The difference between formative and summative assessment depends on your answer to this question.
HOW WILL THE RESULTS BE USED?
If you are going to use the results to judge student work, that is summative assessment. It is assessment of learning Summative assessment looks at a final product, such as a state test, and gives that product a performance score. When you discuss summative assessment, you use words like EVALUATIVE, END, and HIGH STAKES.
However, if you are going to use the results of an assessment to adjust or shape instruction, that is formative assessment. It is assessment for learning. More of a process, formative assessment includes gathering evidence of learning, interpreting that evidence, and using that evidence to determine where to go next with instruction. When discussing formative assessment, you use words like DIAGNOSTIC, ONGOING, and LOW STAKES.
Formative assessment can be quick or it can be extended. For example, you can ask students to summarize target content from a 15 minutes learning episode by composing a statement that is 15 words or less. You are looking for key terms and how those terms are connected to explain what a student understands or possibly misunderstands.
An example of an extended formative assessment might be asking students to complete a compare and contrast chart that analyzes two target components of learning, then using the chart to create a poem for two voices. While this will take more time for students to complete, you are still looking for how students use and connect key terms and important ideas.
Join me Wednesday, March 15, 2017, for the Successful Practices Network webinar, 10 UNDER 10. I will share 10 formative assessment tactics that take less than 10 minutes each.
You can register with this link. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1684848019012719107