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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



Evaluation planning


This second chapter presents basic concepts in the field of educational evaluation. It stresses the very close relationship between evaluation and definition of educational objectives; and the primary role of any evaluation, which is to facilitate decision-making by those responsible for an educational system. It defines the subject, the purpose, the goals and the stages of evaluation and highlights the concepts of validity and relevance.

Those who would like to learn more about these problems should consult the following publications:

Development of educational programmes for the health professions. WHO, 1973 (Public Health Papers No. 52).

Evaluation of school performance, educational documentation and information. Bulletin of the International Bureau of Education, No. 184, third quarter 1972, 84 pages.

After having studied this chapter and the reference documents mentioned you should be able to:

1. Draw a diagram showing the relationship between evaluation and the other parts of the educational process.

2. Define the principal role of evaluation, its purpose and its aims.

3. Describe the difference between formative and certifying evaluation.

4. List the good and bad features of a test.

5. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of tests in current use.

6. Define the following terms: validity, reliability, objectivity, and describe the relationship that exists between them.

7. Choose an appropriate evaluation method (questionnaire, written examination, “objective” test [MCQ or short-answer questions] or essay question, oral examination, direct observation, etc.) for measuring the students' attainment of a specific educational objective. Compare the alternatives in a specification table.

8. Define (in the form of an organizational diagram) the organization of an evaluation system suitable for your establishment, and list the stages involved.


(a) the most important educational decisions you have to take;

(b) the data to be collected to provide a basis for those decisions;

(c) the aims of the system and sub-systems in terms of decisions to be taken and the object of each decision (teachers, students, programmes).

9. Identify obstacles to and strategies for improvement of a system of evaluating students, teachers and programmes.

To change curricula or instructional methods without changing examinations would achieve nothing!

Changing the examination system without changing the curriculum had a much more profound impact upon the nature of learning than changing the curriculum without altering the examination system.

G.E. Miller1


1 International Medical Symposium No. 2. Rome. 23-26 March 1977.