[Live webinar] Unlock the power of group work with peer-to-peer learning

Balancing formative and summative learning

Ananda Verheijen
Rebecca LeBoeuf
Rebecca LeBoeuf
February 6, 2020
Table of Contents
Some of us go to higher education for a degree, while some of us go for lifelong learning – learning that can improve organisations, societies and the world we live in.

The importance of both cannot be understated. The degree confirms that a student met a certain benchmark of learning, while lifelong learning equips students with transferable skills crucial for solving most challenges we face as humans today. In fact, given given the shrinking shelf-life of the skills and dynamic demands of our economy, learners are eager to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.

Join Cole Groom of FeedbackFruits and Patricia Luna of TAMU for an in-depth webinar exploring authentic assessment and how it can transform your approach to student evaluations

Striking a balance

One way educators incorporate both in learning design is through summative and formative assessment. The former leads up to the degree, while the other focuses on lifelong learning.

So what are these two?

Summative assessment includes graded activities that evaluate student learning (tests, quizzes, reports) and formative assessment monitors their learning through non-graded activities like class discussions, peer learning and feedback, based on which teachers adjust their teaching methodologies. Another way to understand the two: summative is evaluation after course completion, but formative is during it.

Since both have a different role to play, it is essential to strike a balance between formative and summative assessment in course design.

Students and teachers co-creating knowledge

One would imagine that both these assessments are between the student and the teacher, but the student-student learning plays a key role in both forms.

Learning activities like peer assessment and feedback post group work enhances learning, but also cultivates skills like critical-thinking and problem-solving that shape our way of thinking. These skills stay with us for life.

Such a collaborative environment is not supported by a conventional learning design. Including an element of student-student learning in both grading and growing ensures that the students and teachers together create knowledge that improve the world.

A wholesome learning design

Our partners use our tools to make peer-to-peer learning a part of both formative and summative assessment.

We recommend using Peer Review for formative assessment as the tool supports structured feedback on work done by peers. In the process of giving, receiving and reflecting on feedback, the student is able to think critically about the work they have produced, and improve on it. Since the teachers see an overview of student, group or class-level performance, they can adjust their focus and teaching accordingly.

The Group Member Evaluation tool on the other hand focuses on peer review of competencies and contributions in group work. If the results of this kind of feedback makes up the final course grade (summative assessment), students realise the importance of not just producing great reports, but also focusing on collaborating and working with others.

Having said that, there is no one way to use these tools. It depends largely on the learning needs of the class. Since both the tools can be synced with final grades in the LMS, our teachers use them interchangeably depending on the course.

Share on social media

More from FeedbackFruits tips series

Technology Tips

5 ways to stimulate collaboration with FeedbackFruits Team Based Learning

5 ways optimize the team-based learning process with the support of technology

Technology Tips

Develop critical thinking with Discussion on Work | FeedbackFruits tips

Check out 4 ways to design asynchronous discussions that stimulate critical thinking skills

Technology Tips

Stimulate continuous engagement with Interactive Document | FeedbackFruits tips

Discover how to maintain continuous student engagement at every stage of your course using Interactive Document

Most popular blog posts

Student Success
Nov 16, 2023

Promote active learning in different instructional modes

Explore how to best implement active learning strategies with deep understanding of different modalities

Industry News
Sep 11, 2023

Meet the new FeedbackFruits partners | Summer 2023 Highlights

FeedbackFruits announces partnerships with many institutions worldwide over the past 4 months

Student Success
Aug 23, 2023

Competency-based education (CBE) in higher education: A landscape overview

An overview of the state of competency-based education (CBE) in higher education around the world

We gather the most valuable resources and learnings on pedagogy and email them to you. Once a month. Unsubscribe whenever you want.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Filling out this form means you agree to our Privacy Policy.