Formative and Summative Evaluation

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Formative Evaluation and Summative Evaluation
There are two forms of evaluation that can best serve the purpose of evaluating the teaching-learning process. The first is formative evaluation which is done during the period of instruction. It provides information on what students are learning in terms of specific objectives. The second is summative evaluation which is done after instruction. It provides information on what the students have learned in terms of general objectives. The difference between the two forms is, therefore, defined by the amount of material to be learned, the type of test to be used in gathering data and when the evaluation will take place. Formative evaluation occurs frequently during instruction and therefore the material covered is more limited than in summative evaluation. Summative evaluation covers a relatively larger block of instructional material. A test administered at the end of a unit or at the end of a grading period to grade the students would be broader in coverage than a test given while a lesson/unit is still being taken up to monitor progress of the students. Formative evaluation provides useful feedback to both the student and the teacher. It informs the student about what he is learning and what he has yet to learn while he still has the opportunity to correct his errors. Waiting until the final test to find out what he has not learned will not be of much benefit to him if at all. To the teacher formative evaluation yields information that she can use for modifying her instruction. To provide this feedback, a formative test is scored in terms of response patterns. There is no single score and therefore the formative test may not be graded. After administering a formative test the teacher can quickly identify what objectives the students have not mastered even by a show of hands. Analyzing a test item by item need not be as statistical or as sophisticated as in large scale testing programs. Since a formative test is...
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