What is assessment in the IB?

Natalie Wilhelm, PYP Coordinator
Amber Rhinehart, MYP Coordinator
Michael Foxmann, DP Coordinator
Bill Hanagan, Director of Student Support Services

Not everything that is important is assessed.
Not everything assessed is important.

What is assessment in the IB?
Teachers use a variety of assessment tasks in each of our IB programmes in order to ensure that students have multiple opportunities to present their knowledge, understanding and skills.

“Meaningful assessment supports curricular goals. In IB programmes assessment is therefore ongoing, varied, and integral to the curriculum. IB schools use a range of strategies and tools to assess student learning. Emphasis is placed on the importance of analyzing assessment data to inform teaching and learning, and on recognizing that students benefit by learning how to assess their own work and the work of others.” (What is an IB education? 2017).

What are the four types of assessment?

  • Diagnostic Assessment - Assessment FOR Learning
    • “diagnoses” what a student already knows before a unit
    • gauges students’ knowledge, skills and strengths before a unit
    • helps teachers better plan for the needs of the students in that particular class, at this particular time 
    • not graded 

Diagnostic assessments therefore inform, enhance and improve the teaching process. 

  • Formative Assessment - Assessment AS Learning
    • Monitor progress in real time
    • Are ongoing and fully integrated into the curricular program
    • Used by teachers and students to identify strengths and weaknesses and adjust instruction accordingly
    • Provide feedback in order to feedforward for improved student learning

Formative assessments are used to inform both teachers and learners about the current level of skills, knowledge, and understanding.

  • Summative Assessment - Assessment OF Learning
    • used after students have practiced, applied, and received meaningful feedback;
    • planned at the beginning and evaluated using published criteria that the students know and understand;
    • directly related to the learning objectives or standards for the assessed content and/or skills; 
    • graded and recorded; contributes to final term grade 

Summative assessments provide information regarding a student’s level of achievement at the end of a topic, section, or unit of study. 

  • Standardized Assessment - Assessment using External Comparison
    • Ameasures skill development compared to a large sample of students in a grade level
    • administered at set intervals to measure progress over time
    • identifies students falling behind or who need more challenge
    • used in conjunction with school-based assessments to inform instruction

Standardized assessments are a good way to measure student progress in developing academic skills over time.

What is the culminating assessment in each of the IB programmes at LCS?

PYP:  Grade 5 Exhibition
MYP:  Grade 10 Personal Project
  DP:   Grade 12 Extended Essay 

Each of these assessments are inquiry-based, enable students to choose their own topic of interest to explore, and involve research and writing skills. 

Looking for creative ways to understand assessments?  Check out these short videos.

The Value of Formative Assessment: Simone Giertz: Why you should make useless things TedTalkThe Transformative Power of Feedback: Austin’s Butterfly
What is an IB education? 

Assessment Zoom Meeting Recording - January 28th

Access Passcode: LCS2022!