of game-based examinations for better engagement and high student interest. They can be useful for complex topics such as mathematics and science. It will help students by providing additional guidance and pre-requisites.

Diagnostic Assessment

2.    Summative Assessment

The summative assessments help teachers measure the student’s progress through their learning ability. These summative tests ensure to provide data to the teachers, school, and district leaders. While these assessments can prove efficient in providing feedback to students, they may not be able to give a detailed overall progress report to stakeholders involved in the process.

A typical example of a summative assessment is a standardized test. Preparing students for a standardized test can be difficult for the teacher since it may
and effort. However, teachers have adopted different strategies to create intriguing assessments for the students. A few common examples include:
  • Recording a podcast or a video on the lesson
  • Writing scripts and plays for the related topic
  • Collaborative study projects

A summative assessment does not mean that a teacher can’t make it intriguing. In fact, all they need to do is keep a few guidelines on their mind while practicing summative assessments and provide examples from real-life experiences to help students imagine the scenario. Teachers should try blind-grading when checking assessments, which prevents them from being biased.

Summative Assessment

3.    Formative Assessment

With the help of formative assessments, the teachers are able to understand the level of students’ learning abilities. It helps the teachers focus on adopting different techniques and efforts to give the best learning experience to students inside the classroom. They are able to implement these changes swiftly and incorporate them into their teaching style.

Formative assessments mostly focus on providing a meaningful learning experience that boosts students’ engagement and solidifies their learning abilities. Implementing this approach will help in keeping track of the progress in an ever-changing class environment.

It may require that you invest a few resources, but in the long run, it will prove to be an efficient implementation. Below, you can find a few examples of formative assessment:

  • Group Projects and Collaborations
  • Progress Reports
  • Class Discussions
  • Occasional Quizzes
  • Virtual Learning

Whenever a teacher prepares for a formative assessment, they need to ensure that it is short, concise, and according to students’ needs. These steps can help improve the overall effectiveness of the implementation and also reduce math anxiety in some cases.

Formative Assessment

4.    Ipsative Assessments

Many students often get a bad grade and get discouraged easily. It results in a constant downward slope towards bad results and progress that hinders their growth. To help tackle these problems, Ipsative assessment is used.

These types of assessments usually compare the past result of the students with the latest results. Ipsative assessment is an authentic assessment example that is used in many leading educational institutes. By adopting this method, an institute makes sure that students stay right on track and keep improving with the help of goals and objectives.

Experts believe that the students should be given time and resources to work on their shortcomings and skills. This is the same way they need time and attention when practicing music or writing. Educational experts believe that slowly and gradually, a student will be able to improve their shortcomings and improve exponentially.

 The use of Ipsative assessments also helps reduce instant gratification and helps students focus on long-term goals and objectives. A few common examples of Ipsative assessment include:

  • Portfolios
  • Avid-testing process
  • Project-based learning

The feedback of the teacher can help the student understand problems with their content and ensure a stable and swift way to improve their grades. Moreover, this practice emphasizes learning rather than memorization. Not only can teachers compare grades, but they can also compare other efforts, such as their reading and speaking abilities.

Ipsative Assessments

5.    Criterion-Referenced Assessments

This method refers to the comparison of a student’s performance in the given criteria. This practice can help teachers know how the student’s effort compares to the pre-determined requirements. On numerous occasions, teachers use the help of end-of-year assessments and final tests to assess the student’s performance.

These assessments are often used in professional examinations such as licensing and high-school exit exams. These tests require a certain percentage of correct questions for a student to pass. The overall grading is easier for the teacher. Each student gets a  result that quantifies their strengths and weaknesses. Often, they take the shape of short questionnaires or multiple-choice questions.

Criterion-Referenced Assessments

6.    Norm-Referenced Assessments

The last types of assessments on our list are norm-referenced assessments. These are designed and created to compare a particular student with their peers. This adopts a relatively opposite approach when compared to Ipsative techniques of examination.

With the help of this assessment, the teachers are able to draw out a detailed conclusion for a student from a pool of data. Some of the examples of norm-referenced assessments include:

  • IQ tests
  • Standardized tests and Questionnaires
  • Physical Assessments

A backlash of using this technique is the concern that it might discriminate against students belonging to low-income or minority backgrounds. But if we look at the overall benefits, it’s influential in providing details about the grade readiness, language ability, and college admission decisions.

Even previous data is a great way for teachers to judge and determine a student’s overall progress.

Norm-Referenced Assessments

Mixing Up the Types of Assessments

A common tactic that educators use is mixing the types of assessments to get the desired optimum results. The assessment learning may prove to be a significant learning and grading method. However, combining them may prove more efficient and worthy compared to using only a single throughout the period.

The different techniques may foster growth in students and enable them to become better at their studies. Moreover, students will face a variety of test and assessment methods throughout their life, and adopting this strategy might help them prepare for the future.

The ultimate goal of any assessment would be to help students improve in their overall studies. Besides, the type of assessment a teacher chooses has a big impact on how the student progresses.

Mixing Up the Types of Assessments

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, learning should not only be dependent on how well a student can memorize. Rather, it should also take other aspects, such as practical skills and efforts, into account. Using the same types of assessments over and over may prove to be ineffective. Therefore, teachers should focus on adopting several assessment techniques to add value to students’ learning.