There are a range of reasons why we assess students:
- To create learning opportunities
- To motivate
- To provide feedback – to students and to staff
- To provide a grade
- To act as a quality assurance mechanism – internally and externally
Students and staff benefit from frequent opportunities to engage with the first three of these. The other two are important, but do not need to be conducted as frequently – so long as they are done at some point.
The first three on their own can be defined as formative assessment. When a grade is added to these then the assessment becomes summative.