Summative assessment is characterized as assessment of learning, providing information on the an ability to meet clearly defined objectives, (e.g. did the student learn what was intended based upon meeting instruction objectives or does the product do what it was intended to do, etc.) Summative evaluation ratings illustrate an accumulated value showing actual outcome results, e.g. student progress within a growth model analysis construct. Summative assessments are predicated upon well defined evaluation parameters.

Formative assessments is characterized as assessment for learning Formative evaluation ratings indicate the level of proficiency the student exhibits in supporting skills necessary for total student comprehension, the “how and why” of student achievement. Formative evaluations are used as a quantified measure of e.g. Character, Leadership, EQ and other performance skills required for “whole-person” student development.

Concurrent feedback is information that is provided as the student demonstrates outcome proficiency, serving as the basis for learning and intelligent self-adjustment en route. Sound assessments are both a barometer and compass; providing the ability to self-correct en route through feedback.