A Comparative Analysis on Formative vs Summative Assessment in Remote Education Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic
Abstract: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, educational institutions around the globe had to switch to distance education. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there were any notable differences in grades received by first-year computer science students at KTH who had online education vs those from previous years who did the same courses on campus. Specifically, the study looked at one course which used formative assessment, a programming course and one course which used summative assessment, a mathematics course. The analysis was done by gathering data from course results from the students assessed during the pandemic and comparing it to the average results received by students pre-pandemic using Pearson’s chi-square analysis. The results showed there were no notable differences for the formative course and that the students had performed as expected. However, the results for the summative course were a lot lower than those expected. One factor that could have affected this result was how the structure of the seminaries and bonus points for the exam had been changed for remote education. Another factor was demonstrated by a previous study about Computer Science students at KTHs experiences with the distance education performed by PhD student Emma Riese. She found out that a majority of students felt that the pandemic had a negative effect on their studies. Factors such as finding the general quality of education having declined, combined with a lack of motivation and self-discipline, could also play a part. However, limited data resulting in some assumptions having to be drawn combined with a limited span of courses and students included in the analysis makes it hard to draw any factual conclusions. Further research is needed to address the weaknesses of the study.
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