Friday July 19, 2024
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How should a student be evaluated? Need of formative and summative assessments!

Bibek Shrestha
Bibek Shrestha 4 YEARS AGO 2734 views
Society Jeswin Thomas From Pexels


Have you ever given a thought about your regular classes or how you have been examined?


Well, most of us at this moment have plenty of spare time to behold our educational format. Specially, students must be proactive in learning new subject matters relevant to their prime interest. As we know, Nepalese education is theoretical based system and it is quite hilarious most of the erudite academicians seem to agree with it. Perhaps, it has become a relentless earning source for everyone.


I was a fool to think the newly introduced grading system would wipe out the prevailing culture. I really thought now Nepalese students can go to the depth of a particular subject both theoretically and practically but it has turned out to be another disappointing irony. Of course, the system has reduced theoretical marks and increased the practical one in the assessment format but the biggest question is "Are students being practically evaluated using summative tools or are they just being deceived? Without any doubt, they are being deceived! This hideous trend has led to the massive increment in teacher dependency. The level of students' creativity has diminished and they have developed a monotonous learning behaviour. As a teacher, I can feel, students these days are completely dependent to their teachers. There is low inquisitiveness and enthusiasm in learning process. Consequently, they seem to be attracted to an illuminated mark sheet rather than collecting wisdom.


If we look at the quantity of academies and educational institutions here in Nepal then the number is almost uncountable. Most of these institutions proclaim to be the best throughout the nation and I do agree their numerical outcome is stunningly miraculous but what about the real learning? The real knowledge simply refers to acquiring practical implications of any studied subject. This brings up another big question, "Have these self-proclaimed institutions been providing quality education to their students?"


Ironically, quantity seems to be more prominent than quality here. All the four parties seem to share the same convenient roof, both government and private institutions have glittered their educational excellency with hollow result and on the same page, students and parents are tangled in this big deception.


How should a student be evaluated? According to our prevailing system operated by numerous academies, a student's acquirement is assessed by a single annual examination but the real grading system begs to differ in a broad sense. In fact, students should be evaluated within the criteria of formative and summative assessment system. In Nepalese context, everyone is focused on outcome or numerical statistics abandoning the feasible learning which has directed students to their irrelevant future. Here is a precise description of formative assessment and summative assessment.





It is a student learning evaluation which occurs throughout a chapter or a unit. This system particularly focuses on students' learning behaviours and guides every subject teacher to use different tools of teaching with the aim of individual understanding. It covers small areas of a topic and deploys students in a detailed study. Educators can gather comprehensive information on the improvement of student learning. Significantly, it fulfills the gap of false learning. On the same content, teachers can use various tools in formative assessment. Some of the tools are: ‌


  1. Self evaluation                                             
  2. Visuals (diagrams and charts) ‌                 
  3. Topic wise written and practical assignments.
  4. One minute paper (quick evaluation) ‌       
  5. Partner quiz and collaborative discussion




It is an evaluation system which occurs at the end of a unit or a chapter. In fact, it is heavily weighted and evaluates what a student has learnt from a particular topic. It covers complete content areas evaluating student learning, acquisition of skills and academic attainment after the conclusion of a course or a unit. In simple words, it sums up teaching methodology, use of learning materials and student understanding as an outcome. For teachers, this can help them to bring a certain change in their teaching methods for better presentation whereas administrators too can remove or add new programs for a better teaching-learning environment. There are various tools used in summative assessment like:


  1. Whole unit tests ‌                                           
  2. Submission of final projects                       
  3. Interview and viva ‌                                       
  4. Standardized tests ‌                                     
  5. Achievement tests




Regular assessments play a prime role in teaching-learning process. Most of the countries across the globe have developed a wider scope in educational sector. Their academies evaluate students through formative and summative assessments. There are numerous benefits of these systems which have eased teaching-learning complexities. They offer some fantastic benefits for students, teachers and administrators. Formative and Summative assessments can:


  1. ‌Inspire students to depth study and pay closer attention.
  2. Encourage skills based learning.        ‌       
  3. Motivate students to apply what they've learnt. 
  4. Identify gaps in student learning process.
  5. Identify possible teaching gaps.               
  6. Guide teachers and administrators to valuable intuitions for better environment.


However, these assessments may contribute too many changes in curriculum as they highlight on insightful teaching-learning activities.


If our system corrects the existing educational procedure formulating proper educational tools and the mentioned assessments then undoubtedly, Nepalese education will march on a feasible and a progressive path.