EVALUATION IN EDUCATION

 

The word evaluation is a more comprehensive term which includes both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of the pupil behavior. In addition, it implies value judgment regarding the desirability of student behaviour. Teaching for successful learning cannot occur without high quality evaluation. Evaluation, therefore, needs to be integrated with the process of teaching and learning. Hence, evaluation has to be so designed that it can be used as a powerful means of influencing the quality of what teachers teach and what students learn. But while doing so, special care must be taken to ensure that it is humane and it enables the learner to grow into a responsible and productive citizen. Not only this, evaluation has also to provide constant feedback regarding the effectiveness of course contents, classroom processes and the growth of individual learners ,besides the appropriateness of the evaluation procedures. It must, however, be flexible enough to the extent that it can be experimented with and adapted according to the specific situations and needs of the learners.

 

Evaluation is a systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting evidences of students’ progress and achievement both in cognitive and non-cognitive areas of learning for the purpose of taking a variety of decisions. Evaluation, thus, involves gathering and processing of information and decision-making. Green and Kreuter (1991) have perhaps the broadest definition of evaluation, outlining it as a “comparison of an object of interest against a standard of acceptability”. Weiss (1998) has a more targeted view: “Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the operation and/or the outcomes of a program or a policy, compared to a set of explicit or implicit standards, as a means of contributing to the improvement of the program or policy”.

Rossi and Freeman (1993) define evaluation as “the systematic application of social research procedures for assessing the conceptualization, design, implementation, and utility of programs.”

M.W Lipsey (2004) define evaluation as a systematic, rigorous, and meticulous application of scientific methods to assess the design, implementation, improvement or outcomes of a program. It is a resource-intensive process, frequently requiring resources, such as, evaluator expertise, labour, time and a sizeable budget.

 

National Curriculum Framework (2005) observes that education is concerned with preparing citizens for a meaningful and productive life and evaluation should be a way of providing credible feedback to the extent to which imparting such an education would be successful.

 

It is a very well known fact that the evaluation practices carried out in schools aim to measure the knowledge and understanding outcomes of learners, neglecting the evaluation of skills and higher mental abilities. While one of the major areas of school education is towards all round development of the child, least attention is paid to the educative process involved and to the assessment of students’ all round development. The National Policy on Education (1986) and the Programme of Action (1992) followed by the National Curriculum Framework of School Education (1986 and 2000) reiterated the need for developing the personal and social qualities in learners. They stressed that the evaluation should be comprehensive in nature, wherein all learning experiences pertaining to scholastic, co-scholastic and personal and social qualities are assessed. The comprehensive evaluation necessitates the summative assessment of cognitive abilities as well as the assessment of health habits, work habits, cleanliness, cooperation and other social and personal qualities through simple and manageable means or tools. The comprehensive evaluation not only helps in checking all the standards of performance in both scholastic and co-scholastic areas, but also in decision making regarding various aspects of teaching-learning process, promoting the students, increasing quality, efficiency and accountability. Continuous and comprehensive evaluation necessitates the use of multiple evaluation techniques and tools in addition to certain conventional ones.

 

Measurement, Evaluation and Assessment in Education

 

Measurement refers to the process by which the attributes or dimensions of some physical object are determined. One exception seems to be in the use of the word measure in determining the IQ of a person. The phrase, “this test measures IQ” is commonly used. Measuring such things as attitudes or preferences also applies. However, when we measure, we generally use some standard instrument to determine how big, tall, heavy, voluminous, hot, cold, fast, or straight something actually is. Standard instruments refer to instruments such as rulers, scales, thermometers, pressure gauges etc. We measure to obtain information about what is. Such information may or may not be useful, depending on the accuracy of the instruments we use, and our skill at using them. There are few such instruments in the social sciences that approach the validity and reliability of say a 12″ ruler. We measure how big a classroom is in terms of square feet, we measure the temperature of the room by using a thermometer, and we use Ohm’s meters to determine the voltage, amperage, and resistance in a circuit. In all these examples, we are not assessing anything; we are simply collecting information relative to some established rule or standards.
            Evaluation is perhaps the most complex and least understood of the terms. Inherent in the idea of evaluation is “value.” When we evaluate, what we are doing is engaging in some process that is designed to provide information that will help us make a judgment about a given situation. Generally, any evaluation process requires information about the situation in question. A situation is an umbrella term that takes into account such ideas as objectives, goals, standards, procedures, and so on. When we evaluate, we are saying that the process will yield information regarding the worthiness, appropriateness, goodness, validity, legality, etc., of something for which a reliable measurement or assessment has been made. We evaluate every day. Teachers, in particular, are constantly evaluating students, and such evaluations are usually done in the context of comparisons between what was intended (learning, progress, behavior) and what was obtained.

