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Summative assessment (or summative evaluation) refers to the assessment of the learning and summarizes the development of learners at a particular time. After a period of work, e.g. a unit for two weeks, the learner sits for a test and then the teacher marks the test and assigns a score. The test aims to summarize learning up to that point. The test may also be used for diagnostic assessment to identify any weaknesses and then build on that using formative assessment.
Summative assessment is commonly used to refer to assessment of educational faculty by their respective supervisor. It is imposed onto the faculty member, and uniformly applied, with the object of measuring all teachers on the same criteria to determine the level of their performance. It is meant to meet the school or district's needs for teacher accountability and looks to provide remediation for sub-standard performance and also provides grounds for dismissal if necessary. The evaluation usually takes the shape of a form, and consists of check lists and occasionally narratives. Areas evaluated include classroom climate, instruction, professionalism, and planning and preparation.
Summative assessment is characterized as assessment of learning and is contrasted with formative assessment, which is assessment for learning. This is taught in many educational programs in the United States.
It provides information on the product's efficacy (its ability to do what it was designed to do). For example, did the learners learn what they were supposed to learn after using the instructional module. In a sense, it does not bother to assess "how they did," but more importantly, by looking at how the learners performed, it provides information as to whether the product teaches what it is supposed to teach.