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Assessments by Mind Map: Assessments

1. Diagnostic

1.1. Definition and Purpose

1.1.1. Diagnostic assessments are also known as "pre assessments" because they are designed to see where a student is at before the lesson/unit begins. They give teachers and students an understanding of what students already know in order to appropriate plan for future learning. A diagnostic assessment can also be given mid-unit to determine if students remember a topic/idea that is essential to understand the upcoming topic/idea. (

1.2. Advantages/Disadvantages

1.2.1. Advantages An advantage of this type of assessment is that it allows teachers and students to see how much they know of a specific idea/topic. It also then helps teachers plan further lessons based on that information, and helps students see what they need to work on.

1.2.2. Disadvantages

1.3. OF or FOR Learning

1.3.1. Diagnostic testing is FOR learning because it tells students how they are doing and helps them plan for future success.

1.4. Example

1.4.1. One example of a diagnostic assessment that I use in my classroom is a pre-unit assessment. This would consist of some vocabulary and grammar points that students need to remember in order to move ahead with the new unit. For example, if I am getting ready to start a unit on the preterite tense in Spanish, I would give a diagnostic test on the present-tense endings in Spanish to ensure that students remember that concept because it is essential to understanding the preterite-tense endings.

1.5. Diagnostic and Formative Assessment. (2015, June 13). Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

2. Summative

2.1. Definition and Purpose

2.1.1. Summative assessments are taken after all learning has occurred. Little is done after a summative assessment has been given because it is generally viewed as the final activity before moving on to a new topic.

2.2. Advantages/Disadvantages

2.2.1. Advantages The advantage of summative assessments is that is it allows us to give students a concrete number/grade to show their learning throughout the year. This information can be used to create data that can then be utilized to further drive student growth. Teachers and staff can use summative assessment results to determine how students are achieving on a long-term basis throughout the course of the year and make changes/improvements as necessary.

2.2.2. Disadvantages The disadvantages of summative assessments is that not all students perform well on these types of tests. They are often not differentiated to meet student's needs. Summative assessments are also not generally revisited after completion, meaning that students do not have the opportunity to revise their errors and attempt a higher level of mastery.

2.3. OF or FOR Learning

2.3.1. Summative assessments are an assessment OF learning because they tell teachers how students are doing. They do not involve students in the process because students have no involvement in the process and it is not used to tell the student how they are doing.

2.4. Example

2.4.1. One of my students' favorite summative assessments is the culminating projects for a clothing unit in Spanish. After students have been assessed on the various components of the chapter (vocabulary, grammar, writing, etc), they create a fashion show in Spanish to demonstrate their mastery. Students decide on their outfits and create a script to describe what their partner is wearing. Then they present to the class during our fashion show, complete with music and a runway. This assessment allows me to see how well students were able to put all the information together to create a real product in the language.

3. High Stakes

3.1. Definition and Purpose

3.1.1. High-stakes testing is a type of test that has significant implications based on the results of student performance. Usually, this affects things like funding, structure, etc. - not individual students. The overall goal is intended to be that student achievement is increased. The data from testing is used to create future improvement plans and can identify areas of concern for a school or district. (

3.2. Advantages/Disadvantages

3.2.1. Advantages High stakes testing can benefit schools if the students perform well. This type of testing

3.2.2. Disadvantages If students perform poorly, the school may lose privilege of choosing materials, resources, or even teaching privileges. At my school, we also have a problem with students not putting any effort into these types of tests because they see no benefit. They don't see their scores and their scores have no impact on their schooling. Unfortunately, these tests can be beneficial to my school because we receive money if they do well, but students do not care about this. The data from these tests is also used to plan for future structure and curriculum, but doesn't always accurately reflect student learning because the students didn't attempt to do well.

3.3. OF or FOR Learning

3.3.1. High stakes testing is definitely an assessment OF learning because students have no involvement in the process. Once the test is taken, they don't even get to review how they did and what could be done differently.

3.4. Example

3.4.1. An example of high-stakes testing in my school are the PSSA tests. These are a standardized test that all public schools in Pennsylvania are required to administer. Beginning next year, they have also implemented the rule that all students are required to pass the tests by their junior year or they can not graduate.

3.5. Braden, J., & Schroeder, J. (2004). HIGH-STAKES TESTING AND NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND: INFORMATION AND STRATEGIES FOR EDUCATORS. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

4. Formative

4.1. Definition and Purpose

4.1.1. Formative assessments should occur frequently throughout every lesson. These assessments are conducted quickly by the teacher as a way to gauge students' understanding of the lesson. Using the information from a formative assessment, the teacher can adjust the lesson to fiit the learners needs. (OECD)

4.2. Advantages/Disadvantages

4.2.1. Advantages Studies have shown the large achievement gains as a result of formative assessments. Additionally, underachieving students have shown particular improvements. (OECD)

4.2.2. Disadvantages Because some formative assessments ask students to assess how they "feel" about their understanding of a topic, it can be an inaccurate judgement of mastery. Formative assessments also provide no data in regards to student achievement, something that many officials in the school desire.

