Summative Assessment

ECTS Value: 2 ECTS

Contact Hours: 10

Self Study Hours: 33

Assessment Hours: 7


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module aims to inform participants about the summative assessment practices that take place at the end of a lesson or unit so that student growth after instruction is reported. It aims to focus on how summative assessment can be used to determine whether long-term learning goals have been met. It also aims to provide comprehensive knowledge about how summative assessment can be used to pan future teaching with the learner. 

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Create an effective examination paper;
b. Devise an effective marking scheme;
c. Create an effective specification grid;
d. Establish how tests and examinations can be used formatively;
e. Suggest ideas for improvement by providing tips on how to close the gap;
f. Establish how tests and examinations can help learners in the process of self-assessment;
g. Create tasks that enable learners to be engaged in a reflective review of the work they have done to enable them to plan their revision effectively;
h. Ensure that learners are given the opportunity set questions and mark answers to help them, both to understand the assessment process and to focus further efforts for improvement;
i. Ensure that learners are involved during the marking process;
j. Carry out tasks where learners can see their own examination paper, see their own mistakes and reflect on how best to improve their answers especially in view of the feedback given.


a. Define the characteristics of valid and fair tests and examinations;
b. Identify aspects of validity, reliability, usability and backwash effect;
c. Describe how tests and examinations can be used in a formative way;
d. Discuss the elementary statistics needed in understanding assessment reports;
e. Describe the impact of summative assessment on student learning;
f. Identify the advantages of using a specification grid when preparing an examination paper.


a. Demonstrate the steps needed to provide high quality formative feedback on an examination paper by providing feedback that is specific and addresses the learner’s advancement towards a goal;
b. Plan lessons that provide time to act upon the gaps highlighted by summative assessment by creating further opportunities to think during the lessons;
c. Design a plan of action of how summative assessment can be used to enhance student achievement;
d. Demonstrate an awareness of what needs to be assessed in the classroom;
e. Involve learners in the formulation of the marking schemes and therefore of the success criteria.


Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Black, P. (1993), “Formative and Summative Assessments by Teachers”, Studies in Science Education, Vol. 21, pp. 49-97.
2. Black, P.,& Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy, and Practice, 5, 7–74.
3. Bolon, C. (2000) ‘School-based Standard Testing. Education Policy Archives’. 8 (23) In D. Wiliam, (2009) Assessment for Learning: Why No Profile in US Policy, London: Sage.
4. Harlen, W. (2005) ‘Teachers’ summative practices and assessment for learning – tensions and synergies’. The Curriculum Journal, 16 ( 2), 207–23.
5. Harlen, W. and M. James (1997), “Assessment and Learning: Differences and Relationships between Formative and Summative Assessment”, Assessment in Education, Vol. 4, pp. 365-379.
6. James, M. (2004) ‘Assessment of Learning, Assessment for Learning and Personalised Learning’. Paper Presented at Goldman Sachs UK/US Conference on Urban Education. London, December.
7. McTighe, J. and Ferrara, S. (1998). Assessing Learning in the Classroom. Washington, DC: National Education Association.
8. Shepard, L.A. and K. Cutts-Dougherty (1991), “Effects of High-stakes Testing on Instruction”, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Educational Research Association.
9. Stiggins, R. J. (1998). Classroom Assessment for Student Success. Washington, DC: National Education Association.
10. Wiggins, G. (1989). A True Test: Toward More Authentic and Equitable Assessment. Phi Delta Kappan, May 1989, pp. 703-713.
11. Wiggins, G. (1998). Educative Assessment: Designing Assessments to Inform and Improve Student Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
12. Wiliam, D. (1998) ‘The Validity of Teachers’ Assessments’. Paper presented at the 22nd annual conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
13. Williams, J. and J. Ryan (2000), “National Testing and the Improvement of Classroom Teaching: Can the Coexist?”, British Educational Research Journal, Vol. 26, pp. 49-73.

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