Summative Reporting vs. Continuous Reporting

Picture of By bojana.lazarevska
By bojana.lazarevska
Summative Reporting vs. Continuous Reporting

For some time now, Schoolbox has been on a journey toward encouraging schools to switch from a traditional summative report to an online continuous report.

two students skipping to school

We believe that the value of a continuous report has well and truly established itself – but what does continuous reporting actually mean?

What is continuous reporting?

As the name suggests, this type of reporting is continuous, which means that students are given meaningful feedback in real time and receive assessment results regularly throughout the semester, rather than just at the end.

Students become more motivated to improve their grades if they have full transparency over their achievements and areas for improvement as they keep moving through the semester. Not only does it allow students to constantly reflect on their progress and make improvements as they go, but parents are also more involved in their child’s educational journey as they receive frequent updates of their progress.

So, a continuous report is one that is built throughout the semester, and provides students and parents with an ongoing overview of how they’re progressing.

Moving away from summative reports

Summative reports have been traditionally used in schools as a report that students and parents receive at the end of each semester that shows what the student has achieved in that semester’s assessments.

The dreaded report time is also the time of the year where teachers can say bye to their social life and their weekends, as they become consumed with marking class after class of assessment tasks and trying to summarise 20+ weeks of a student’s learning journey into two sentences.

teacher attempting to complete summative reports

This method of reporting doesn’t give the students or parents very constructive feedback and usually comes at a time when it’s too late for a student to improve. Furthermore, the grades don’t exactly showcase where a student’s strengths or weaknesses lie, and where there is room for improvement – which is not a very good way of doing reporting at all!

Why are schools still using summative reports?

Many schools still maintain traditional reports for compliance, storage and export purposes. For example, students that move between schools or those applying to university still need a traditional report to take with them.

This is why we’ve made it possible to create a traditional report from a continuous report – easy! To ensure this process is not a burden on teachers’ already stretched time, we’ve made sure that any effort invested in continues reporting results in a decreased effort in creating a summative report.

If you’re interested to learn more about how easily you can create a summative report from a continuous report in Schoolbox, engagement platform for K-12 schools, visit our Help centre, or learn more about how continuous reporting works in Schoolbox. You can also contact us to find out more!

We look forward to hearing from you,
The Schoolbox team