4.3. OF or FOR Learning

4.3.1. Formative assessments are an assessment OF learning because the teacher is mainly taking the results and using them to tailor her lesson. The student has little involvement in the process or adjusting the learning plan.

4.4. Example

4.4.1. "Thumbs up, thumbs down" is a formative assessment that I like to use in class because it's quick and allows me to see all students' responses at once. It also takes the pressure off the student because all heads are down and students can't see each other's response. This eliminates the fear of giving the incorrect response. I use the assessment with a variety of questions. For example, I ask true/false questions about a translated sentence or grammatical topic. Another great formative assessment that uses technology is a website called This website is a great tool that allows teachers to type a few questions that students answer via their phones, iPads, tablets, etc. Then, the live results can be projected in the room so students and teachers can quickly see the level of understanding.

4.5. Formative Assessment: Improving Learning in Secondary Classrooms. (2005, November 1). Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

5. Self and Peer Assessment

5.1. Definition and Purpose

5.1.1. Self assessment involves students reflecting on their own performance and learning. Peer assessment requires students to assess each other using a specified set of criteria. Both types of assessments are designed to involve students in the process and teach them to critically judge their own work. (

5.2. Advantages/Disadvantages

5.2.1. Advantages Peer assessments are advantageous because students become part of the process of learning. It may even encourage some students to do better work because they know they will be judged by their peers. Self assessment, in the same way, involves the student in their own learning process and forces them to reflect upon their own work. Both types of assessment build students' critical thinking skills, an essential skill even beyond the classroom.

5.2.2. Disadvantages Self and Peer assessments can require more work on the part of the teacher because students need to be taught how to critically and fairly assess the work. This requires teaching about rubrics, modeling, practicing, etc. Some students will also give themselves or others grades that are too high, which gives an inaccurate reflection of the mastery.

5.3. OF or FOR Learning

5.3.1. Self and Peer assessments are an assessment FOR learning because it isn't (or shouldn't be) the final assessment of learning. Generally, self and peer assessments are used as a way to students to see where they are at and how they can improve for the final product. When used this way, it is for learning as it is a tool for growth and progress.

5.4. Example

5.4.1. I use peer assessments most with writing assignments in class. Last year, I had students write a paper on Che Guevara after spending a week studying various aspects of his life. The paper had a set of specific criteria that students needed to address - both regarding the topic and the language. Then, we spent time in class discussing the rubric and I put students in pairs to assess each other's work. I gave students a checklist that they were supposed to do was read the paper and look for each of the specific items on the checklist, then check it off. Finally, they were to offer 1 compliment and 1 suggestion. The essential part of this process that I missed, however, was modeling the peer editing process for students. Most of the kids just quickly read through their partner's paper and didn't thoroughly check through everything. Next time, I will take a full class period to go through examples and teach how to grade with a rubric and checklist.

5.5. Self and peer assessment – advantages and disadvantages. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

6. Authentic and Performance-based

6.1. Defintion and Purpose

6.1.1. Authentic assessments differ from traditional types of assessments because they involve more real-world tasks. Rather than traditional multipole choice, short answer, etc., authentic assessments require students to apply information in a real-world problem. Another name often used to describe Authentic assessments is "Performance" assessment. Authentic assessments

6.2. Advantages/Disadvantages

6.2.1. Advantages The advantage of this type of assessment is that it is engaging for students and allows them to apply information learned in the classroom to relevant situations and tasks. Authentic assessments also provide rubrics which clearly explain expectations to students.

6.2.2. Disadvantages Authentic assessments don't fit with the "teach to the test" mentality. Students do not gain exposure to the types of questions used on standardized tests with authentic assessments, and unfortunately, standardized tests make up a large portion of assessment data over the life of a student. Authentic and Performance-based assessments can also be very time consuming for the teacher to create. Careful consideration must go into the task, standards addressed, and appropriate rubrics.

6.3. OF or FOR Learning

6.3.1. Authentic assessments could be considered both an assessment OF learning and FOR learning. Because authentic assessments have rubrics, students become part of the learning process and may even have chances to check their progress throughout the course of the assessment. For example, part of the assessment could involve peer editing, which allows students to discuss their understanding with others and make adjustments to reach the learning goal. Authentic assessments are an assessment OF learning in the sense that the teacher will use the performance results to determine how a student is doing and the student, in the end, will not have the opportunity to make changes.

6.4. Example

6.4.1. (see example for Summative assessments) In addition to the description of the Fashion Show, I also include a rubric and clear guidelines for students of what to include in their skits. This ensures that all students understand what is expected for their final product.

6.5. Mueller, J. (2014). What is Authentic Assessment? (Authentic Assessment Toolbox). Retrieved June 27, 2015, from