Exploring Relations Between Formative and Summative Assessment

  • Jens Dolin
  • Paul Black
  • Wynne Harlen
  • Andrée Tiberghien
Part of the Contributions from Science Education Research book series (CFSE, volume 4)


This chapter characterises the two key purposes of assessment, formative and summative, within a general model of assessment of student learning. It discusses reliability and validity issues in relation to the two purposes and considers formative and summative purposes as related and can be brought together in developing a dependable approach to summative assessment using evidence collected and used in formative assessment. The third purpose of assessment, accountability, is dealt with as a special use of summative assessment. Some examples from the ASSIST-ME project illustrate the variety of approaches to assessment and the overlapping relations between formative and summative use of assessment.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Dolin
    • 1
  • Paul Black
    • 2
  • Wynne Harlen
    • 3
  • Andrée Tiberghien
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Science EducationUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.School of Education, Communication and SocietyKing’s CollegeLondonUK
  3. 3.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  4. 4.University of Lyon and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ICAR (CNRS)LyonFrance

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