The evaluation planning process is characterized by training, planning, and human resource development. This makes it crucial for all employees and stakeholders to be involved. The difference between formative and summative evaluations affects the negotiations with program staff and other stakeholders in the planning of an evaluation (Worthen & Sander 579). For insight into the area, the differences between the two types of evaluation will be explored.
Formative evaluation is generally viewed as being more complex than summative evaluation due to its scope and comprehensive nature. According to Scriven (1991), formative evaluation is a dynamic process that takes place more than once with the intention of improving a program by ensuring that the goals are well achieved. In addition, the process of formative evaluation involves both internal and external evaluators with the purpose of gaining an authoritative insight into the process of evaluation. Many organizations conduct formative evaluation in order to provide program staff with crucial evaluative information that is very critical in all the processes that seek to further improve the program.
Summative evaluation is characteristically a quantitative process that provides program staff with critical information on the program’s efficacy. This type of evaluation focuses on the impact and achievement of the program and is performed usually at the end of a project/program rather than in the process of achieving the goals. Summative evaluation is outcome focused on distinct insights into lessons learnt and areas that require improvement (Patton 154).
The differences in the modes of evaluation may affect the evaluation planning process due to the differences in the principles and technique that transcends the varying fields that the program or project addresses. The type of evaluation to be used is also dependant on the goals, objectives, and the hypotheses of the program. The differences between formative and summative evaluation as earlier described will subsequently affect factors such as the focus (objectives) of evaluation, the time-frames required for the processes, and performance measures. The source of information for the evaluation process is significantly affected by the mode of evaluation. Furthermore, the selection of information sources is guided by the objectives of evaluation. The objectives, improvement or outcome-based significantly affect the evaluation planning process among program staff and stakeholders (Herman & Morris 81).