Skip to content

Summative Assessment

How do you create meaningful assessments of student learning?

Whether you are testing at the end of a unit or the end of a course, we see many repetitions of traditional testing: midterms, finals, essays, and presentations. These methods work well–especially when higher-order thinking is part of the assessment.  Yet, given a particular learning situation, what assessment is the best match?

Authentic assessment is a term encompassing meaningful, worthwhile, and “real world” tasks.

Here are a few other ideas for summative assessments that might produce authentic tasks for your students:

Collaborative Exams

“Talking during the Test”

“Group Exams and Tests”

Bloom, D. 2009. Collaborative Test Taking: Benefits for Learning and Retention.  College Teaching 57.4

“The results of a two-year study indicate that collaborative testing is a valuable pedagogical strategy that can both assess and enhance student learning. After finishing their first attempt at each exam, students were given a second attempt either working collaboratively in small groups or individually with open books and notes. Collaborative testing consistently produced significantly higher test scores.”

Portfolios

http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/portfolios.htm

International Journal of ePortfolio (IJeP) includes articles about using e-portfolios in assessment. Articles are available as pdf files.

Case Studies

Problem Based Case Learning: http://www.makinglearningreal.org/tools.html

Teaching with Cases: http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/projects/casemethod/teaching.html

Other Examples

By discipline (see the college list):
http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/examples/authentictaskexamples.htm

A new way to assess student learning: http://www.magnapubs.com/blog/teaching-and-learning/a-new-way-to-assess-student-learning/

The Economics Network http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/showcase/assessment

Better Multiple Choice

http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/multiple-choice-exam-theory/45275

http://arts.monash.edu.au/philosophy/peer-instruction/using/mcq-advice.php

Grading with Rubrics  

See our “How-To” paper on Rubrics.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.