A summative assessment is used to assess learning and understanding of a broad concept or curriculum. This type of assessment summarizes a student's understanding of a group of concepts at a particular time and almost always comes at the conclusion of a unit, period of time, or an entire school course. Summative assessment is designed to measure student understanding of required learning objectives that have been taught. The results of these assessments determine a student’s overall understanding or mastery of the assessed subject.
According to the Eberly Center of Teaching Excellence, “The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
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The use of summative assessments allowed me to “meet the standards and provided the students with the opportunity to demonstrate the understanding of important ideas” as indicated by the National Academies. Throughout this project, the students are assessed in a variety of ways, not one of which is a test. It includes a several projects and a variety of tasks that are graded and a presentation at the end to demonstrate what they have learned. For this unit, the students research a historical person, such as George Washington, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Cleopatra, etc.
They are required to research the person, write a paper on the person they chose, discussing why they chose the person and how he/she contributed/changed history. They had to create an art (or music) project that related to the person in some way, for example one student chose Babe Ruth and created a 3-D baseball field. The final project was to dress the part of the person they chose, create a backdrop and present an “autobiographical” speech, as if it were a wax museum.
The students were highly motivated throughout the project. This motivation may have been because it was such a “hands-on” activity and allowed them to learn a considerable amount of information on their own. This motivation could also have been because they knew that parents, teachers, students from other grades, community members and more were