Summative assessment is the process of gathering of data on student learning, based on specific assessment criteria, at the conclusion of a course, unit, field experience, or program.
These assessments help answer:
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 an overall grade or score.
In Wisconsin, summative assessment results are collected in technical programs as part of the Technical Skill Attainment (TSA) initiative. Managed by the Wisconsin Technical College System, the TSA process originated in Carl Perkins IV legislation to ensure graduates have technical skills needed by employers. The assessments are collaboratively developed by instructors within the system and industry stakeholders. This initiative is supported by employers, approved by the System Office, and implemented by the 16 technical college districts in the state.
Definitions adapted from Assessing Student Learning, Linda Suskie, 2004.