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Summative and formative assessment

Summative and formative assessment.

Assessment approaches have evolved significantly over time. However, they remain relevant to every discipline.

This evolution concerns not only students in higher education, but also applies to the broader educational context, such as pupils in schools (Black et al., 2003).

Watch the video to find out how and why assessment approaches have evolved.

You’ll notice there’s been a drive to increase the use of formative assessment to inform the planning and delivery of the curriculum, which corresponds to the assessment for learning approach you explored in an earlier step.

Formative assessment also plays a key role in developing students’ assessment literacy, as it enables learners to practice and refine their skills before undertaking a summative assessment.

Can you think of any examples of formative assessment from your own practice?


Black, P., Harrison, C., & Lee, C. (2003). Assessment for learning: Putting it into practice. McGraw-Hill Education.

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Exploring Teaching and Assessment for Higher Education

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