Love of Literacy

Formative vs. Summative

Posted in Uncategorized by Royan Lee on April 6, 2010

Assessment on your mind? If it is, surely one of the things you’re contemplating is the difference between formative and summative assessments. It’s vital that we are able to articulate the distinction because it will have a profound impact on student learning in the classroom. This is one of the best definitions I have seen:

Formative assessments are on-going assessments, reviews, and observations in a classroom. Teachers use formative assessment to improve instructional methods and student feedback throughout the teaching and learning process.… The results of formative assessments are used to modify and validate instruction.

Summative assessments are typically used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs and services at the end of an academic year or at a pre-determined time. The goal of summative assessments is to make a judgment of student competency after an instructional phase is complete.… Summative evaluations are used to determine if students have mastered specific competencies and to identify instructional areas that need additional attention.

To read more, check out the below links:


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