Assessment takes two basic forms, based on the point at which the evaluation is done:
- Formative evaluation takes place during the development of a program. It is used to help refocus activities, revise or fine tune a program, or to validate the success of particular activities. Formative assessment in an ETD program may help diagnose whether training sessions are useful to students, whether the submission process worked efficiently, whether the students learned about electronic scholarly communication issues, or whether the students find what they learned in order to produce an ETD helpful in their employment.
- Summative evaluation is used to examine the program at its completion or at the end of a stage. Since an ETD program is ongoing, summative evaluation can be used on an annual basis to yield statistics that can be compared from year to year.
Next Section: The Assessment and Measurement Process