Formative and summative assessments are essential to evaluating a student’s progress and learning outcomes in an educational setting. These assessments serve different purposes and can significantly impact the teaching and learning process.
Formative assessment occurs on an ongoing basis, such as monthly or quarterly, during a course, allowing teachers and students to monitor progress and adjust teaching methods as necessary. This type of assessment aims to inform both parties about the areas needing improvement, thus enabling learning adjustments and enhancing student performance.
In contrast, summative assessment evaluates student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing performance against a predetermined standard or benchmark. This assessment approach provides an overall snapshot of a student’s knowledge and helps determine if the instructional goals have been met.