Assessment: ‘for learning’, formative and summative

19 January 2007

One of the features of WordPress (and many other blogs) is the reporting of search terms that have been used, which then result in the blog being found.

Yesterday, the search terms reported included assessment for learning and inclusion.

This  got me thinking that I hadn’t really made any use of the simple taxonomy of assessment. Assessment for learning is formative as it informs further learning (Black and Wiliam, 1998). My focus is really on summative learning.

A study of pupil perceptions of assessment for learning  (years 7 to 10) was carried out by Cowie (1995). I guess part of my research will be looking at pupil (or student) perceptions of summative learning. It will be interesting to compare results to those found by Cowie.

The Cowie paper was cited on the DfES Standards Site, in a section called the Research Informed Practice Site. I’m not sure about the initials this provides, but the site may well be a useful one both for this research and for my teaching. I hadn’t come across it before. It is useful, not just for its own sake, but because it provides digests of articles…

Black, P and Wiliam, D (1998) Assessment and Classroom Learning in Assessment in Education, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp 7-74

Cowie, B (2005) Pupil commentary on assessment for learning in The Curriculum Journal, Vol. 16, No. 2, June 2005, pp. 137 – 151

DfES (2007), TRIPS – the Research Informed Practice Site, London: DfES [online] available at accessed 19/01/07