One of the most common questions we receive from educators is about the difference between formative and summative assessment.
Classroom formative assessment is a multistep instructional process focused on specific learning targets. Classroom summative assessment is a process that leads to the documentation and certification of student performance. Key differences between formative and summative evidence include:
Driver’s education offers a helpful parallel.
The driving instructor has the student engage in various driving activities and provides ongoing feedback to help the student improve his or her driving performance. That’s formative assessment. The grading of the student’s driving performance is accomplished by a DMV staffer during the driving test that is conducted after the instruction. That activity is summative assessment.