Formative Evaluation: Sometimes known as process evaluation, this type of evaluation addresses how well the individual or program is progressing toward a goal. Information acquired through formative evaluation is used to improve or enhance progress through feedback.

Summative Evaluation: A final form of evaluation conducted to determine if pre-established outcomes have been achieved. Most frequently used for final decision-making.

When planning for evaluation, many find it helpful to determine if their evaluation should emphasize formative or summative needs and also to determine if the evaluation will be most useful if it focuses on individuals (e.g., grad students or lab managers) or the program or institution itself.