Learning outcomes must also be observed from a broader scope, allowing for benchmarks of achievement to be evaluated. Summative assessment tools allow educators to analyze the overall achievement of students. Two broad methods for using technology for summative assessment are discussed in this section: The Learning Management System (LMS) and electronic portfolios (e-Portfolios).
Learning Management System (LMS)
A learning management system (LMS) is often considered the centerpiece of a teacher’s summative assessment toolbox. Accessibility is a vital part to utilizing both formative and summative assessment tools virtually. Teachers must have differentiated technology tools that are aligned with student learning outcomes and that allow the effective gauging of student learning (Steele, 2015). Most Learning Management Systems have embedded tools that allow for the ease-of-access by most teachers, regardless of their technology familiarity.
The LMS allows for transparency amongst all stakeholders in the learning process. Students can access resources and assignments while communicating with their peers and teacher. Parents may monitor student progress while also communicating with the teacher. Often times what is communicated in class does not make it home to the parents. The LMS removes this hindrance in communication.
Finally, for the teacher, the LMS is the ultimate assessment tool. The most beneficial part of the LMS is that both formative and summative assessments may be given through it. If your school or district has already adopted an LMS, it is best to use it since students, parents, and other stakeholders will already be familiar with it.
If your school or district has not adopted an LMS, there are still options available. You may choose to operate your course by using a LMS like Schoology, Jupiter Ed, Engrade, Canvas, or Google Classroom. Many school districts have implemented gradebooks that mimic the LMS gradebook, but lack the accessibility in linking and hyperlinking to the array of assessment tools that they use regularly. The systems previously mentioned allow you to run your course, virtually as minimally or involved as you would like, and are tailored to accommodate all levels of technology users. The experienced or novice teacher may manipulate the LMS in a way that suits the needs of their students and their course design.