Formative Evaluation

Coined by Michael Scriven (1967), the term "formative evaluation" is used for the type of evaluation that occurs during the developmental stage of the instructional design process (Seels & Glasgow, 1990). The instructional designer evaluates materials during the process of instructional development to determine where there are weaknesses in the instruction so that revisions can be made (Smith & Ragan, 1999). There are several variations of formative evaluation.

Explore the models below to learn more.

Dick & Carey Flagg

Clinical (one-to-one evaluation)

Small group evaluation

Field trial

Needs assessment

Pre-production formative evaluation

Production formative evaluation

Implementation formative evaluation

Seels & Glasgow Smith & Ragan

Internal review

Tutorial and small-group tryouts

Operational tryout

Design reviews

Expert reviews

Learner validation

Ongoing evaluation

Tessmer Evaluation for Technology-based Instruction

Expert review

One-on-one evaluation

Small group evaluation

Field test

Rapid prototype

Alpha testing

Beta testing

Summative Evaluation

Instructional designers may be involved in evaluating the effectiveness of instructional materials after the materials have been implemented into the instructional contexts for which they were designed (Smith & Ragan, 1999). However, Seels & Glasgow (1990) find that "summative evaluation is seldom carried out by the designers responsible for developing the original instruction and is not an integral part of our system model" (p. 199). Nevertheless, it is important to be familiar with the process. Like formative evaluation, there are several variations of summative evaluation.

Explore the models below to learn more.

Dick & Carey Smith & Ragan Kirkpatrick

Expert judgement

Field trial

Determine goals of evaluation

Select indicators of success

Select orientation of evaluation

Select design of evaluation

Design or select evaluation measures

Collect data

Analyze data

Report results

Level 1 - Reaction

Level 2 - Learning

Level 3 - Transfer

Level 4 - Results

Note: In Kirkpatrick's four-level model, evaluation always begins with Level 1 and each successive level builds on information gathered from the previous level.

Scrieven, M. (1967). The methodology of evaluation (AERA Monograph series on curriculum evaluation, No. 1). Chicago IL: Rand McNally.

Seels, B. and Glasgow, Z. (1990). Exercises in instructional design. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Publishing Company.

Smith, P. and Ragan, T. (1999). Instructional design (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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