The Impact of Evaluation, Formatives and Summatives on School Programs


Evaluation is a much more comprehensive term than measurement and assessment. As stated earlier, measurement is limited to top quantitative descriptions of behavior. For example, Eze correctly solved 64 of the 100 problems does not connote that Eze’s result. Evaluation is therefore concerned with the attachments of value judgment or decision to measurement results.

Evaluation is the process of making value judgments or decisions based on quantitative information obtained from measurement. The process of quantitative description such as “Very good, Good, Average, Poor, Very poor” is evaluation as it involves attaching value to the student’s performance. Eze scored 64 out of 100, therefore, Eze’s performance is “good” and is an evaluative statement because it includes the desirability of the results. Measurement and evaluation play a very significant role in education. Evaluation, which is based on data provided by measurement, is a very effective tool for classifying the significant goals and objectives of education.

The impact of evaluation learning


Evaluation is important in all facets of the school program. The evaluation procedure a teacher uses serves several functions. The functions include the following:

For selection: Evaluation results are used to select students for a program. For example, the result of common entrance examinations is used to select students into secondary schools. The selection functions of the test presume that there is a relationship between evaluation results and eventual success in the program.

For motivation: Evaluation results, well used, are capable of generating a strong motivating force in the examinee. If teachers use test results to carry out remedial work and not to condemn learners for poor performance, and the teacher commends the efforts of every learner, students tend to appreciate tests as instruments administered to help their growth. Applied this way, test encourages students to study regularly to be successful.

For guidance and counseling: Evaluation results find their usefulness in identifying the strong aspects of the student’s talents, his educational and occupational interests, and other relevant information concerning the student. The information provided by evaluation results is then used to advise the students on how to achieve their educational goals.

For teaching effectiveness: Evaluation can be used in judging the work of teachers and the effectiveness of their teaching as well as their instructional strategies. The performances of students in various tests are indices of teaching effectiveness. Poor performance of students may call for either a change of instructional techniques used by the teacher or pose a challenge to the need for the teacher to update his knowledge through such things as in-service courses or self-studies.

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For feedback: Evaluation results provide both learners and their parents or wards feedback on the learners’ progress at school. This allows the learners to discover their potentialities and areas of deficiency.

For certification: The evaluation results may serve as the basis for the award of certificates competency certificates such as those issued for Trade Tests. Typewriting and driving licenses are awarded after administering some skill tests on testees and the tester might have found the testee worthy of such an award. Academic achievement certificates like the Senior Secondary School Certificate, Diplomas, and Degrees are awarded following some evaluative results.

For differentiation of students: Evaluation results may be used in appraising individual differences among students most especially in terms of their abilities and interests. This may in some cases be used for pupil placement as done in some secondary schools where the senior secondary school students are grouped into science, arts, and vocational classes.

For curriculum evaluation: Information provided by evaluation is useful in improving the school curriculum. Proper application of the evaluation technique can be used to assess the adequacy of the curriculum materials as well as ensure that students are receiving the right instruction.

Formative evaluation

Formative evaluation is the type of evaluation that is used to monitor the progress of a program or a product. It is used during the lesson or when the lesson is going on in the classroom.

The impact of Formative evaluation in the classroom

To monitor learning progress: The use of formative evaluation is to monitor the progress of the programs or learning in the classroom. It is particularly useful for the evaluation of curricula, instructional materials, television and radio programs, students’ academic achievement, and innovative programs in education (such as the introduction of Integrated Science, Social Studies, Population/Family Life Education, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases). It involves the evaluation of a program as it is being executed progressively. The evaluation is not delayed until the program is completed.

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To identify strengths and weaknesses of the programs: This allows the strengths and weaknesses of the program to be identified during the process of its development. Necessary remedies can then be made where deficiencies are noticed while reinforcement can be provided in noticeable areas of strength.

To teach a representative sample: If a new book is to be introduced into the market, formative evaluation demands that some chapters of the book be used for teaching a representative sample of the people who will form the targeted readers. The feedback regarding audience reception as perceived through observation and tests will assist in the review of the book before it goes into final production.

To increase learners’ better performances: Most often we tend to condemn our trainees for poor performance whereas the fault is that of the trainers. A trainer who delays his assessment till the end of the training program should be blamed for observed shortcomings in his trainees. Where formative evaluation is adopted, the trainees would have been exposed to a series of tests during training. In the process of analyzing the various test performances, the trainer would have provided the needed remedial work for the learners. The cumulative average of the scores will appear to be more representative of the learner’s performance than a single score obtained in an end-of-course single test which is the case in summative evaluation.

To help in the development of a program: Formative evaluation helps to develop a program. It could be very demanding but it works towards the success of any programme. The feedback provided at various stages of the program is useful in ensuring that a program does not die but is subject to rescue operation through the provision of remedial work where and when necessary.

To reinforce learning: In the classroom situation, formative evaluation is naturally diagnostic. Its frequency and comprehensiveness bring out the learning activities that require adjustment or reinforcement.

Summative evaluation

Summative evaluation is concerned with the final assessment of a program or students’ achievement. It is used at the end of the lesson in the classroom.

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The Impact of the summative evaluation in the classroom

For decision-making: It asserts in decision-making such as whether a student should be promoted or retained, whether to award a certificate or not, and whether to appoint or not to appoint a person. In each case, judgment is based on a single administration of an instrument. For promotion and certification, it is often the end-of-course examination while for a program it may be based on responses to a questionnaire or opinions served on people after the execution of the program.

To ensure objectivity: Summative evaluation can only be objective and seen to be objective where the evaluator has not been a party to the development of what is being evaluated. The evaluator ought not to have taken part in the planning, development, and formative evaluation of the program. It is in light of this that the public examination bodies, through making use of practicing teachers in the setting and making their examinations which may by every standard be regarded as summative, always make sure that the final selection of questions is not left to such people and that no examiner marks the script of any person who either by training or by some other form of relationship may be associated with him.

Summative evaluation does not assist in the developmental stage it is only of value in decision-making.


Evaluation is involved in decision-making and therefore often involves passing on judgemental values. There are two types of evaluation, namely formative evaluation and summative evaluation formative takes place along with the planning and development of a program. It is capable of preventing worthwhile programs from collapsing. It is naturally comprehensive. Summative evaluation is the type of evaluation carried out only at the end of a program. It is valuable in decision-making where the evaluator has not been involved in the formative evaluation or development of the program. It does not offer assistance in preventing a program from collapsing. Evaluation results are useful for selection, learning motivation, guidance and counseling, curriculum effectiveness, feedback on teaching and learning, placement of learners, and certification.

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