We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Summative Evaluation?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 11, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A summative evaluation is a type of assessment that occurs at the end of a project or activity. The purpose of the evaluation is to go over the particulars of what transpired during the course of the activity, identify the key events or factors that influenced the outcome, and determine what could have been done to address negative aspects or to reinforce positive aspects of that activity so the outcome was more profitable or positive. Performing a summative evaluation can be very helpful as a tool to learn from the experiences of one activity so that future activities can be structured with greater efficiency.

The idea behind a summative evaluation is different from that of a formative evaluation. With the former, a project that is now complete is assessed with the goal of learning from the experience, both in terms of what worked and what did not. By contrast, a formative evaluation occurs prior to or at the point at which a project is launched, with the goal being to identify potential strengths and weaknesses that are likely to impact the outcome. Both forms of evaluation are critical, with one making it possible to minimize liabilities with a new project and the other serving to provide data that can aid in achieving success with future projects.

Conducting a summative evaluation will involve identification of all benefits and liabilities that came to pass during the course of the project or activity. While the focus is often on direct benefits and liabilities, the evaluation may also consider indirect results as well. For example, along with noting that a project increased sales revenue by ten percent for the most recently closed accounting period, it may also be noted that the project also had the benefit of increasing efficiency in one or more departments by a significant margin. While the goal may have been to increase sales revenue, identifying the additional benefit of higher productivity makes it easier to determine if the overall benefits received were worth any costs that may have been incurred during the course of the project.

Just about any type of organization can make use of a summative evaluation at the end of an activity. Small businesses can use this approach to determine what transpired during a realignment of a manufacturing floor, especially in terms of creating products to fill customer orders with a greater degree of efficiency. Larger corporations can determine whether or not a marketing campaign is generating sufficient results to merit continuing that campaign, or if some changes are in order. A non-profit organization may conduct a summative evaluation on a recent fund raising activity and decide if a similar event should be held again, or if the costs were not offset by the funds collected, making the project less than profitable.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.