Summative Evaluation

Summative Evaluation

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Is intended to provide information about the merit, worth and impact of a project.[1] Summative evaluation is usually conducted at the end of a programme or project to determine if anticipated results were achieved. Summative evaluations include impact evaluations, cost-effectiveness investigations and case studies.[2]

Gathering of information at the conclusion of a course or a program to improve learning or to meet accountability demands. When used for improvement, impacts the next cohort of learners taking the course or program, since the course will be changed on the basis of previous cohort evaluation.[3].The conduction of a summative evaluation requires the identification of specific characteristics related to the kind of information provided, the timing and the aim - the what, where and why one can find in the Formative versus Summative Evaluation table. Ideally, the two modes are complementary. Also, as noted in the table below, the process of formative evaluation may be an important component in summative evaluation.[4]. See also: Evaluation, Formative Evaluation, Writing Multiple Choice Questions

Formative versus Summative Evaluation

Formative vs Summative Evaluation.png

Link icon.png Web Resources
Below you have a list of selected websites where you can find additional information:
Link Content
The Summative Evaluation Guide A guide for conducting summative evaluation.
How to do summative training evaluation Objectives and steps of summative evaluations.
Introduction to Evaluation Different types of summative evaluation, and a few evaluation questions and methods.


  1. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). Monitoring, Evaluation and Consulting Division, 2006.
  2. Imas Linda G. Morra, Rist C. Ray. The Road To Results; Designing and Conducting Effective Development Evaluations pp.10. The World Bank, Washington DC, 2009.
  3. (25 March 2008)
  4. (5 November 2008)