Predictive Evaluation – the Other Assessment

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© K.Becker & Springer Publishing

When I was studying Ed Tech there was a lot of emphasis on formative and summative evaluation. I never heard any of my professors talk about others. When I was working on the first chapter or my upcoming book, I realized there are TWO others: predictive, and confirmative. Go figure. I wonder why we never talked about those?

Many people are somewhat confused about the distinction between formative and summative evaluation.

Robert Stake has a great way to distinguish the two:

“When the cook tastes the soup, that’s formative; when the guests taste the soup, that’s summative” (Scriven, 1991, p.19)

Although there is some overlap, the image shows how each relates to the design and development process. Here are brief definitions:

  • Formative evaluation tends to focus on the process and normally takes place before the intervention has been deployed.
  • Summative evaluation normally takes place after deployment and focuses on its overall effects.
  • Confirmative evaluation  is normally performed after the summative evaluation has been complete for some time, and its purpose is to confirm that the instruction is still effective weeks, months, and even years later.
  • Predictive evaluation takes place before the instruction is developed. As instructional interventions become more and more infused with technology, it becomes more important to do this. My 4PEG model for evaluating games is a predictive model.

Scriven, M. (1991). Beyond Formative and Summative Evaluation. In M. W. McLaughlin & D. C. Phillips (Eds.), Evaluation and education: at quarter century: National Society for the Study of Education.

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