Using appropriate assessment methods is important for teachers to effectively evaluate how well students understand their lessons and to ensure that instruction is at an age-appropriate level both developmentally and academically. Furthermore, teachers needs to use appropriate assessment methods to be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in individual students to provide them with specialized help, such as gifted or special needs programs.
A teacher should consider the purpose of an assessment when choosing one. While formative assessments are helpful for determining gaps in understanding, summative assessments help determine whether students have mastered the content at the end of an instructional period. Quizzes, class discussions and group projects are examples of formative assessments, while exams and portfolios are summative assessments.