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FINALLY!

FINALLY ! I have had a light bulb moment. It has been several months, and several courses in the making, but I think I finally have developed a meaningful understanding of  the necessity and differences in formative and summative evaluations. I am not sure why I have had such difficulty with these concepts…isn’t an evaluation and evaluation? Ha, HA! That is what I thought before I took this course in educational evaluations! A formative evaluation is conducted while the program or project is proceeding. This type of evaluation is useful and necessary to determine how well the evaluation is meeting the goals and objectives of the evaluation or how will the program is meeting the established goals. Information gained from a formative evaluation can help assist the evaluators, stakeholders, clients, staff, etc. in making any changes in the program to maintain course. A summative evaluation is conducted when the program or project is complete; it is more a summary of what took place and a description of what has happened. These types of evaluations are critical in assessing the overall effectiveness, efficacy, and impact of a program when it is complete. In the context of my own teaching, I have primarily relied upon summative evaluations. My own assessment and student survey of how the course worked over the past semester. Now, as I am preparing to teach again in the spring, I am trying to plan for both formative and summative evaluations. I am hoping to use a sandbox course as a way to plan improvements for my courses over the semester. As I see components of the course working or not, I can make adjustments in the sandbox for use in future terms. I hope this will save time in the long run, and improve my course overall. 

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