Different Types of Assessment

Different types of assessment

  • By  Goal (definitions taken from http://www.nmsa.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspx)
    • Formative-part of the instructional process. When incorporated into classroom practice, it provides the information needed to adjust teaching and learning while they are happening. In this sense, formative assessment informs both teachers and students about student understanding at a point when timely adjustments can be made. These adjustments help to ensure students achieve, targeted standards-based learning goals within a set time frame.
    • Summative- given periodically to determine at a particular point in time what students know and do not know. Many associate summative assessments only with standardized tests such as state assessments, but they are also used at and are an important part of district and classroom programs. Summative assessment at the district/classroom level is an accountability measure that is generally used as part of the grading process.


  • By Neutrality (definitions taken from http://vudat.msu.edu/subjective_assess/)
    • Objective-Objective assessments (usually multiple choice, true false, short answer) have correct answers. These are good for testing recall of facts and can be automated. Objective tests assume that there are true answers and assume that all students should learn the same things.
    • Subjective-In subjective assessments the teacher’s judgment determines the grade. These include essay tests. Essay tests take longer to answer and they take longer to grade than objective questions and therefore only include a small number of questions, focusing on complex concepts.
  • By the entity doing it-Self assessment, for example, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-assessment, in an educational setting involves students making judgments about their own work. Assessment decisions can be made by students on their own essays, reports, projects, presentations, performances, dissertations, and even exam scripts. Self-assessment can be extremely valuable in helping students to critique their own work, and form judgments about its strengths and weaknesses. For obvious reasons, self-assessment is more usually used as part of a formative assessment process, rather than a summative one, where it requires certification by others.

Other examples of assessment by the entity doing it can be peer assessment, another person assessment, or automatic (computer) assessment.

  • By Response (definitions taken from http://www.rmcdenver.com/useguide/assessme/strategy.htm)
    • Constructed Response-Constructed response assessments include fill in the blank, short answers, show your work, and visual depiction activities. Students create answers to questions or prompts. These give teachers a better sense of how well students can convey information and demonstrate some skills like mapping, graphing, and so on. 
    • Selected Response-Selected response assessments include multiple choice, true/false, and matching tests. They are efficient ways of measuring knowledge acquisition and it is easy to set levels for performance (e.g., 18 correct out of 20 = B). However, you can’t always tell whether a student is guessing, his/her depth of knowledge, and/or ability to apply or transfer knowledge. 
  • By Mind Properties (definitions taken from http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/OR/ConsumerGuides/perfasse.html)
    • Performance Assessment-Performance assessment, also known as alternative or authentic assessment, is a form of testing that requires students to perform a task rather than select an answer from a ready-made list. For example, a student may be asked to explain historical events, generate scientific hypotheses, solve math problems, converse in a foreign language, or conduct research on an assigned topic.
    • Ability Assessment- Think “ability” test, these tests measure the level of development attained by the individual in one or more abilities.
  • By Contextualization (definitions taken from http://jonathan.mueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/whatisit.htm)
    • Authentic-An authentic assessment usually includes a task for students to perform and a rubric by which their performance on the task will be evaluated.
    • Standardized- Think standardized test
    I use most of these types of assessment in my classrom. Below I will list the types that I use and give an example of each type of assessment. 
    1. Formative Assessment: this can be done by scanning. For example during guided practice I can beam out a question and give students 30 seconds to show the solution on their whiteboard. I can check for understanding by seeing which students arrive at the right answer, allowing me to know whether or not my objective was too rigorous or too easy; and thus will allow me to know where to make adjustments.
    2. Summative Assessment: an example of this is a Benchmark assessment which is given every six weeks to measure mastery of objectives taught during that six weeks. This is a great way to know which objectives were not met and need to be retaught. This is also a way to know which students may need extra attention outside of class. 
    3. Objective Assessment: this can be done using “Exit Slips” at the end of a lesson. If students arrive at the right answer, let’s say, 4 out of 5 times, I can reasonably say that they mastered the objective.
    4. Subjective Assessment: a good example of this is an “open ended” question. I can use this to know how a student arrives at a solution. Maybe they do not come up with the correct solution. If this is the case I can follow their reasoning and see where they went wrong and what skills need to be retaught. 
    5. Constructed Response: a good example of this can also be an “open ended” question.
    6. Selected Response: multiple choice tests, fill in the blank–great to check for understanding, or good guessing.
    7. Standardized Assessment: PSSA! Giddyup! 
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