Continuous assessment refers to the activities required by students during the conduct of a course. It takes place within the normal teaching period and contributes to the final assessment.
Formative assessment refers to observations which allow one to determine the degree to which students know or are able to perform a given task. It involves all those activities (assigned by teachers and performed by students) which provide information used as feedback so that teaching may meet students’ needs. It can also include teacher assessment, feedback and feed-forward.
Summative assessment is usually carried out at the conclusion of a unit or units of instruction, activity or plan, in order to assess acquired knowledge and skills at that particular point in time. It usually serves the purpose of giving a grade or making a judgment about the students’ achievements in the course.
Self-assessment occurs when an appraisal instrument is self-administered for the specific purpose of providing performance feedback, diagnosis and prescription recommendations rather than a pass/fail decision. Students engage in a systematic review of their progress and achievement, usually for the purpose of improvement. It may involve comparison with an exemplar, success criteria, or other criteria. It may also involve critiquing one’s own work or a description of the achievement obtained.
Peer assessment occurs when students judge one another’s work on the basis of reference criteria. This can occur using a range of strategies. The peer assessment process needs to be taught and students need to be supported by opportunities to practice it regularly in a supportive and safe (classroom) environment.