Assessment for Learning
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The need to make formative use of summative assessment is emphasised by research eg Harlen and Deakin Crick (2002) which has identified the negative impact of summative assessment on the self-esteem of low achievers.

An important aspect of making formative use of summative assessment is the use of effective teacher feedback.

Cited (Hattie 1999) as one of the most effective ways teachers can improve student performance, teacher feedback that occurs both during the development of an assessment activity, and after its completion, is a powerful way of ensuring that students learn as a result of summative assessment.

The role of student self-assessment is also an important aspect of making formative use of summative assessment. When students exercise responsibility for their own learning, they are demonstrating an awareness of themselves as learners, and self-esteem and motivation have been shown to increase.


  • Assessment Reform Group 2002, Testing, motivation and learning, ARG, UK.
  • Black, P, Harrison, C, Lee, C, Marshall, B and Wiliam, D 2003, Assessment for Learning - Putting it into practice, OUP, Berkshire, England.
  • Chappuis, S and Chappuis, J 2007, 'The best value in formative assessment', Educational Leadership, Volume 65, Number 4, pp 14-19, ASCD, Alexandria, USA
  • Department of Education and Children's Services 2005, LaN in focus, Teaching and learning English literacy skills, South Australia (downloaded August 2008 from
  • Harlen, W 2006, 'On the relationship between assessment for formative and summative purposes', Assessment and learning, Gardiner, J (ed), Sage Publications, London, UK.
  • Harlen, W. and Deakin Crick, R 2003, 'Testing and motivation for learning', Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice, 10:2, 169-207, Routledge, UK.
  • Hattie, J 1999, Influences on Student Learning. Inaugural Lecture: Professor of Education, University of Auckland (downloaded August 2008 from