Element description

Assessment activities in the honeycomb model play a variety of roles. A balanced system of assessment is used throughout the learning process and is offered through varied means such as performance, application, demonstration and student interaction. Assessment data is used to determine mastery of the concept and next steps in the learning path.

Assessments of learning--summative assessments--typically occur at the end of the learning cycle. There really should be no doubt as to the outcomes if educators have used formative assessment results throughout students’ learning journeys to inform learning and make needed learning course adjustments. In fact, if performance on a summative assessment is a surprise, the first possibility to consider should be whether the assessment is appropriate and accurately reflects what the learner knows. What the learner has learned should be well tracked and not a surprise in the final phase of the learning cycle.

Assessments for learning--formative assessments--occur, formally and informally, throughout the learning cycle. The results of formative assessments let educators and learners know what progress has been made, what next steps are appropriate and whether and when it’s time for a summative assessment.

Assessments as learning are those assessments that double as learning experiences and evidence of learning--usually classroom activities of some sort. These assessments often are formative but can also be summative.