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Summative Evaluation

  • By: Nona Tollefson
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Summative evaluation is used to assess outcomes at the end of a unit of instruction, a grading period, or a school year. Summative evaluation in classrooms is associated with assigning grades and making decisions about promotion to the next level of instruction. Licensure and certification examinations are also forms of summative evaluation. The objective of summative evaluation is to make a judgment about the degree to which the instructional outcomes have been achieved. In program evaluation, summative evaluation occurs when program evaluators make judgments about whether the goals of the program have been realized. Summative evaluation, unlike formative evaluation, is a one-time event, and the summative decision is rarely changed. For example, it is rare for students to persuade teachers ‘to give them a second ...

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