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Assessment methods can be described as either summative or formative. Formative assessment is used as a continuous method which is incorporated into the daily teaching practice and is ultimately down to the teacher to implement. This type of assessment therefore provides the ideal opportunity for the teacher and learners to discuss the learning and identify areas of teaching/learning strategies that may require modification. Summative assessment can be used both internally and externally. Internal summative assessment may be an end of topic test and is used to keep a record of individuals’ progress that can be shared with pupils, parents and other teachers. External bodies such as the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) produce summative assessment in the form of exams (coupled with internal assessment results) in order to award an individual with a certificate for a particular subject. These methods are continually used in schools and if used appropriately by teachers, will have a positive effect on the learners. It is the responsibility of the teacher to gather information from assessments in order to not only evaluate learning, but also evaluate their own personal teaching practice. Effective and appropriate assessment can help keep pupils focused on their learning and by providing them with achievable but challenging goals. Communicating with pupils and setting goals will increase their motivation and enthusiasm for learning as they will have a clearer understanding of what is expected of them in order to achieve their goals. Continuous assessment also supports the detection of where learners need assistance.


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