Price et al. (2011) suggested that the term 'over-assessment' is meaningless. The following is an excerpt from their publication:
It is often claimed that there is a problem with 'over-assessment' in the system. Solving over-assessment is portrayed as the key to resolving many, if not most, of the ills surrounding assessment. For many, the distinction between summative and formative assessment is clear: summative assessment generates marks and regulates whether students can pass through a specific boundary when moving towards accreditation. Formative assessment, on the other hand, gives students information about how their learning is progressing. In this kind of binary view of assessment, over-assessment results from tipping the balance too far from summative assessment. As with all issues raised thus far, achieving a balance between summative and formative assessment requires complex, contextual thinking. There are several conflicting issues and there is no straightforward way of reconciling them. (pp. 485-486)
If you would like to read or discuss this paper, please find it at:
Price, M., Carroll, J., O'Donnell, B. and Rust, C. (2011) 'If I was going there, I wouldn't start from here', Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 479-492.