While formal assessment offers accountability in an education system that calls for measured results, informal assessment is a method that can bring about improvement since it gives a student the ability to evaluate self and to see individually how further learning can lead to success.
The two major types of formal assessment are 1) norm-referenced tests and 2) criterion-referenced tests. Both depend on a particular standard, but norm is based on a comparison with other students taking the same test, and criterion-referenced tests measure student ability within a course of study. The student's performance is compared to an established level of achievement for each task or unit of the curriculum (Rothenbacher & Leconte, 1990). The broad definition of curriculum as it relates to this paper is "all the learning planned and guided by the school, whether in groups or individually inside or outside the school" (Kelly, 1983).
This type of assessment depends on standardized tests, which are administered annually by school districts and provide a ready source of data. These tests are administered across a large number of students for the purpose of comparing individual performance to the rest of the group. ...Show more