The Relevance of Formative and Summative Assessment: Enhancing Transparency in Evaluation by Using iCloudEMS
The term ‘Evaluation’ is an embodiment of a specific and transparent process of assessment of the performance of the learners of a specific course/program in the educational Institutes, for a specific program that aims to measure the potential, abilities, and skills of learners in the areas of cognitive approach of understanding or comprehending a subject or course or program in an effective way. However, the process of assessment facilitates both the course instructors as well as learners to monitor their progress towards achieving learning objectives and the desired goals conforming to the course syllabi/curriculum and expectations or visions of the institute. Generally, there are two types of assessments to measure the progress of the learners—A Formative Assessment and A Summative Assessment.
A Formative Assessment procedure refers to the teaching-learning and the assessment tools used throughout a class or course that help both the assessor and the assessed identify misconceptions, struggles, and learning gaps, while assessing and finding out ways to overcome or eliminate such gaps. A Formative Assessment process also facilitates learners to take ownership of their learning styles or give independent ways of learning styles when they understand its goals to pace and improve learning styles or achieve learning outcomes. Preferably, formative assessment strategies facilitate teaching and learning simultaneously. Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick suggest a Seven Principle Model (2007) that can enrich instructor’s strategies while rendering formative assessment to maintain transparency in evaluation, motivate learners, and enrich their learning experiences:
- Keep clear criteria for what defines good performance
- Encourage students’ self-reflection
- Give students detailed, actionable feedback
- Encourage teacher and peer dialogue around learning
- Promote positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem
- Provide opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance
A Summative Assessment helps the course instructor evaluate learners’ learning potentials and styles, comprehension, knowledge gained during interaction or learning of the course, proficiency, or success after the completion of a unit, course, or program. Further, Summative Assessments are almost always formally graded and often heavily weighted (though they do not need to be). Summative assessment can be used to great effect in conjunction and alignment with formative assessment. Because summative assessments are usually higher stakes than formative assessments, it is especially important to ensure that the assessment aligns with the goals and expected outcomes of instruction. The following points may be considered for deliberation on the process of summative assessment to maintain transparency in evaluation, and motivate learners:
- Use a Rubric or Table of Specifications
- Design Clear, Effective Questions
- Assess Comprehensiveness
- Make Parameters Clear
- Consider Blind Grading
The above pointers pertaining to the formative and summative assessment of learners clearly indicate that they are not only different in nature, but they also require separate strategies and plans to maintain transparency in the assessment of learners’ performance. The course instructors, therefore, need to design activities, tests etc. by considering their separate roles.
The Role of the Digital Platform—iCloudEMS in Enhancing Transparency in the Process of Evaluation and the Stakeholders’ Feedback
In the recent years, the Digital Platform—iCloudEMS has not only proved to be an integral part of the Education Technology (ET) to support the young and vibrant learners of the 21st century fulfill their dreams, but it has also focused on the universal call for education to all for the betterment of humans. It has bridged the gap between the academic institutes and the learners or parent or stakeholders by facilitating them with the free access to view the learners or wards performance at any time and anywhere. Further, it has eased the process of evaluation or assessment of the different courses or programs offered by an academic institute and supported the academic institutes showcase transparency in evaluation to enhance the confidence of the learners, guardian, and stakeholders. However, the iCloudEMS facilitates the following needs of the learners:
- The iCloudEMS plays a pivotal role in assessment of learners. It facilitates course instructors’ parental access to schedule activities appropriate for assessment (formative/summative as applicable) of learners. With its unique feature, parents and guardians can have access to their wards’ assessments.
- The iCloudEMS fosters diverse assessment options to the learners who come from diverse socio-cultural, economic, and educational backgrounds. With the support of the multiple formats, course instructors get the choice to design activities like short quizzes, Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), basic questionnaires, warm up activities and other assessment activities. Similarly, learners have multiple formats for uploading their work like PDF, Screenshots, Podcasts, Videos by using the iCloudEMS as a digital platform.
- Further, being a digital platform, the iCloudEMS backs up the data of the learners to track their performance as well as the data of their assessment and attendance that helps the course instructors to be vigilant to learners’ progression with learning assignments. In this way, learners with weak comprehension or who need extra or remedial classes can easily be identified by the course instructors to plan the remedial/revision classes for them. Consequently, intelligent, brilliant, meritorious, and intelligible learners get motivated to participate in extracurricular activities for the development of their overall skills focusing on their personality.
- The students can check and verify on their own whether they have done it correctly or not and if they find that they have not done correctly, what is the correct method from the iCloudEMS portal. Moreover, the faculty can also upload the short questions and the probable answers for the same. It can appear to the learners if somebody writes a wrong answer.
- The learners can also view the Automatic attainment of formative and summative assessments. It can happen automatically based on the input provided in the beginning. The learners need not to do the cumbersome calculation for all the papers and all the examinations.
- The records of all the stakeholders including the industry can also be seen at any time and anywhere consequently, they can identify the attainment level of all the desired skills required by the industry.
- Finally, the iCloudEMS develops confidence among the learners as well the course instructors by providing a transparent digital feedback Management System. The learners can view their results and feedback of formative and summative assessments easily. The feedback and the results can also be shared to the parental page consequently, the parents have the opportunity to view the course-wise result of their wards. Moreover, the formative and summative assessment records become a permanent part of the learners’ aspirations and it is also stored for the permanent record of the institution for future perusal.