Broadly, the two uses for assessment are classified as formative assessment and summative assessment.
Assessing to inform teaching and learning
Assessments can be used to help you and your students understand how to do better. Students can apply insights and feedback when they work on subsequent assignments. Likewise, you can use this information to design learning experiences that will help students deepen their understanding and skills. This makes assessments in the MYP – and all IB programmes – the most powerful tool to inform teaching and learning.
Formative assessments that inform teaching and learning give you and your students insight into two key questions:
- What can students do now?
- What do students need to do next in order to progress toward the subject objective(s)?
Importantly, since formative assessments inform teaching and learning, they need not always be marks or criteria-based. Oftentimes, they can simply be discussions or self-reflections which highlight areas of success and improvement. Here are some strategies and tasks that can inform teaching and learning:
Assessing to inform grading and reporting
Periodically, in the learning process, we stop to inform students and families about their progress. This often takes the form of grades or reports. Assessment for grading and reporting ensures that students and their families get accurate information about a student’s progress toward subject objectives. Typically, summative assessments are utilized for the purposes of grading and reporting. Let us understand what the expectations are and why these are important:
When an assessment is used to report a student’s progress or award a final grade, it is important that the assessment data used to inform that report is valid evidence of what the student can do.
Understanding assessments, as well as how grading and reporting work in the MYP, can be a difficult adjustment for teachers, students, and families. Check out these presentations designed as interactive workshops that you can use to introduce assessments in the MYP to your school community!