Assessment & Measurement – Summative

Summative assessments are distributed at the conclusion of an instructional unit or course to assess student learning and performance with respect to the course’s stated objectives. They typically make up a major part of the final grade, as students are asked to demonstrate their knowledge or level of proficiency at a particular stage in the course. It is recommended that after each major assessment activity, each student receives feedback on what they did well and also on areas where they did not demonstrate proficiency.

A summative assessment might be a final exam or it might be an authentic assessment where students apply knowledge to a real-world scenario. For example, a business student may be asked to create a balance sheet or a journalism student might produce a newscast.

In other words…

A summative assessment answers the question: How will student understanding, usually toward a grade, be determined?


Examples of Summative Assessments:

  • Case Studies
  • Essays
  • Final ePortfolio
  • Group/Individual Projects
  • Online Discussions
  • Papers
  • Plans/Proposals/Reports
  • Presentations/Demonstrations/Role Playing, Digital Storytelling/Narratives
  • Quizzes/Exams