Assessment in secondary music
Assessment in secondary music

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Assessment in secondary music

1.3 Evaluating assessment

Both summative and formative assessment represent different ways of getting to know students as musicians and musical learners. However, they are not mutually exclusive. As Fautley and Savage (2008) have pointed out, aspects of, and information from, summative assessment events can be used formatively (Figure 4). Equally, the evidence gained cumulatively from ongoing, formative assessment can also be used in a summative way and for selection.

Described image
Figure 4 The formative use of summative assessment (Fautley and Savage, 2008, p. 27)

The main focus in this course will be on the way in which assessment opportunities and information can be used to support students’ progressive development as musicians and to inform teachers’ planning for musical learning.

Activity 1

Timing: Allow about 1 hour

Perspective 1

This activity asks you to consider formative and summative assessment practices from three perspectives.

Think back to your own experiences of music assessment during your early teenage years. Identify one example of formative assessment and one example of summative assessment. Complete the table below, describing both the occasions and the ways in which they helped you to recognise your strengths and what you needed to do to improve.

Table 2 Examples from your own experience of being assessed

Assessment typeDescription of assessment eventHow it supported further musical learning and understanding
Formative assessment
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Summative assessment
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Perspective 2

Identify one example of formative assessment and one example of summative assessment from your own practice. Complete the table below: for each instance describe how it helped you to come to know the young person/people better as musicians and how it enabled you to support them in making musical progress. Finally, comment on how the assessment process and what you gained from it helped you in your planning.

Table 3 Examples from your practice

Assessment typeDescription and analysis
Formative assessment
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Summative assessment
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Perspective 3

Identify a particular musical idea, concept or example of a musical genre that you might wish a class to learn about. Identify the concept, then describe how you might use formative and summative assessment in support of young people’s musical learning.

Table 4 Something to explore with your class

Musical concept/ideaUses of assessment
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