Summative Assessment

Summative assessments help to answer these questions:

  • Is this course, program, or college of appropriate quality and value?
  • Is this course, program, or college worthy of public investment or support?
  • Should this program be expanded, maintained, cut back, or eliminated?
  • Should we support proposed changes to this course, program, or college?

A summative assessment provides an overall snapshot of what students have learned at the end of a course or program. The purpose is to document student learning for transcripts, employers, legislators, and other external audiences. Students may not receive feedback on their performance other than possibly an overall grade or score. (Adapted from Assessing Student Learning, Linda Suskie, 2004).  

Examples include:

  • Registry or licensure exams
  • Portfolios
  • Clinicals
  • Internships

In Wisconsin, summative assessment results are collected in over 349 programs to ensure graduates have the technical skills needed by employers.

For more information contact Robin Nickel in CETL at (608) 246-6413.