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Summative assessment or external evaluation is an end of the year assessment procedure to judge the worth of a program. It’s an excellent strategy organized at both the educational as well as in the corporate sector when an individual has completed a certain instructional period. There are several benefits of summative assessment. Read along to learn more about this evaluation method.
But before this let me walk you through the purpose, importance and features of a summative assessment.
What is the purpose of summative assessment?
To let you know, the primary purpose of this kind of assessment procedure is to evaluate an individual’s comprehension of the material covered to date. The focus is mainly on the outcome. A summative evaluation progresses smoothly with questionnaire, surveys, interviews, observations and testing.
Assessment which is summative in nature judges the quality and characteristics of the candidate and thereby summarizes the results in a clear and widely acceptable format. The assessment procedure is assumed to help the assessor to provide information on the productive potentiality of the candidates. In addition to that, the assessment also acts as a factor in determining the reputation of the institutions.
What does this mean?
Well, an organization is recognized on the quality of the students/employees it generates. And summative assessment is the answer. Needless to say, compared to all assessment procedures, mainly students care more for the results of summative assessment because it has a significant impact on their employability and prospective earnings.
The purpose of summative assessment can be summarized as under:
- It grades or ranks a candidate on their understanding
- It predicts the future of the candidate and allows progress to further study/work.
- It assures students suitability for employability.
Features of Summative Assessment
Summative assessment is a powerful tool to quantify student/employee learning. However, to make a summative evaluation more effective, you need a deeper insight into the five major features of this evaluation method. The five elements that play a significant role are authencity reliability, volume, validity and variety.
- Authencity- Examine Candidates For Real-World Application
Summative evaluation should consist of examination that has real-world application. The aim is to find out how much a student/employee has comprehended the fact that the material they learn is helpful in their real life.
- Validity- Assess Candidates Only On The Instructed Course
The primary purpose of summative evaluation is to reflect the objectives taught in a certain period. It’s expected that trainers should already know about the learning goals before instructing on a particular topic. However, it’s unfair to test candidates on information that was not explained during the entire educational episode.
- Volume- Avoid Using Too Much Test Volume
While holding summative assessments, educators need to avoid the urge to over-test the students. This sort of evaluation is used to determine the level of learning that a trainee might have achieved. The assessor needs to understand that excessive test volume results in testing fatigue for both the candidates and the evaluators. Moreover, too much volume also lowers the quality of the testing process.
- Variety- Incorporate Variety Testing Elements
This is possibly one of the best features of the summative assessment and is considered to make an impact on the students/employees success. You need to understand that every student has a specific way to demonstrate his/her knowledge. Therefore, one-dimensional test patterns can unfavorably affect upon the individual learners. Incorporating a variety of testing elements like cognitive or psychomotor can be helpful in this regard along with other learning domains like group presentations, work portfolios or research papers, etc.
- Reliability- Create Environment for Consistent Result
The reliability of a summative assessment means that a candidate’s result will continue to remain consistent over time under similar conditions. So, to increase security, the assessor should encourage candidates to perform their best.
Learning about the benefits of summative assessment: a perpetual balancing act
Conducting a summative assessment is tricky, but the importance of summative assessment can’t be denied. Why should an evaluator give more priority to this pattern of assessment compared to others? Let’s discuss and understand the benefits of summative assessment.
1. Determines the Achievement of a Candidate
Summative evaluations are conducted at the end of an instructional period. This is a diagnostic method compared to other types of tests. A summative assessment is organized to find out the learning growth and attainment of a candidate. In addition to that, this method is ideal for estimating the effectiveness of educational programs. Also, summative assessments help to take course-placement decisions.
2. Ideal for Keeping Academic Records for Future
The scores or grades available from summative evaluations are recorded into the students’ academic records. Available in different formats such as test scores, letter grades or report cards. These recorded marks help the students during the college admission process. In most educational institutions summative evaluation is considered to be an essential parameter in the grading system.
3. Identifies Gap In a Candidate’s Learning
Summative evaluation helps the trainers, instructors to find out in which areas the candidates are lagging. Identifying weak areas of the candidates give the trainers ample scope to review their instructing patterns and deliver them to the candidates for improved outcome.
4. Diagnoses Possible Instructional Gaps
Besides identifying candidate learning gaps, summative assessment can be used to identify possible training gaps as well. It helps to find the loopholes of the instructional style. This is a useful tool to find out the level of performance of the teachers and instructors. Identifying the gaps allows finding out alternative methods to follow in future and focus towards success.
5. Motivates Individuals For Self Improvement
Summative evaluation focuses on outcome and this outcome acts as the boosting factor for the individuals who take up the test. This assessment process motivates the candidates for further improvement.
To improve and enhance the summative evaluation process, it’s essential for you (an assessor) to understand the benefits of the same listed above. A training process is never complete until and unless the trainee has given proof of his/her accomplishments. Summative assessment is the best way to prepare a candidate to receive education /instruction for the real world application.
Testofy is a platform that has been conducting online assessment for a longer period. You can visit the portal and find out how it can assist you conducting a successful summative assessment.