Research Put Into Practice: Summative Assessment and Digital Data Systems

August 04, 2017

Summative assessment plays an important role in measuring outcomes and accounting for progress.

Research Put into Practice: Apex Learning Curriculum and Pedagogy examines what it means for a student to learn and presents research pointing to the elements of curriculum design that are necessary for supporting learning in middle and high schools.

The research in this white paper is divided into four sections and each section is followed by a discussion of how the research is applied within the Apex Learning digital curriculum.


Section IV: Summative Assessment and Digital Data Systems focuses on summative assessment and effective data management to reveal student understanding and support effective learning throughout the instructional process.


Key Topics Covered:

Summative Assessment

Summative assessments provide information for recording grades and comparing groups of students. Typically used at the end of an instructional unit, these assessments must align with the unit’s learning goals.


Digital Data Systems

Online environments offer opportunities for entering, generating, sharing, and utilizing assessment data with less effort and faster results than possible in traditional school practice, even when that is partially automated (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009). As part of a transparent system, this availability of data supports improvements in student learning at the individual, classroom, and school levels.


Assessment and Feedback Research

The Apex Learning digital curriculum seamlessly provides formative and summative assessment and data to reveal student understanding throughout the learning process. Information about learner knowledge guides teachers in planning instruction and informs learners about their progress during lessons.


No-stakes and low-stakes assessments are embedded within the direct instruction and throughout units of study. Summative achievement is measured in high-stakes assessments at the end of units and semesters. Integrated online data and reporting systems facilitate the management of student data and make formative and summative assessment information available to students, teachers, and administrators in real time.


Read the white paper to learn more about how Apex Learning puts research into practice in its digital curriculum.




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