Student Assessments

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Student Assessments by Mind Map: Student Assessments

1. Diagnostic

1.1. Definition:

1.1.1. A pre-assessment that is used to identify a student's abilities and readiness to acquire the knowledge and skills outlined in the curriculum expectations.

1.2. Purpose:

1.2.1. Can be used to to assist the teacher in developing lesson plans and providing differentiated instruction to meet children’s needs.

1.3. Advantage:

1.3.1. Allows the teacher to remediate students and adjust the curriculum to meet each students’s unique needs.

1.4. Disadvantage:

1.4.1. Tests can be time consuming and the results often do not provide an absolute measure of the student's achievement.

1.5. Design:

1.5.1. For Learning - These allow the teacher to pre-assess the students' knowledge so that the learning plan can be tailored to the students' needs.

1.6. Example:

1.6.1. Give students a pre-test to access what they already know, as well as which areas need improvement.

2. Formative

2.1. Definition:

2.1.1. Assessments that teachers use to conduct in-process evaluations of student comprehension, learning needs, and academic progress during a lesson, unit, or course.

2.2. Purpose:

2.2.1. Can help the teacher to identify skills or concepts that students are struggling with.

2.3. Advantage:

2.3.1. These are not graded, which lessens anxiety for the students. This method allows teachers to address issues early on instead of waiting until the end of a unit.

2.4. Disadvantage:

2.4.1. Teachers may feel rushed through a unit due to the extra time that formative assessments require. Students often do not take the assessments seriously because they "don't count".

2.5. Design:

2.5.1. For Learning - These allow teachers to gauge students' learning and understanding of material during instruction.

2.6. Example:

2.6.1. Give students an exit ticket at the end of class.

3. Summative

3.1. Definition:

3.1.1. Assessments used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period.

3.2. Purpose:

3.2.1. Used to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against a standard or benchmark.

3.3. Advantage:

3.3.1. Results of these assessment can help teachers make changes to future lesson plans to better serve students' learning experiences. Teachers can assess if students have reached the intended learning objectives at the end of a unit.

3.4. Disadvantage:

3.4.1. These assessments are generally not differentiated, and can cause anxiety for certain students. Often do not give students ample opportunity to fully show what they have learned.

3.5. Design:

3.5.1. Of Learning - These typically are given at the end of learning to assess if the material was learned.

3.6. Example:

3.6.1. Give students a unit test or final exam.

4. Performance-based

4.1. Definition:

4.1.1. Assessment that allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills, and material that they have learned.

4.2. Purpose:

4.2.1. Used to measure how well students can apply or use what they know, often in real-world situations.

4.3. Advantage:

4.3.1. Students are responsible for their own learning and self-assessment.

4.4. Disadvantage:

4.4.1. Teacher evaluations are often inconsistent from student to student.

4.5. Design:

4.5.1. Of Learning - These typically are given at the end of learning to give the students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.

4.6. Example:

4.6.1. Give students a real-world crisis situation task in which they are required to use math to figure out how to save those in need.

5. High-stakes

5.1. Definition:

5.1.1. Assessments that have significant consequences tied to the performance of the students on the test.

5.2. Purpose:

5.2.1. Test scores are used to determine student, teacher, and school performance.

5.3. Advantage:

5.3.1. Allows teachers to learn more about how to tailor their lesson plans to meet the needs of the students.

5.4. Disadvantage:

5.4.1. Some subjects are given minimal attention, like social studies and science.

5.5. Design:

5.5.1. Of Learning - These are typically given at the end of the year to assess students' learning.

5.6. Example:

5.6.1. Students are given the AzMerit test at year-end.

6. Portfolio

6.1. Definition:

6.1.1. Assessment used as an evaluation tool to document student learning through a series of student-developed artifacts.

6.2. Purpose:

6.2.1. Used to document students' cumulative learning and progress throughout the year.

6.3. Advantage:

6.3.1. Provides students with review resources and opportunity for reflection of their own work throughout the year.

6.4. Disadvantage:

6.4.1. These are often time-consuming for teachers and students. Grading takes a considerable more amount of time in comparison to a written exam.

6.5. Design:

6.5.1. Of Learning - The portfolios serve as documentation of what the students have learned over the semester or year.

6.6. Example:

6.6.1. Students will add math work, activities, and projects to their math portfolio.

7. Authentic

7.1. Definition:

7.1.1. Assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.

7.2. Purpose:

7.2.1. Used to determine if students can apply new knowledge or skills outside of the classroom.

7.3. Advantage:

7.3.1. Requires higher-order thinking skills. Demonstrates what students know rather than what they remember.

7.4. Disadvantage:

7.4.1. These assessments are subjective in comparison to a typical standardized test. No accountability under NCLB.

7.5. Design:

7.5.1. Of Learning - Students demonstrate what they have learned at the end of a unit or the year.

7.6. Example:

7.6.1. Students are given an open-response question that allows the teacher to assess the students' real-world understanding and analytical processing.

8. Self-assessment

8.1. Definition:

8.1.1. Assessment where students grade assignments or activities based on a teacher's benchmarks.

8.2. Purpose:

8.2.1. Allows students to improve their understanding of course materials and allows them to evaluate themselves.

8.3. Advantage:

8.3.1. Encourages student involvement and accountability. Enhances development of students' judgment skills.

8.4. Disadvantage:

8.4.1. Some students may not be mature enough for the task of self-assessment. These may cause more work for the teacher.

8.5. Design:

8.5.1. For Learning - Students learn to assess themselves while learning, and helps them to identify their own strengths and weakness during the learning process.

8.6. Example:

8.6.1. Students are given a project and rubric and are asked to evaluate their performance.

9. Peer Assessment

9.1. Definition:

9.1.1. Process through which students and instructors share in the evaluation of student work.

9.2. Purpose:

9.2.1. Allows students to deepen their understanding of their own learning and empowers them to become more actively engaged and self-directed in their own learning processes.

9.3. Advantage:

9.3.1. An extra pair of eyes can help students to spot mistakes that they might have missed.  Knowing that a peer reviewing their work first may give students an extra level of comfort.

9.4. Disadvantage:

9.4.1. Peers might given inaccurate feedback to each other.

9.5. Design:

9.5.1. Of Learning - Students demonstrate what they learn at the end of a unit or lesson and the work is assessed by peers.

9.6. Example:

9.6.1. Students are given a unit project, which is first assessed by peer review.

10. References

10.1. Dumit, N. Y. (2012). Diagnostic/formative/summative assessment. Retrieved from:

10.2. List of Pros and Cons of High Stakes Testing (2015). Retrieved from:

10.3. Performance-Based Assessment: Making Math Relevant (2015). Retrieved from:

10.4. Sasser, N (n.d.). What Are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Formative Assessment. Retrieved from:

10.5. Stanford University. Student self-assessment. Retrieved from:

10.6. Peer Assessment. (n.d.). Retrieved from:

10.7. What is Authentic Assessment? (n.d.). Retrieved from: