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How to write a summative report

Updated February 21, 2017

Summative reports are used to assess the overall effectiveness, outcome or impact of an educational program. A summative evaluation might seek to address the impact of a new instructional strategy and if there is improved student motivation or performance. Summative reports are carried out after the new method is implemented and sufficient time passes to identify the resulting outcomes in student learning. Summative reports can identify the cause and effect of a program or strategy and provide data to plan for future change.

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  1. Create or use a school standardised summative report form. Typically summative reports have formatted sections on data you are focused on. As an example, the first section would be a summary of the program or instructional strategy. Provide uniform headings throughout your report.

  2. Create a summary section at the top of your report. This is the condensed version of your report, concisely stating your findings and recommendations. Fill this section out last, once you have processed your entire report.

  3. Write the introduction, including an overview of the purpose of the assessment, the objectives, goals of the program, the activities involved, formative assessments used and a brief outline of what your summative report will cover.

  4. Describe the student population and any differentiation noted for specific student learning styles.

  5. Describe the data sources and the methods of gathering student data, such as pre-assessments, formative assessments and summative assessments and whether the data is qualitative (interviews, observations, surveys) or quantitative data (selected and constructed responses, as well as performance and demonstration-based tests and quizzes).

  6. Outline the objectives (state standards and district grade-level benchmarks) one by one and describe the outcomes. Refer to data source results and state which assessment methods were used to obtain results.

  7. Analyse the data results. If appropriate, insert graphs or charts to visually demonstrate student learning progress and outcomes. Describe the implications of the data, including successes and failures. Describe any outside factors that may have affected the results.

  8. Write your recommendations based upon the data provided.

  9. Make any suggestions for refining or revising the instructional strategy or program.

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Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Summative Report Template (optional)
  • Data

About the Author

A 35-year child care specialist, Laurie Carpenter’s first writing involved scripts for a national award-winning cable program on child care issues. From cradle to grave, she worked for a historical cemetery, handling public relations and historical pieces for newspaper publication. Working towards her master’s degree in education, Carpenter also completed a certificate of journalism program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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