IDE Corp
Professional Development for Innovative Schools


“Summative assessment is to formative assessment as an autopsy is to a physical.” – Doug Reeves (2001)

We use the metaphor of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to focus on the importance of using assessment to drive instruction.

  • You enter your destination; that is akin to the curricular standard.
  • A satellite signal identifies where you are starting; that is the role of pre-assessment.
  • The GPS lays out a path for you to follow; the teacher devises an instructional path.
  • Throughout your trip, the GPS sends out a satellite signal to track your progress, modifying the path where necessary; a masterful teacher uses continual formative assessment to track student progress and revises the instructional plan as needed

IDE Corp. recommends four types of formative assessments: check-ins, breakpoints, student-reported, and comprehensive. As a result of that data collection, teachers must modify the instructional plan to ensure that all students achieve their academic goals. This requires the ability to differentiate instruction.

Powerful assessment strategies, both formative and summative, should be a part of your curriculum design and instructional design. IDE Corp. can help with both.

Consider . . .
• Designing quarterly performance-based assessments that align with the Common Core State Standards
• Using formative assessment to drive instruction

Resources for you . . .
• Download IDE’s Four Types of Formative Assessment