6 Tips for Dealing Correctly with Summative Assessments in Distance Learning

All or almost all countries in the world have decided to switch from face-to-face classes to online courses. As a result, educational institutions have turned to online teaching methods, which has prompted summative assessments, representing an excellent way to evaluate students’ online learning process. That’s why I worked with the authors of wowessays to prepare “6 Tips for Dealing Correctly with Summative Assessments in Distance Learning.”

1. Recognize that not everything needs to be assessed

Teachers and administrators must make deliberate strategic decisions, which means that they must distinguish between what students should know and what is good to know. Thus, only essential subjects should be assessed, whether learning face-to-face or remotely.

However, online education has a slower learning pace and generally requires more time for students to acquire knowledge. Therefore, the amount of material examined in the virtual methodology should be less compared to face-to-face subjects, prioritizing the quality of the material.

This assessment paradigm means, translated from its acronym: readiness, endurance, evaluated, and leverage and, briefly explained, encompasses the following aspects:

  • Readiness: we must ensure that the content we offer students provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the next class. As a result, students who cannot exhibit these skills should not advance further in the subject or course.
  • Durability: The goal of learning is not just to pass the test; everything students learn should be helpful, and they should apply it in their lives.
  • Evaluated: Sometimes, students do not learn concepts because they are vital, but because they are usually asked on national Utility: All the knowledge students gain should be helpful to and valued in different disciplines.

2. Selection of performance tasks and performance elements.

When learning online or virtually, it is essential to adapt to the learners’ knowledge. Performance tasks are an excellent way for students to demonstrate their understanding and knowledge of the subject matter. Here are some of the characteristics that performance tasks usually have:

  • They are generally open-ended questions and do not allow for only one correct answer.
  • Since students are asked to carry out their learning process themselves, it is an excellent way to demonstrate their competence.
  • Real-life situations are used for performance; when realistic circumstances are used, for example, students appreciate the importance and use of what they have learned when applying the Case Method teaching approach.

On the other hand, performance items are very similar to performance tasks, but are more limited in scope and focus on a particular skill.

In the end, both approaches have students apply what they have previously internalized.

3. Break a significant event into several smaller ones

The pandemic has brought us into an uncertain and precarious environment, and, as a result, students may feel overwhelmed. However, teachers need to keep in mind that students have other subjects and tasks to complete.

To improve the learning process, it is recommended that tutors break assignments or projects into smaller tasks: this way, students can complete them over a more extended period rather than in one sitting and, as a result, balance study time and free time.

4. Include conversations and oral communication

When teachers want to check whether students have understood and internalized the exercises or summative tasks, having a conversation may be the most effective way to do so. Therefore, students should be prepared to explain and expose their way of thinking to their teacher.

This methodology can have two main benefits: on the one hand, this approach makes online learning look much more similar to face-to-face learning, and, therefore, they do not feel so disoriented. But, on the other hand, students need to learn how to make presentations and defend their point of view to acquire resources that will help them face everyday situations and the professional world.

5. Trust students and teach them to act honestly.

These days when everyone has access to so many digital resources, it is essential that teachers continue to trust their students. Cheating is, of course, a possibility, but we must keep in mind that it doesn’t only happen when learning online. Consequently, it is only fair to maintain the same terms that they would support in face-to-face lessons.

When marking an assessment, teachers must be confident that they are doing the right thing and will not assess them using a deficiency-based system.

6. Use your professional judgment

Last but not least, as much as teachers must trust their students, it is vital that educators follow their observation: they know their students best and are aware of their needs.

In conclusion, summative assessment approaches are highly valued by educational institutions and can be very useful when learning online, but only when used correctly.

In fact, in many cases, the ideal scenario is to create a curriculum plan in which summative assessments are intermingled with formative assessments.

We want to help tutors and faculty explore and include summative assessments in the teaching process. To learn more about the differences between estimates, we encourage you to read the following article. We explain the main differences between formative and summative assessment and delve into how summative assessments should be organized.

Undoubtedly, e-assessment and online testing are moving away from traditional assessment delivery methods by providing much more engaging, candidate-centered, and practical assessments. However, suppose you are an educator or administrator looking for the right online assessment software tools to improve the engagement and performance of your students.