Cover Image
close this bookEducational Handbook for Health Personnel (WHO, 1998, 392 p.)
close this folderChapter 2: Evaluation planning
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhat is evaluation?
View the documentContinuous evaluation formative and certifying evaluation
View the documentAims of student evaluation1
View the documentCommon methodology for student evaluation1
View the documentComparison of advantages and disadvantages of different types of test
View the documentEvaluation in education qualities of a measuring instrument
View the documentEvaluation is a matter for teamwork

What is evaluation?

2.04

An analysis of educational innovations all over the world confirms G. Miller's opinion. In this second chapter, therefore, you are invited to plan a system of evaluation that can be used as a basis for preparation and implementation of a programme. The process is already under way, for the formulation of specific educational objectives requires definition of criteria indicating the minimum level of performance expected from the student. Educational decisions have to be made frequently during preparation and implementation of a programme; and the main purpose of evaluation is in fact to provide a basis for value judgements that permit better educational decision-making. First of all you must decide what you want to evaluate: students, teachers and/or programmes. In each case you must determine what important educational decisions you will be expected to make in your capacity as teacher or administrator, for the instruments and mechanisms of evaluation providing data for value judgements will be developed and used according to the type of decision required. A general methodology of evaluation and corresponding techniques do exist. Some are simple; others very complex and costly in time and money. Here again you will make your choice according to criteria that will ensure an adequate level of security. As in every educational process, you will have to shape all the consequences of your decisions into a coherent and logical whole. You are therefore invited to read the next pages before doing the exercise on p. 2.09.

The person who sets the examination controls the programme.

Education by objectives is not possible unless examinations are constructed to measure attainment of those objectives.


The educational planning spiral

2.05

The evaluation process provides a basis for value judgements that permit better educational decision-making

2.06

Notice to all teachers

You are reminded that evaluation of education must begin with a clear and meaningful definition of its objectives, as derived from the priority health problems and the professional profile

2.07

Evaluation

........................................

of whom?



of what?


· Students



· Teachers



· Programmes and courses



........................................ in relation to what?


· In relation to educational objectives.

(They are the common denominator.)

2.08

EXERCISE

Answer question 2 on p. 2.45.
Check your answer on p. 2.48.

EXERCISE

2.09

Before starting to define the organization, stages or methods of an evaluation system suitable for the establishment in which you are teaching, it would be useful to stale:

What important educational decisions* you think you and your colleagues will be taking over the next three years.

* Examples of educational decisions:

- to decide which students will be allowed to move up from the first to the second year

- or to decide to purchase an overhead projector rather than a blackboard

- or to decide to appoint Mr X full professor

- or to decide:

................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................
................................................................................

You and your colleagues will have to make value judgements as a basis for each decision. It will therefore be useful to plan the construction and use of “instruments of evaluation” that will enable you to collect the data needed for making those value judgments (see pp. 2.40 and 2.41).

Personal notes

2.10

Evaluation - a few assumptions1

1 Adapted from Downie, N.M. Fundamentals of Measurement: Techniques and Practices. New York, Oxford University Press, 1967.

2.11

Education is a process, the chief goal of which is to bring about changes in human behaviour.

The sorts of behavioural changes that the school attempts to bring about constitute its objectives.

Evaluation consists of finding out the extent to which each and every one of these objectives has been attained, and determining the quality of the teaching techniques used and of the teachers.

Assumptions underlying basic educational measurement and evaluation1

2.12

1 See footnote to page 2.11.

Human behaviour is so complex that it cannot be described or summarized in a single score.

The manner in which an individual organizes his behaviour patterns is an important aspect to be appraised. Information gathered as a result of measurement or evaluation activities must be interpreted as a part of the whole. Interpretation of small bits of behaviour as they stand alone is of little real meaning.

The techniques of measurement and evaluation are not limited to the usual paper-and-pencil tests. Any bit of valid evidence that helps a professor or counsellor in better understanding a student and that leads to helping the student to understand himself better is to be considered worth while.

Attempts should be made to obtain all such evidence by any means that seem to work.

The nature of the measurement and appraisal techniques used influences the type of learning that goes on in a classroom. If students are constantly evaluated on knowledge of subject-matter content, they will tend to study this alone. Professors will also concentrate their teaching efforts upon this. A wide range of evaluation activities covering various objectives of a course will lead to varied learning and teaching experiences within a course.

The development of any evaluation programme is the responsibility of the professors, the school administrators, and the students. Maximum value can be derived from the participation of all concerned.

The philosophy of evaluation1

1 See footnote to page 2.11.

2.12

1. Each individual should receive the education that most fully allows him to develop his potential.

2. Each individual should be so placed that he contributes to society and receives personal satisfaction in so doing.

3. Fullest development of the individual requires recognition of his essential individuality along with some rational appraisal by himself and others.

4. The judgements required in assessing an individual's potential are complex in their composition, difficult to make, and filled with error.

5. Such error can be reduced but never eliminated. Hence any evaluation can never be considered final.

6. Composite assessment by a group of individuals is much less likely to be in error than assessment made by a single person.

7. The efforts of a conscientious group of individuals to develop more reliable and valid appraisal methods lead to the clarification of the criteria for judgement and reduce the error and resulting wrongs.

8. Every form of appraisal will have critics, which is a spur to change and improvement.

The psychology of evaluation1

1 See footnote to page 2.11.

2.13

1. For evaluation activities to be most effective, they should consist of the best possible techniques, used in accordance with what we know to be the best and most effective psychological principles.

2. For many years readiness has been recognized as a very important prerequisite for learning. A student is ready when he understands and accepts the values and objectives involved.

3. It has long been known that people tend to carry on those activities which have success associated with their results. This has been known as Thorndike's Law of Effect. Students in any classroom soon come to realize that certain types of behaviour are associated with success - in this case, high marks on a test or grades in a course. Thus, if a certain teacher uses tests that demand rote memory, the students will become memorizers. If a test, on the other hand, requires students to apply principles, interpret data, or solve problems, the students will study with the idea of becoming best fitted to do well on these types of test items. In the long run, the type of evaluation device used determines, to a great extent, the type of learning activity in which students will engage in the classroom.

4. Early experiments in human learning showed that individuals learn better when they are “constantly” appraised in a meaningful manner as to how well they are doing.

5. The motivation of students is one of the most important - and sometimes the most difficult to handle - of all problems related to evaluation. It is redundant for us to say that a person's performance on a test is directly related to his motivation. Research has shown that when a student is really motivated, performance is much closer to his top performance than when motivation is lacking.

6. Learning is most efficient when there is activity on the part of the learner.

EXERCISE

Try to answer question 3 on p. 2.45.
Check your answer on p. 2.48.

Evaluation is

a continuous process

based upon criteria

cooperatively developed

concerned with measurement of the performance of learners, the effectiveness of teachers and the quality of the programme1


1 This chapter is mainly concerned with the evaluation of students. Evaluation of programmes and teachers is dealt with in chapter 4.

2.14