Summative and Formative Evaluations


Purpose of summative evaluation

Summative evaluation in the instructional model is the one that isdone at the end of a learning or instructional unit. It occurs as theend survey and it has a number of purposes the teachers and thestudents use it to assess the level of knowledge attainment. Thisform of evaluation is mainly set on some basic standard ofachievement and therefore it has high score targets. Summativeevaluation uses assessments such as term papers, midterm examinationsand final projects as tools for assessment attainment of knowledge bythe learners (Wormeli, 2010).

Differences between formative and summative evaluation

There are a number of differences between formative and summativeevaluation. One of the key differences is that formative evaluationis done at various intervals in the course of an instructional unit.However, summative evaluation is done at the end of an instructionalunit. It is also clear that the two forms of assessments havedifferent purposes (Wormeli, 2010). Formative evaluation seeks toevaluate the progress of the learners and it can also be used as atool for creating different but functional instructional models.Tests in formative evaluation include assignments and askingquestions. On the other hand, summative evaluation seeks to assessthe attainment of knowledge by the learners at the end of aninstructional unit (Wormeli, 2010). The tests involved in summativeevaluation are few and they include term papers and final projects.Formative evaluation provides continuous feedback on the successesand failures of certain instructional models and provides informationwith regard to the areas that can be improved. On the contrary, thesummative evaluation does not provide such information for improvingthe instructional model.


Wormeli, R. (2010). Formative and Summative Assessment.Retrieved from: