Types of assessment

Formative assessment: primary purpose is to support student learning through the provision of feedback.  All assessment should therefore be formative.

Summative assessment: the primary purpose is to measure what has been learned – to award marks or grades.

Diagnostic assessment: this is often used to ascertain a starting level or baseline of knowledge or ability.  Sometimes diagnostic testing is used in the course of a module.

Ipsative assessment: this relates to ‘self’.  This is assessment against oneself – how does the student think they have progressed.