 Assessment is a process by which information is obtained relative to some known objective or goal. Assessment is a broad term that includes testing. A test is a special form of assessment. Tests are assessments made under contrived circumstances so that they may be administered. In other words, all tests are assessments, but not all assessments are tests. We test at the end of a lesson or unit. We assess progress at the end of a school year through testing, and we assess verbal and quantitative skills through different instruments. Whether implicit or explicit, assessment is most usefully connected to some goal or objective for which the assessment is designed. A test or assessment yields information relative to an objective or goal. In that sense, we test or assess to determine whether or not an objective or goal has been attained. Assessment of skill attainment is rather straightforward. Either the skill exists at some acceptable level or it doesn’t

Nature, Scope and Purpose of Evaluation

Nature of Evaluation

  • To determine whether resources are being used appropriately and efficiently.
  • To determine whether the agency is achieving organizational goals and objectives.
  • To fulfill the requirements of funding and service agreements.
  • To determine the effect of service on the target population.
  • To identify areas of service or organizational framework that could be enhanced to improve service.
  • To determine the social effect of government policy decisions.
  • To identify areas within policy that requires change or amendment to provide better social outcomes.
  • To determine if government is achieving strategic goals.

Scope of Evaluation

  • It tests genuineness of objectives and helps in their modification.
  • It helps in judging the effectiveness of the methods of teaching in terms of the objectives of teaching.
  • It helps in findings out the psychological and logical soundness of the material.
  • It tests the all-round development of the child and help in predicting the future success of the student in a particular field.
  • It helps in the improvement and modification of the evaluation tools and techniques, which should not be static but should change from time to time.

Purposes of evaluation

Evaluation always serves a broader purpose, which is to make a particular contribution to an area of public policy and its programmes. The most commonly recognized purposes of evaluation are:

  • Planning/efficiency: ensuring that there is a justification for a policy/ programme and that resource are efficiently deployed.
  • Accountability: demonstrating how far a programme has achieved its objectives, how well it has used its resources and what has been its impact.
  • Implementation: improving the performance of programmes and the effectiveness of how they are delivered and managed.
  • Institutional strengthening: improving and developing capacity among programme participants and their networks and institutions.

Features of Evaluation

  • Evaluation will be humane in nature. It will help students grow as social beings and thus save them from unnecessary pain, anxiety, harassment and humiliation.
  • Evaluation will be the responsibility of the teacher who teaches the students and is responsible for developing the requisite healthy attributes in them.
  • Evaluation will be consistent with its purpose and will provide a reliable and valid measure of students’ performance.
  • Evaluation will reflect the outcomes of each learning intervention and would provide all the students the same opportunity to display their individual potentials. As such, evaluation will be varied and consistent and thus admit of the use of multiple techniques of measurement.
  • Evaluation will be built in with the teaching-learning process and thus will be carried out during the entire period of education.
  • Evaluation will take into account both the background and the prior experiences of students.
  • Alternative evaluation procedures will be used for students with special needs making it humane, learner friendly and flexible.
  • Procedures for grading and their reporting will be appropriate and easily understood by one and all.
  • Evaluation will restore faith and trust of masses by ensuring transparency in the procedures.
  • Modern technology will be used not only to improve the management of evaluation system but also to administer tests using computer networks

Reference:

http://www.adprima.com/measurement.htm

http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/evaluation/evalsed/guide/development/history_purpose/purposes_en.htm#top)

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