Types and Functions of Evaluation

There are different types of evaluation depending on the object being evaluated and the purpose of the evaluation. The most important distinction in evaluation types is that between formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluations strengthen or improve the object being evaluated. They help in examining the delivery of the program or technology, the quality of its implementation, and the assessment of the organizational context, personnel, procedures, inputs, and so on. Summative evaluations, in contrast, examine the effects or outcomes of some object. They summarize it by describing what happens subsequent to delivery of the program or technology; assessing whether the object can be said to have caused the outcome; determining the overall impact of the causal factor beyond only the immediate target outcomes; and estimating the relative costs associated with the object.


Formative evaluation includes several evaluation types:


  • Needs assessment determines who needs the program, how great the need is, and what might work to meet the need.
  • Evaluability assessment determines whether an evaluation is feasible and how stakeholders can help shape its usefulness.
  • Structured conceptualization helps stakeholders define the program or technology, the target population, and the possible outcomes.
  • Implementation evaluation monitors the fidelity of the program or technology delivery.
  • Process evaluation investigates the process of delivering the program or technology, including alternative delivery procedures.

Summative evaluation can also be subdivided:

  • Outcome evaluations investigate whether the program or technology caused demonstrable effects on specifically defined target outcomes.
  • Impact evaluation is broader and assesses the overall or net effects, intended or unintended, of the program or technology as a whole.
  • Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis address questions of efficiency by standardizing outcomes in terms of their costs and values.
  • Secondary analysis reexamines existing data to address new questions or use methods not previously employed.
  • Meta-analysis integrates the outcome estimates from multiple studies to arrive at an overall or summary judgment on an evaluation question


 Functions of Evaluation

The major functions of evaluation are to:

  • test achievement of the pupils
  • assess personality of the pupils
  • attain success in teaching
  • clarify objectives
  • act as incentives
  • help in classification of students
  • award scholarship
  • provide basic for admission
  • provide guidance
  • bring changes in the curriculum
  • influence learning
  • provide data for research



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