Difference Between Formative and Summative Evaluation

Formative vs Summative Evaluation

Evaluation is a very important part of any educational program, and it helps in assessment of the concepts learnt by students in classrooms. Evaluation is a tool without which teachers cannot work as periodic evaluation or assessment of abilities by students help teachers to take stock of their teaching methodology. Evaluation is used in the corporate sector too to check the efficacy of training programs and also to see how well employees are receiving the program through their feedback. There are two major evaluations systems called formative and summative evaluation. There are many differences between the two evaluation systems that will be highlighted in this article.

What is Formative Evaluation?

Formative evaluation is a technique that aims at validating the aims or goals of instruction and also to better the standards of instruction. This is sought through identification and then rectification of the problems in the instructional process. Formative assessment allows a teacher to keep an eye on the learning of the student as he gets feedback that he can use to improve his teaching methods. This technique allows students to gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses so as to work on target areas that are to be improved. This technique is good for teachers as they can identify the problem areas and help struggling students overcome them. Teachers get qualitative feedback from the students through formative evaluation technique. It lets them know the material that should not be taught or used to grade students.

Formative evaluation is an ongoing process and is often referred to as internal method of evaluation. It allows a teacher to judge the worth of a training program.

What is Summative Evaluation?

Summative assessment or evaluation is cumulative assessment technique as it is performed at the end of a semester or any other instructional unit, to see how well a trainee or a student has gained from the instruction. It is so called as it summarizes the learning of the student at the end of the training program. The focus in summative assessment is on the outcome which is why it is called an external evaluation technique. It is used to check if students have achieved what the goal of the training program is. Teachers get the help of the benchmark to assess the achievements of students.

What is the difference between Formative and Summative Evaluation?

• Formative evaluation is qualitative while summative evaluation is quantitative.

• Formative evaluation is a continuous process while summative evaluation is an event that takes place at the end of an instructional unit.

• Summative evaluation is formal and takes the shape of quizzes and written tests whereas formative evaluation is informal such as homework and projects.

• The aim of formative evaluation is to improve upon what has been learnt whereas the aim of summative evaluation is to prove the amount of learning that has taken place.